Com­mu­nity giv­ing sup­port to Dr. Der­ak­shani

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK RODGERS [email protected]­pub.com

EAS­TON — Com­mu­nity mem­bers and govern­ment of­fi­cials are show­ing sup­port to wellloved pe­di­a­tri­cian Dr. Malek Der­ak­shani af­ter he re­ceived a ter­mi­nal di­ag­no­sis.

Der­ak­shani’s ca­reer be­gan in France, and he stud­ied medicine at the Univer­sity of Paris, where he met his wife. He left his home coun­try of Iran at age 18. Der­ak­shani’s daugh­ter, Nathalie, said he set his sights on Amer­ica af­ter he grad­u­ated med­i­cal school. His prac­tice is on Dutchman’s Lane.

“He re­al­ized medicine is bet­ter in the United States, so he wanted to be­come an Amer­i­can,” Nathalie Der­ak­shani said. “Af­ter he fin­ished his stud­ies there, he had nowhere to go.”

Re­turn­ing to Iran, Der­ak­shani found him­self forced to meet the coun­try’s min­i­mum re­quire­ment of mil­i­tary ser­vice, a to­tal of four years. Af­ter his ser­vice, he re­turned to Amer­ica, Nathalie Der­ak­shani said.

“The first place that hired him was Cam­bridge men­tal hos­pi­tal,” Der­ak­shani said. “Mean­while, my mother and my sib­lings and I, we went to France. It took him a year to get us all over here.”

Der­ak­shani worked at the Cam­bridge men­tal hos­pi­tal, now the East­ern Shore Hos­pi­tal Cen­ter, for a year be­fore be­ing hired by Eas­ton Hos­pi­tal, Nathalie Der­ak­shani said. His prac­tice has worked with the hos­pi­tal for 47 years, she said.

While work­ing at Eas­ton Hos­pi­tal, Der­ak­shani spent time with pre­ma­ture in­fants, rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing the hos­pi­tal’s way of treat­ing the children, Nathalie Der­ak­shani said.

“My dad would stay up all night with a drop­per,” Nathalie Der­ak­shani said. “Some of them are now mothers who have grown to have children of their own.”

Most of the clients are med­i­cal as­sists and come from all over Mary­land, she said.

“He’s like a lo­cal rock­star,” Nathalie Der­ak­shani said. “He has de­vel­oped a re­la­tion­ship with the pa­tients, be­cause we’ve gone through the third or even the fourth gen­er­a­tion with some of them.”

Nathalie Der­ak­shani said many of the pa­tients came from dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial back­grounds and that the of­fice “was like a sec­ond home to them.”

“The pa­tients would say, ‘I know that child is not go­ing to leave here with­out a kiss on the fore­head.’ So my dad was fa­mous for kiss­ing the kids on their fore­head,” Nathalie Der­ak­shani said.

Der­ak­shani also was given of­fi­cial ci­ta­tions for his years of ser­vice from the House of Del­e­gates and the Mary­land Se­nate, con­ferred to his wife on Dec. 7 by Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Tal­bot, and Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore.

Ar­lette Bolden, whose fam­ily and her­self are all pa­tients or for­mer pa­tients of Der­ak­shani’s, said he had saved her daugh­ter’s life.

Bolden’s daugh­ter, Lakeshia, had been born with a rare heart con­di­tion, which other doc­tors in the area had glazed over, she said. Bolden said other Eas­ton physi­cians gave her “a clean bill of health.”

Bolden said one day, Lakeshia’s health ob­vi­ously was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing when she took her to see Der­ak­shani. He told the fam­ily to go im­me­di­ately to Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal in Bal­ti­more.

“When we got to the hos­pi­tal, they said, ‘If it wasn’t for Dr. Der­ak­shani, she would be dead,’” Bolden said. “She only had five min­utes of life left. If it weren’t for Dr. Der­ak­shani, my daugh­ter would be gone.”

Bolden said Der­ak­shani has taken care of her fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions.

“My children, my grand­chil­dren, all of my great-grand­chil­dren, all of my sis­ter’s children — he’s taken care of all of them. He’s the best,” Bolden said.

Dr. Brian Cor­den, who has seen pa­tients in the ab­sence of Der­ak­shani, said he has re­ceived many well wishes to pass onto the Der­ak­shani fam­ily.

“He’s ba­si­cally been an in­sti­tu­tion for the past 50 years here,” Cor­den said.

Cor­den said Der­ak­shani was a strong sup­porter of children’s health and said he es­pe­cially tended to the needs of children in less sta­ble sit­u­a­tions.

“It was par­tic­u­larly, I think, im­pres­sive that he’s seen so many of these un­der­priv­i­leged kids. He didn’t limit his prac­tice to any­body; he saw every­body,” Cor­den said.

Dr. Sylvia Diaz, who also worked with Der­ak­shani, said he was a kind man, al­ways avail­able to crack a joke.

“Al­ways cracks a joke. So when you’re down, he cracks a joke,” Diaz said. “He was al­ways a very happy guy, very pos­i­tive.”

Those in­ter­ested in send­ing con­do­lences or well-wishes, send let­ters to 603 Dutchman’s Lane Eas­ton, MD, 21601.

Dr. Malek Der­ak­shani tends to a pa­tient dur­ing a reg­u­lar checkup.

Dr. Malek Der­ak­shani stands with his grand­chil­dren and pa­tients Luc, right, and Nina Ber­nasse.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

Si­mone Der­ak­shani, cen­ter, ac­cepts a House of Del­e­gates and Mary­land State Se­nate com­men­da­tions from Del. Johnny Mautz, left, and Sen. Ad­die Eck­hardt.

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