Dr. South saved my son, Andy's, life and the sanity of our family. Not a day goes by that I don't remember her with the deepest gratitude.
We met her in Philadelphia after I read one of her scientific papers, and corresponded for two years. We followed her westward when she moved to Lubbock, settling in Roswell NM. When Andy, who has agammaglobulinemia, developed a sensitivity to injections of gamma globulin, she left her family on Thanksgiving Day to meet us at the hospital emergency room in Portales and run some tests on him. Her suggestion, that he be treated with blood plasma from a single donor, preferably a relative, saved him from developing AIDS, before the contamination of the nation's blood supply was known.
For several years we me made the long trek to the Lubbock Blood Bank every couple of months, following a protocol that Dr South set up, and returned home with two vials of my blood plasma to be stored in my freezer until infused.
It allowed Andy to live a relatively normal life until the IV version of Gammaglobulin came on the market.
Dr. South remained our trusted consultant and friend. We visited her and her husband in Washington DC and she spent some time with us in California. Before we left Roswell, she told Andy, "As long as you and I are both alive I will consider myself your doctor."
To say that she was the most caring, compassionate and knowledgeable physician i have ever met does not do her justice.
Rest in Peace, Mary Ann. We owe you a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.