Co-workers, patients mourning loss of three local physicians

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KANSA CITY, Kan. -- Co-workers and patients are mourning the loss of the three local physicians who died in a plane crash Sunday.

One of the three physicians, Dr. Maria Javaid, worked at Providence Medical Center. Co-workers and patients say the community has lost an all-around great person and doctor.

"It’s just devastating for the staff," said Randall Nyp, the CEO of Providence Medical Center.

He says Dr. Javaid has been there since 2008, as the medical director of the cardiac program.

"It's quite a shocker, she's very young, vibrant, a beautiful person, inside and out," said Nyp.

Dr. Javaid was one of three physicians who died in the plane crash Sunday night in a Chicago suburb. The other two are her husband, a pulmonologist, Ali Kanchwal, and neurosurgeon, Tausif Rehman.

"I think the impact of course will be felt not so much for the number of physicians but for the talents that they each had," said Karen Orr, the Chief Nursing Officer at Providence Medical Center.

She says she too was shocked when she heard the news.

"Dr. Javaid had a huge heart, she was so kind and caring, and she had a love of really focusing on women's heart disease," Orr said.

They say Dr. Javaid was an extremely talented cardiologist, and the patients loved her, including one of her patients, who said he would have died of a heart attack if it weren't for Dr. Javaid.

"The lady who saved my life has died," said Albert Pearson, a patient of Dr. Javaid. "She was the top of the line."

"That's going to probably be the biggest issue, is patients are so dependent on her, and to come in on Monday and realize she wasn't available for an appointment for them. It's taken a while for it all to soak in," Nyp said.

Cardiologists at Providence Medical Center are helping out until they hire someone new, but only in the physical sense.

"She'll never be replaced," said Orr.

Co-workers and friends have planned a memorial service for the three physicians on Sunday, October 19 at 2:30 at the Az-Zahra Center, located at 8350 Leavenworth Road, in Kansas City, Kansas, 66109.

Dr. Rehman and Dr. Kanchwala were physicians at Stormont-Vail Healthcare Center in Topeka. The CEO at the center released a statement expressing their sympathies and said they too were extremely valued and skilled staff members.