Friends bid farewell to American medical care advocate Noordhoff

                                                                                   Photo by NCF Taiwan

Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) Samuel Noordhoff, a longtime American advocate for improved medical care for Taiwan's patients, left the country on Friday, following a visit that will be his last, as many of hisTaiwanese friends saw him off. With tears in their eyes, the friends of the 86-year-old founder of the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation, foundation staff and people benefiting from Noordhoff's medical care called out "I love you" while bidding Noordhoff farewell at the departure hall of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Speaking in Taiwanese dialect, Noordhoof, who arrived on this trip on Sept. 21, said he loved Taiwan very much, calling it his second home apart from the United States. He said he will always remember all the good things here. Noordhoff first came to Taiwan as a medical missionary in 1959. While serving as president of Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei until 1975, he set up a center to help people with polio, a lifeline for suicide prevention and medical services in the mountains. In 1981, he was named superintendent emeritus of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, also in Taipei. He established the foundation in 1989 to help people with craniofacial deformities receive holistic care, sponsor research to advance the quality of medical care, and improve public awareness and social acceptance of patients. Several years ago, Noordhoff retired and moved back to the U.S. Since then, he has visited Taiwan regularly to see his old friends. However, such long-distance trips have become a burden since he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and received brain surgery in 2012. Due to his old age and health problems, Noordhoff has decided that the latest visit will be his last one, according to foundation staff.

(By Central News Agency , Chiu Chun-chin and Elizabeth Hsu) 

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