Friday, April 27, 2012

In memoriam: John Drake


A staff member at the MGH for 48 years, John F. Drake, chief cardiac technologist, died April 14 at the age of 65.

“He was a wonderful friend, passionate about his job and an incredible mentor to all of us who worked with him,” says Rose Guanci, CVT, inventory manager in the Knight Center for Interventional Cardiovascular Therapy, who worked with Drake for nearly four decades. “He loved working here so much, and he will be missed by so many.”

Drake’s colleagues and friends credit him with training countless staff members over the years, an effort that earned him the reputation of being a patient and kind teacher. He also will be remembered for his dedication to ensuring the intra-aortic balloon pumps and ventricular assist devices were in top working order.

“There are really few people in the world who know these machines better than John. But he didn’t just take care of the machines, he took care of our patients,” says Thomas MacGillivray, MD, co-director of the Thoracic Aortic Center and surgical director of Mechanical Circulatory Support. “He was one of their guardian angels. He would come in the middle of the night to make sure the pumps were working properly and to check to see that they were OK. He never wanted to be in the spotlight, but like many MGHers, he helped make the MGH the great place it is, and he was proud to be a member of the MGH family.” 

Drake was an avid fan of Boston sports teams, and in his memory, his colleagues are collecting funds to purchase a brick etched with his name to be placed at Fenway Park.

Drake was a lifelong resident of Quincy and served as a specialist in the U.S. Army, including two tours of duty in Vietnam. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Heather, and his children, Kristin Eby and her husband David, and Adam Drake and his wife Dana, as well as three grandchildren. Funeral services were held on April 19.

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