Alumni engagement and philanthropy

Langford Kidd, Director of Paediatric Cardiology at Hopkins (died 19 July 2005)

The Baltimore Sun

By Jacques Kelly

22 July 2005

Dr Langford Kidd, a retired Director of Paediatric Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine who studied infants with heart disease and the effects of high blood pressure on adolescents, died of a heart attack on 19 July at his Roland Park home. He was 74.

‘He was a master educator’, said Dr Edward B Clark, chairman of the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Utah, who studied under Dr Kidd. ‘He was able to capture the attention of students and hold it while he transmitted complex concepts.  His role as a teaching mentor in the field has been quite spectacular.’

Serving at Hopkins as the Harriet Lane Professor of Paediatric Cardiology, he studied children with Down syndrome and found many of them had heart disease. He then collaborated with surgeons to develop surgical treatment.  Colleagues said he built up the catheterization and echo-cardiography labs. He was named Professor Emeritus at his retirement in 1996.

‘He was very interested in his patients and their relationships within their families,’ said a retired colleague, Dr Catherine A Neill. ‘He had a warm and empathetic personality. He also had a beautiful speaking voice, and it was a pleasure to hear him lecture.’

Born Bernard Sean Langford Kidd in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he was a graduate of the College of St Columba in Dublin and earned a medical degree at Queen’s University in Belfast. He was then a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Before coming to Hopkins in 1975, Dr Kidd was Assistant Director and Associate Professor of Paediatric Cardiology at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto, where he investigated the surgical repair of complex heart defects.

In a 1979 Evening Sun profile, Dr Kidd discussed working with adolescents with high blood pressure. He estimated that as much as 10% of the nation’s population under the age of 18 was affected by the condition.

‘Adolescence is a very stressful time of life, and what we hope to do is help those teenagers through this period and start them on an adult life on a new track for blood pressure and everything else’, he said in the article.

He recommended exercise, relaxation techniques and lowering salt intake.

‘To his patients, he had a reassuring aura. He could fill a room with his exuberance’, said Dr Henry M Seidel, a retired Hopkins Paediatrics Professor.

Friends and family members recalled Dr Kidd’s habit of always wearing crimson red socks, which he took to sporting after his sons and daughters kept snatching his dark-coloured socks. They also said he steadfastly refused to trim his bushy eyebrows.

‘He could quiet any child’, said Hazel McCandless Kidd, his wife of 46 years. ‘It used to embarrass me at restaurants. He would go up to a neighbouring table with children present and start talking. He had an enormous sense of humour and could speak to children at their level’.

Dr Kidd co-wrote the 1976 book The Child with Congenital Heart Disease After Surgery, and he was the author of dozens of scientific papers and chapters in medical textbooks.

He was a former trustee of St Paul’s School and a former president of the Maryland Chapter of the American Heart Association.

Survivors also include two sons, Ian Kidd of Baltimore and Andrew Kidd of Ruxton; two daughters, Caroline Kidd Barringer of Catonsville and Deirdre Pacylowski of Elkridge; and six grandchildren.



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