Dayton Children’s mourns loss of doctor to COVID-19 complications

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A doctor at Dayton Children’s has died from complications of COVID-19.

Dayton Children’s released a statement Friday about the loss.

It is with a heavy heart that we share Dr. Ayman El-Sheikh, chief of hematology/oncology, passed away yesterday from complications of COVID-19. He acquired the illness and was hospitalized during a trip overseas in December. At his family’s request, we helped transfer him to a local hospital for further care. Unfortunately, he did not recover and never returned to Dayton Children’s.

Dr. El-Sheikh will be sorely missed. He was an advocate for his patients and families, and highly respected by his colleagues. “This is a profound loss for so many – first for his family whom we send our deepest sympathy and prayers for their grief,” says Debbie Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s. “For those who had the privilege of knowing him, he will be remembered for his expertise and drive to cure children of cancer and blood disorders.”

“Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘It is not the length of life, but the depth of life,’ shares Adam Mezoff, MD, chief medical officer. “Ayman was taken from us far too early, but his memory will always be with us. His impact on the families of our region is immeasurable and cannot be overstated.”

Dr. El-Sheikh joined Dayton Children’s in 2015. He was board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology. He had significant interest in blood and marrow transplants, solid tumor treatment, education and research. He was a member of the Scientific Committee for The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), a multi-institutional research program dedicated to the study and treatment of childhood brain tumors.

Dr. El-Sheikh championed new protocols while at Dayton Children’s which made treatment easier for patients. He also drove change and advancement as a champion for our partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in a bone marrow transplant collaboration to ensure our patients and families can still receive care close to home.

Dr. El-Sheikh was laid to rest today at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton cemetery. We will always hold his memory close.

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