Remembering Professor John Fitzpatrick

Image of John cycling for The Urology Foundation in Madagascar

On the 14th May 2014, exactly five years ago, Professor John Fitzpatrick died very suddenly from an intracranial haemorrhage. The obituary I wrote for him then has has an amazing 90 000 views and more than 200 comments. 

Image of John trekking across England with John Dick, FRCS camping on the mountainside on a The Urology Foundation Challenge

John was a great character, a true friend and an outstanding academic urologist. His extraordinary international reputation was based on his insatiable appetite for travel – he was a visiting professor in innumerable institutions all over the world – and everywhere he went he was greatly liked and admired. John, we still remember you and miss you badly.

Image of John cycling for The Urology Foundation in Malawi 

John was also one of the co-founders of The Urology Foundation (TUF) which now does amazing work to support research, education and training in the specialty that John loved. As the images attest, John also regularly attended the fundraising efforts of TUF. 

Image of John trekking across Great Britain

Please feel free to use this blog as an opportunity to share your memories of John. 

Image of John trekking in Nepal

Image of John Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Prostate Cancer UK

Comments (12) Add yours ↓
  1. Roger Kirby Professor Of Urology

    Check out this short video of all six TUF Cycle Challenges:
    John accompanied us on the first three to Sicily, Malawi and Madagascar. There are still places available if you want to come with us for our 7th ride to Costa Rica in November!

    May 13, 2019 Reply
  2. Declan Murphy Urologist

    Thanks Roger for the timely reminder. It may not quite be a “Diana” moment, but most of us still remember where we were when we heard the news of John’s sudden passing. It was an odd AUA meetingthat year; a mixture of shock and sadness, and then your fantastic BJUi blog which went live during the AUA and gave us all a great place to go to to share our memories and hear what others remembered Fitzy for.

    I must say, five years on, his memory persists very strongly. Maybe it is is the Irishness that I obviously share wth him, but his name still crops upon very regularly on my travels as people tell tales of “when Fitzy came to our Grand Rounds”, or other similar encounter. There was a well worn formula which seemed to always involve a wonderful state of the art address, razor-sharp intellect, very good red wine (“too good for you Murphy!”), and the most fabulous story-telling. He truly was a great story-teller, which gave him a great avenue to communicate his enormous urological knowledge.

    Vale Fitzy, still remembering you

    May 14, 2019 Reply
  3. Joseph A Smith Professor

    “Larger than life” is a phrase used too commonly but it is one that applies to John Fitzpatrick. One only has to consider how much burned into memory is his hearty laugh and it seems impossible that he has been gone five years. His is an influence that will remain with all who knew him throughout the rest of their own lives but extend even beyond that by the impact of what he accomplished in our specialty.

    Jay Smith

    May 14, 2019 Reply
  4. Paul Miller Urologist

    Can’t believe it 5 years since John died. Often the most valuable part of overseas meetings was John’s analysis of the state of the art lectures (often at dinner or in the bar later). A great advocate of treatment only when necessary with good scientific evidence to back it up and unfailing support for surgical pioneers.

    May 14, 2019 Reply
  5. William Watson Professor

    Miss his insight and thoughtfulness but we continue to remember his contribution at our annual John Fitzpatrick Irish Genitourinary Cancer Conference which we are planning again for 2020 after another successful meeting this year. His legacy of questioning, clear communication and collaboration will be ever lasting!!

    May 14, 2019 Reply
  6. Georgina Stewart Fundraiser

    I was fortunate to get to know John after joining the TUF ride in Sicily. He was such a character and had a great intellect. He died far too soon and I am sorry I didn’t get to know him better

    May 14, 2019 Reply
  7. Andrew Etherington TUF supporter

    John was at the centre of our early fund raising activities and threw and enormous effort into their success. I was fortunate to participate with him on each of his rides starting in Sicily and found his company dedicated and indeed competitive – always pushing for better results. His untimely passing was sad but he is remembered with affection and much missed.

    May 15, 2019 Reply
  8. Culley Carson Professpr

    John was a colleague and close friend. It is hard to believe that he has been gone for 5 years. When I attend meetings, I still think I will see him or hear his robust laugh around the corner. He was a great urologist, contributor, and most of all a great human being. His outsized personality and great sense of humor is remembered by all who knew him.

    We should all emulate his love of life and pursuit of excellence.

    May 15, 2019 Reply
  9. Roger Kirby Professor of Urology

    John was always up for a trek or a cycle challenge – this video is a composite of all the Hikes for Hope which all together raised well over £1 million for PCUK and TUF. Take a look at it:

    May 19, 2019 Reply
  10. Duncan Summerton President, BAUS

    Thank you for the reminder, Roger. Only a few weeks ago, whilst at the BAUS officers, I read through the condolences and remembrance book published in his honour. The warmth, respect, and origin of entries from all corners of the globe is truly a mark of what a fantastic man he was, and of his lasting legacy. “His” BAUS in Dublin was a special meeting! Gone but not forgotten.

    May 20, 2019 Reply
  11. Michael Kirby Professor

    No conference was ever dull with John present, he is missed by so many and a very hard act to follow.
    What a sense of humour & quick wit, which made him so engaging.
    You are right, we should emulate his enthusiasm, depth of knowledge and contribution to urology.

    May 23, 2019 Reply
  12. Roger Kirby Professor of Urology

    I really enjoyed meeting John’s brother Andrew, his eldest son – a barrister, also called Andrew, and his so-in-law Eoin very recently at Lords during the first ever England vs Ireland Test match. We shared happy memories of John, who himself was a great cricket fan and who would have loved to see Ireland do so well on the first day of the match. Still missed but not forgotten, John’s legacy lives on – through his family and in all our fond memories.

    August 9, 2019 Reply

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