My grandfather, Dr. Louis “Papa” Heyman, was born in 1925 in Youngstown, Ohio. He was the youngest of 4 children (2 brothers, 1 sister), all of who were college educated. Papa greatly accelerated his educational time-frame in preparation for the long medical training that lay ahead. My grandfather finished high school in 3 ½ years and then entered the University of Miami of Ohio in January of that year. Attending college year round, he completed the program in 2 ½ years with a major in chemistry. Immediately upon graduation, Papa enlisted in the Navy to serve in World War II. The following fall season, the Navy agreed to pay for his medical school training at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio. He completed his medical degree and remained in the Naval reserves for all 4 years of medical school. After graduating, Papa went on the serve in the Korean War as both a naval officer and physician.
Upon his return from the Korean War, my grandfather completed his medical rotations at Harper Hospital in Detroit, MI. While working in both the children’s polio and tuberculosis wards, he chose to specialize in pediatrics. He transferred to Children’s Hospital of Detroit and decided to stay permanently in Michigan.
Papa married a Detroit woman, Eleanor Verona, in 1953, and completed his residency in 1954. He then went into private practice and became an extremely well-known and respected physician both for his diagnostic abilities and his tremendous hands-on care. Throughout 50 years of practicing pediatrics, Papa also taught at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and was Chief of Pediatrics at a local Detroit hospital.
After retiring from pediatrics in 2004, my grandfather retrained himself in adult medicine and became a visiting physician for housebound patients. He continued this for five more years until he finally retired completely in 2009 due to his diagnosis of PPA (Primary Progressive Aphasia).
Sadly, in September of 2013, my Papa has his fight against dementia. While he is no longer with us, I know he was proud and honored to be the inspiration for this cause!