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Dr. Lidia Maria (Gowor) Adamkiewicz was born on October 13th, 1918, near Slonim, then Poland, now Byelorussia, the youngest of six sisters. She excelled in high school despite the loss of her father and a debilitating bone infection.

WW2 interrupted her 1st year of medical studies at Stefan Batory University in Wilno. With a fellow student Jadwiga (subsequently Dr. Sangowicz), she escaped to Switzerland, via Czechoslovakia and Austria, crossing the Alps by foot. Incredulous Swiss border guards and authorities allowed them to stay as refugees. The two girls were admitted to medical school as refugees and both completed their M.D. degrees at the University of Lausanne. Dr. Lidia graduated in Medicine from the University of Lausanne. She immigrated to Montreal, Canada after the war, where she married Dr. Wincenty Adamkiewicz, with whom she had six sons.

She became the first female physician at l'Hôtel Dieu Hospital. She also established her own private, taught internal medicine at the Université de Montréal, and was one of the first clinical researchers at the Institut de Recherche Clinique de Montreal, , working on hypertension under Dr. Jacques Genest.

Respected for her wide experience, integrity, and culture, she was invited in 1974 to sit on the Institute's new Ethics Committee, one of the first of its kind in Canada, where she played a leading role. Her broad interests included studies in Sociology, and an active membership in the Planetary Society (her name is engraved on NASA's Stardust capsule).

Well-known and respected in the Polish community where she had many patients and friends, she died at the age of 98, mourned by her sons Paul, Marc, Thomas, Michel, Mathias and her grandsons Patrick et Daniel.

Source: Montreal Gazette obituary.

Copyright: Adamkiewicz family.

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