Flint general surgeon Dr. Jondy is making a lasting impact on the community

FLINT, MI — Dr. Abdelmajid Jondy. The name should tell you something.

Jondy, 84, worked for Hurley Medical Center as a general surgeon for 50 years and in March 2022 decided to retire. A serious retreat this time.

“He retired once before and we laughed because it only lasted 10 days,” said his daughter, Muna Jondy. “But after him and my mom got COVID, that’s when we said we couldn’t keep doing this.”

While retiring was an almost impossible thought for those who know him, it took a serious battle with COVID for Jondy to finally consider it.

Hospitalized with his wife, Gada, from September 2021 to October, Jondy’s family pushed him to make a career out of it.

“To be honest, I’m someone who told him it was time for him to retire,” Muna said. “Because of his age and the nature of his work as a trauma surgeon, it is very demanding. You are 84 years old, what do you do? It’s probably time to hang up your dress. But my family also had mixed reviews about his retirement.

Jondy and his 72-year-old wife are doing well.

Raised in rural southern Syria, Jondy intended to continue working on the family farm, but he dreamed of becoming a doctor. By dint of perseverance, and driven by his values, he pursued training and obtained a scholarship to study medicine. His story with Flint begins when he immigrated to the city on January 1, 1972.

With his wife, Jondy has nine children: Muhanad, Jumana, Jenan, Muna, Muaz, Bayan, Aman, Mohammad and Abrar. Seven of them were born in Hurley.

Upon arriving in the United States, Jondy initially considered applying for an orthopedic residency at the University of Illinois, but he would have had to wait six months.

Waiting was not an option, so he applied for general surgery and spoke with several hospitals in Ohio and Michigan. Eventually, he set his sights on Hurley, where he noticed trauma surgery was growing. With trauma surgery, he had a wide range of options to pursue – from bones and fractures to hips and hands.

Hurley welcomed him with open arms and offered him a contract, beginning what would become a 50-year journey with the city’s healthcare system.

The name Jondy around Genesee County is recognizable to almost everyone in the area.

“It was one of those things where you’ll run into random people and they’ll be like, oh, you know Dr. Jondy?” said her granddaughter, Sumaya Tabbah, a graduate student at American University. “So I think people feel a lot of love towards him as well and I just want him to be immortalized to some degree. Just to capture all of those emotions.

Muna, a 46-year-old Flint immigration attorney, was recently at dinner with Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson, and just at the right time, her father was brought up.

“He said, ‘I want you to know that I trained with your father 20 years ago as a doctor,’ Muna said. “He said he remembered it so distinctly because he knew he had to know his stuff when he was around Dr. Jondy My dad was never a slacker.

Muna remembers a flat in Hurley when they were young, where Muna and her siblings huddled together and stayed on the weekends while Jondy worked endless hours.

Jondy was still on duty. It didn’t matter if it was 4 p.m. or 4 a.m.

And he always took the call with pride.

“We always felt good,” Muna said. “It was never like we thought dad was too busy for us. We always knew he was doing good things.

Neurosurgical Trauma Physician Assistant Dr. Steve Lackie worked with Jondy from 1991 to 2015.

Jondy was a leading proponent of endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery. While neurosurgery is his forte, laparoscopic surgery has never been for Lackie.

One day, around 2003 or 2004, Lackie was about to leave the hospital, when Jondy quickly stopped him by saying with a smile: “Steve, my friend, I need your help.

The smile caught Lackie off guard. Jondy had to operate on a patient with a gallbladder.

Jondy quickly changed his tone, saying seriously, “We have to do it with a laparoscope.”

“He said even if I had a stomach ache, I’ll be fine,” Lackie laughed.

Midway through the operation, Jondy looked up at Lackie and said, “You’re turning green, are you kidding? Breathe deeply. You’re fine, you won’t be spanked.

Lackie knew the patient was in good hands. The procedure lasted 20 minutes.

“Dr. Jondy was so calm,” he said. “When he says he needs my help, how can I refuse?”

In 2012, Jondy returned to Syria at the height of a war waged by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime against the Syrian people following the outbreak of peaceful protests in 2011. The war left many Syrians without food, water, shelter or access to medical care. care.

This pushed Jondy to do what he’s always been known to do; helping people. Jondy risked retaliation from the Syrian government for helping the Syrian people, but that didn’t deter him.

With hospitals, homes and shelters destroyed, he performed a total of 23 surgeries on injured civilians. The surgeries were performed in the basements of homes and other buildings so the government wouldn’t know about it.

Dr. Michael Jaggi, Chairman of Emergency and Hurley’s Chief Medical Officer, has worked closely with Jondy since 1996.

He credits Jondy with being one of the first surgeons to put Hurley on the trauma care map. He helped build the foundation and watched it mature for 50 years.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him tired or tired,” said Jaggi, 59. “It’s still remarkable looking back on it. I think that’s what really sets him apart and people have identified with him that he’s always been there.

Jondy’s dedication to improving the lives of those around him didn’t stop at the hospital. He embodied this same mission within his family and the community in general.

Jondy always found time for his family. He built a basketball and tennis court at his home in Clio, with around 30 acres of land. Muna remembers those games being played like it was yesterday, including the time he taught her how to ride a bike.

As the founder of the Flint Islamic Center, a massive 82,000 square foot mosque set on 45 acres, Jondy’s work has extended beyond the operating room and his dedication to his Islamic faith has spread. throughout the community.

His legacy speaks for itself.

“He worked like he lived,” she said. “He’s a very simple guy and it’s funny because I have that personality from him. He’s very generous and very generous. He’s been a real asset to the Muslim community and obviously to the greater community in the county of Genesis.

In 2020, Jondy and his wife celebrated their 50th anniversary with a small outdoor gathering. Given the fight with COVID last year, he preferred not to have a large gathering for a retirement party.

Other organizations have also pledged to honor his career. The Islamic Medical Association of Mid Michigan – IMA Flint, which is made up of more than 250 physicians and medical providers, plans to honor Jondy at its next meeting in November.

“Flint has lost such an amazing doctor,” Lackie said. “I had the honor of working with him and you get to a point where you feel love for the man. I’m happy for him but it’s also mixed emotions.

Tressa Ramirez, 53, worked directly with Jondy for 25 years as a registered nurse and scrub technician. It wasn’t any specific surgery Jondy performed that impressed her, nor the fact that he always showed up on time. These are expected qualities.

But what isn’t always expected of people, especially now, is to be kind. Jondy always made sure to do that.

“He always said ‘hello’ to me,” she said. “He always took the time to say that. And I always knew how busy he was. Sometimes I wasn’t even in his room, and every time I saw him he would say “hello” and address me by name. It did me good. He is one of those surgeons you always admire.

While Jondy’s work at the hospital is over, the lasting impact he left on those who knew him is evident in the hospitals he served, his family and the Flint community.

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