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