2004-11-26 19:58:51 UTC
Dr. Goldblatt, A Newton, Massachusetts, residnet and a doctor for at
least four decades, who was also affiliated with Harvard Medical
School, died from cancer on Tuesday, November 23, 2004, at
Massachusetts General Hospital, at the age of 72.
Doctor Allan Goldblatt would start his 12-hour day at the hospital at
5 a.m. so he could make it home in time for dinner with his family.
At work, the pediatric cardiologist was just as dedicated with his
patients and their parents, answering their pages of questions and
concerns with comforting words at any hour.
"My dad loved being a doctor; it was in the very fiber of his being,"
Lisa Goldblatt Grace said. "He wanted to care for, to heal, in the
purest sense. He disliked bureaucracy and insurance and any protocol
which he felt got in the way of him serving his patients."
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Goldblatt attended Albany Medical
College in Albany, New York.
After working his first two jobs at the National Institutes of Health
in Maryland and Children's Hospital in Boston, Dr. Goldblatt helped
start the pediatric cardiology department at MGH in 1965.
"He was so beloved by his patients," said Dr. Richard Liberthson, a
cardiologist who worked with Dr. Goldblatt for 26 years at MGH. "He
had the old style of patient care, where the doctor was part of the
Every holiday season, patients would send countless baked goods and
handmade crafts as tokens of their appreciation. Dr. Goldblatt was
known to care for children and their families, regardless of their
ability to pay.
After retiring from caring for patients, he worked for MGH's Quality
Assessment Program for almost nine years, advocating for patients'
rights and compassionate care.
Dr. Goldblatt inspired his children to dedicate their lives to
service. "My brothers and I saw him as a hero, and each of us sought
to replicate this in our own professional life," his daughter said.
"Steven served in Iraq, Jim is a police officer, and I am a social
worker. I can't begin to count the number of times that strangers told
me that my Dad saved their child or brought their family hope."
Her father was also a romantic, hopelessly in love with his wife of 43
years. Friends often recounted how they saw Dr. Goldblatt and his
wife, Joan C. (Lewis), holding hands as they walked down Commonwealth
Avenue. His daughter frequently found his love notes to his wife in
greeting cards around the house.
Aside from his passion for medicine, his patients, and family, Dr.
Goldblatt loved all things Sinatra and old jazz, brownies that came
out slightly gooey, drinking a martini with his wife, singing loudly
during Jewish High Holy Day services, the beach in Wellfleet, and the
Dr. Goldblatt believed that "the greatest mistake of all is to do
nothing if you can only do a little" -- his favorite quote, his