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Heritage Snapshot: Part 163

By Richard Schaefer
Community Writer
02/01/2023 at 05:29 PM

Lloyd A. Dayes, MD, (CME Class of 1959) has been Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery from 1988 to 2001 and Emeritus Professor from March 2002 to the present.

For the first 12 years of his life, Lloyd A Dayes was a barefoot Jamaican boy who later sold books and cleaned rooms to help meet expenses. Today a retired neurosurgeon, Dr. Dayes has nine doctoral degrees. Only one of them is honorary, a doctor of law degree (LLD). This fact exemplifies his motto to “give the brain as much work as it will reasonably take.” 

In spite of the fact that Lloyd was born to a washerwoman in poverty out of wedlock into a single-parent family “in the bushes” of Jamaica and destined to farm two acres of sugar cane and banana fields, God had other plans. After being encouraged by a colporteur to continue his education past elementary school, his academy principal, Stanley Bull and his wife, Nancy, paid for his high school education at Kingsway High School in Kingston. These good people, the parents of Brian S. Bull, MD, former dean of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, always told him to keep on learning as long as he lived. Lloyd followed their advice and their example. To show his appreciation, for approximately 20 years he has provided scholarships for 10 to 12 students each year at the Kingsway High School and assists students at Northern Caribbean University, in Mandeville, Jamaica. 

Dr. Dayes educational pursuits took him to West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University), and eventually to Pacific Union College, Loma Linda University, McGill University, the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University, and Cambridge and Oxford Universities. He graduated from the Loma Linda College of Medical Evangelists in 1959 and, after his residency in neurosurgery in Canada at the Montreal Neurological Institute, in 1965 started what is now the Department of Neurosurgery in Loma Linda University School of Medicine. “Give God the glory,” is Dr. Dayes’ response when former patients praise him for his successful surgeries. One former patient wrote an essay about him entitled, “The Best Doctor in the World.”

Roses are his hobby. At one time he owned and cultivated ten acres of roses (120 species) in the Smiley Heights area of Redlands. A local garden tour included his Redlands Royal Botanical Garden every year. One day while Dr. Dayes tended his garden wearing some shorts and old shoes, a woman stopped to talk. When he asked her if she would like some roses and she said yes, he gave her a dozen beautiful Mr. Lincoln roses. She thanked him and offered him a dollar tip. “No, ma’am, he said, “The owner won’t allow us to take tips.”

Now, even though he “retired” at the end of 2003, Dr. Dayes conducts research to conquer the glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most malignant tumors of the brain. His research is funded by a $2 million trust established by former patients Joseph and Selina Gould. Although he acknowledges the support of his mother, Edith Nicholson, and his dear wife, Thelma, who teaches at Loma Linda University School of Nursing, he also salutes a host of friends, including colporteur George Wilson and Stanley and Nancy Bull, who provided encouragement and brought hope into his life. But most of all Dr. Dayes gives glory to God for his accomplishments and interesting life journey. 

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