Duty of care: Dr Leila Denmark kept working as a doctor until she was 103
The world's oldest doctor, who retired when she was 103-years-old after 70 years of practicing medicine, has died.
Dr Leila Denmark was 114 when she passed away at her home last Sunday in Athens, Georgia.
Dr Denmark became the first resident physician at Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children in Atlanta when it opened in 1928, said her grandson Steven Hutcherson.
She also admitted the first patient at the hospital which was now part of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
She loved helping children and it showed in the way she would turn to the next family waiting to see her, according to Mr Hutcherson.
'She would say, ''Who is the next little angel?,"' he said.
Dr Denmark began her pediatrics practice from home in Atlanta in 1931 and continued until her retirement in 2001 - 70 years later.
It earned her the distinction of being the world's oldest practicing physician, said Robert Young, senior consultant for gerontology for Guinness World Records. She was also the world's fourth-oldest living person when she died.
Throughout her career, Dr Denmark always kept her office in or near her home, where children and their parents would show up at all hours in need of care.
Her grandson said: 'The kids would come in and she would spend as much time as she needed with the parents to help fix that baby or that child. What she would do is figure out how to help them stay well.'
The Daughtry family in 1899: The earliest photo of Leila, aged one, in her mother Alice's arms. Left to right are her grandmother Betty, father Elerbee and brother Arthur, her mother Alice holding Leila, next to her sister Eva
Leila gained a place at the Medical College of the University of Georgia in 1924 aged 26, pictured left, and after becoming the third woman to graduate from MCG, married John Eustace Denmark, in 1928, pictured right
Care-giver: Dr Denmark opened her pediatrics practice in 1931 at her home in Atlanta, Georgia - and kept going for 70 years
Helping children get well and stay well was challenging in industrial, pollution-ridden Atlanta during the Depression era, relatives said.
She absolutely loved medicine more than anything else in the world. She never referred to it as work.
Dr James Hutcherson, grandson
Dr Denmark treated some of the city's poorest children as a volunteer at the Central Presbyterian Baby Clinic near the state capitol in Atlanta, said her daughter Mary Hutcherson.
Mill workers and other poor people who had no other way to get medical care would bring their sick children to the clinic.
Dr Denmark loved her volunteer work at the clinic, just as she loved seeing patients in her home, Mrs Hutcherson said.
A caring doctor and loving mother: A black and white undated portrait photo of Leila, left, and the proud mother with her daughter Mary on her wedding day, right, both wearing white dresses
Family photo from left to right: Leila with her grandson Steve Hutcherson, daughter Mary Hutcherson, and another relative Stephanie Hutcherson
That enduring love of her work was key to her long life, along with a healthy diet. She particularly avoided eating too much sugar.
Her parents died relatively young, and many of her 11 brothers and sisters - she was the third of 12 children - had heart disease, but the doctor enjoyed good health up until the last few years of her life.
She lived independently until she reached the age 106, when she came to Athens to live with her only daughter.
Happily married: Leila and her husband John remained happily married and enjoyed an active lifestyle together until he passed away in 1990
Young at heart: Following her husband's death, Leila moved in with her daughter Mary, who made sure she watched her diet carefully as their family has a history of heart disease
'She absolutely loved medicine more than anything else in the world,' said another grandson Dr James Hutcherson of Evergreen, Colorado.
'She never referred to practising medicine as work.'
Dr Denmark received several honors during her career, including the Fisher Award in 1935 for outstanding research in the diagnosis, treatment and immunization of whooping cough.
2008: Leila Denmark, right, with her grand niece Jackie Bennett as she celebrates her 110th birthday, in Athens
Active: Leila using a walking stick to go on walk with her grandson James Hutcherson
She received alumni awards from Tift College, Mercer University, Georgia Southern and the Medical College of Georgia; and honorary degrees from Tift, Mercer and Emory University.
Doctor Denmark's funeral is planned for 1 pm on Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Athens.
'Everything about her was always trying to make a difference, first and foremost,' Steven Hutcherson said.
Leila Denmark is survived by her daughter, two grandsons and two great-grandchildren.
Beloved: Dr Denmark celebrating her 113th birthday with a slice of cake with grandson Steven Hutcherson
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2124859/Woman-worlds-oldest-doctor-dies-aged-114.html#ixzz1r66d558Q