Dr. Wagdi F. Ibrahim of Nyack, chief of the Section of General Surgery at , died Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern. He was 65.
Dr. Ibrahim, a beloved father, husband, grandfather, brother, and uncle, touched countless lives through his 26 years of service as a surgeon at Nyack Hospital. He will be remembered for his compassion toward his patients and their families, his warmth and camaraderie among his colleagues and his unwavering dedication to the Nyack community.
Born in Cairo, Egypt, he was the son of Claire Kamel Rafla and Fadl-Allah Ibrahim, an English teacher and school principal. Dr. Ibrahim aspired to become a physician from a very young age. He grew up with his sister and four brothers, and through hard work and dedication received his medical training at Cairo University.
He was later awarded a scholarship to further his education at the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons in London, England. During these years he gained valuable surgical experience working in hospitals throughout England. This hands-on experience would teach him the finer points of general and thoracic surgery along with urology and orthopedics. He would later further his surgical skills in accident and emergency care at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan, England.
After his time in England, Dr. Ibrahim would fulfill another dream by joining his extended family, which had relocated to the United States. He completed his residency in General Surgery at Staten Island Hospital, making the long commute from his new home in Rockland County.
Thereafter, he opened an office in Nanuet, eventually establishing Rockland Surgical Associates with Dr. Themos Vrachnos.
During his tenure at Nyack Hospital, Dr. Ibrahim was on the hospital’s Peer Review and Surgical Case Review Committees and served as Chief of the Division of General Surgery. Dr. Ibrahim had an incredibly strong work ethic. He dedicated himself to his patients and worked many late nights, often struggling through harsh weather conditions to get to the hospital for emergency calls. He touched the lives of countless people in and around Rockland County, including development of Nyack Hospital’s Breast Cancer Program.
When he wasn’t working, Dr. Ibrahim was a voracious reader who also enjoyed crossword puzzles. His passion for photography led him to build a home photo-developing studio and he kept up with changing technology by trading in his dark-room and teaching himself to use photographic software. He was an avid exercise enthusiast who would be seen going on runs around his Nyack neighborhood.
He most recently backpacked the Grand Canyon with his son, and enjoyed spending the Christmas holiday in Florida with his grandchildren, whom he adored.
Dr. Ibrahim is survived by his wife, Dr. Nabila Salama, and their three children, his daughter Claire Colon-Hopkins (Ibrahim), her husband Jason Hopkins, and their four children Sonia, Amira, Olivia and Nadia of Oakland, CA, and his two sons Dr. Sherrif Ibrahim and his wife Vanphen Chanthalangsy Ibrahim of Rochester, NY, and Joseph Ibrahim, of Modesto, Ca.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Nyack Hospital Foundation, 160 N. Midland Ave., Nyack, NY, 10960 are requested. The family wishes to thank the staff of Nyack and Good Samaritan hospitals and other first responders for their heartfelt caring and thoughtful response in their time of need.
A public memorial celebration of Dr. Ibrahim’s life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 11 a.m., at , 151 S. Broadway, Nyack. A private burial will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack at a later date.