Thursday, November 20, 2014
The International FH Foundation is profoundly sad to learn of the death of Dr Khoo, peacefully at home in Kuala Lumpur on 7 November.
Khoo Kah-Lin was one of his country's most appreciated and admired Cardiologists, a director of the Heart Foundation of Malaysia (YJM) and past president of the Malaysian Medical Association. He was conferred with not one, but two Gold Medal awards.
The first award from the Rotary Club of Malaysia was the Research Gold Medal Award, conferred on him in honour of his outstanding research and development work in the field of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) by the Sultan of Selangor.
More recently, he received an award from the Malaysian Medical Association, for the Outstanding Person of the Year, in recognition of his many contributions to the medical community and to the general public.
These awards and his achievements were perhaps not surprising, considering his philosophy of giving his best in everything he did. Dr Khoo once remarked, “If you want to do something, make sure you do it well. It’s only worth doing if you excel.”
Khoo Kah-Lin was born in 1938 in Penang, Malaysia, was a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia and Singapore, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ireland), Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology. He published widely on topics related to lipid disorders, both in national and international journals, and his original Thesis was on “A Certain Lipid Abnormality in Peninsular Malaysia”.
Khoo lived his early years as a rather sickly child, in a quiet community where neighbours knew each other well, and where there was always a strong sense of community. Public transportation however was nearly non-existent, and since his father was out working, his mother had to care for Kah-Lin and his siblings as best she could.
Unfortunately, the nearest clinic was many miles from their home and without access to a car, his mother had no way of getting him to the clinic whenever he was ill. The Khoo’s were however fortunate as there was a doctor who frequently made house-calls to the families in the neighbourhood, but what truly touched Khoo later in life was that the doctor would frequently refuse payment for treating him as his family was not always able to afford the cost of treatments. This left a lifelong deep impression on the young Khoo and was the main driving force behind his own efforts at contributing back to society. Khoo did this in the form of establishing and setting up the Sau Seng Lum Dialysis Centre in Puchong and working tirelessly right across his country for improved awareness in all circles of FH and the diagnosis and treatment of FH patients.
With close, able, professional and personal assistance always on hand from his wife, Yin Mei, Kah-Lin worked as an outspoken representative on behalf of the public, and patients in particular, in political halls of power; he was a dedicated, committed, thoroughly kind, generous, thoughtful and intensely hard-working gentleman right up until his untimely death. He and his work will be remembered in FH History but he will be rightly, and surely, profoundly missed by his family, friends, patients and people across Malaysia.
He is survived by his wife, Yin Mei, Datin Liew
Khoo Kah-Lin, born 22nd December 1938, died 7th November 2014