Phlebolymphology N° 41 – Obituary

Download this issue Back to summary


We would all like to die in the arms of people who loved us. Doctors devoted to research and conferences have two families: the wife and children on one hand, and the international scientific stage on the other.

The accusation of neglecting family because of work and conferences is quite frequent among doctors and often well-founded. My friend Jimenez Cossio was a rare example of the balance between the man with his affections and the scientist. Fate chose for him a death in the arms of friends and colleagues on his natural stage, a Congress in Lisbon. He died on the field just like his historical ancestor El Cid. His career was brilliant: he graduated in Madrid, his adopted city, in 1963, and was Head of Angiology and Vascular Surgery Department since 1978, and Professor in the Faculty of Medicine of Madrid.

Though interested in all the branches of angiology and vascular surgery, which share the same roots in Spain, he always devoted himself to lymphology with the perspicacity of the pure researcher who, through surgeon’s pragmatism, never lost sight of concrete implications of research.

He was President of the Spanish Club of Lymphology and of the 16th World Congress of Lymphology, President of the Spanish Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery in 1989, Member of 30 National and International Societies of Vascular Pathology, author of books and scientific papers published in international journals, and recently President of the World College of Vascular Diseases.

An untiring and quick worker: proposals of research and organizational work were immediately followed by plans. Connection between thought and action was extremely brief, if not immediate. Curious about the world, he followed its evolution through research, even in its most innovative aspects, such as computer science, with ease and reliability.

He was one of the first to bring vascular pathology onto CD-Rom, involving colleagues from all over the world in this project. His links outside Spain were many and extensive; though he kept a particular relationship with South America, due to language and culture, he was familiar with English-speaking and European countries too.

I think he was not competitive, and he basically loved cooperation among colleagues. He used to whisper the invitation to do something with a charming smile.

His affectionate and quiet character made him a well-accepted personality, and a reliable and cooperative friend to us all. To grow up and take on high-responsibility tasks and, in the same time, to keep the spirit of the game and enthusiasm, is a gift of few people.

His death leaves a great gap in everybody’s soul, but his smile and his look straight to the future will help us serenely face these times full of technology, and understand that research can be carried out with a smile even if with a rigorous method.

Prof Claudio Allegra