Carolyn Reed
Carolyn Reed CHARLESTON - Dr. Carolyn Elaine Reed died November 16, 2012 after a short illness. She was born March 4, 1950 in Farmington Maine the daughter of Margaret E. Reed and the late Clayton E. Reed. She grew up in Farmington and attended the local schools there. She is survived by her mother, Margaret E. Reed, twin sister Joyce Greenacre and brother in-law Allen Greenacre, loving niece Lisa Drummond and husband Richard Drummond, adored twin great-nieces Anna and Emily Drummond, and several cousins. Dr. Reed graduated with honors from the University of Maine in 1972 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She subsequently received her M.D. degree from the University of Rochester where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She then moved to New York where she received her general and cardiothoracic surgery training at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. During this time, she spent one year as a fellow in surgical oncology at the Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center. Upon completion of her training she was recruited to the Medical University of South Carolina in 1985 as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery to succeed Edward F. Parker, the father of thoracic surgery in the state of South Carolina. At MUSC, her academic progress was rapid, and she was promoted to Associate Professor in 1989 and to full Professor with tenure in 1997. At the time of her death she was the Alice Ruth Reeves Folk Endowed Chair of Clinical Oncology at MUSC. She played numerous important roles in the development of the Hollings Cancer Center serving as Associate Director for Clinical Affairs (1998-2000), Director of the Hollings Cancer Center (2000-2004), and Deputy Director of Clinical Affairs (2004-2012). She achieved a national and international reputation as a thoracic surgeon and oncologist with specific expertise in lung and esophageal cancer. Beginning in 1996 she was recognized each year on one or more "Top Doctors" lists. She became the "go-to" thoracic surgeon in the state of South Carolina not only for patients but also for her peer physicians around the state. She had an incredible passion for the care of patients with cancer, and her patients and families demonstrated their love and respect for her in many ways. Dr. Reed was a widely renowned surgical educator. She was completely committed to medical student and resident teaching. In 1987 she received the Student Teaching Award at MUSC and was subsequently nominated for the Golden Apple Award for teaching on four separate occasions. Throughout her career, Dr. Reed was a strong advocate for research as the way to find more successful treatment for cancer. To this end, she held numerous important research grants from the National Institute of Health as well as other funding organizations. She was an investigator in numerous cancer related clinical trials. During her career she was the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications in highly respected journals as well as 20 book chapters. She was the Editor of the text, GENERAL THORACIC SURGERY (7th Edition), which is widely recognized as the "bible" for general thoracic surgery. She made over 120 scientific presentations at national and international thoracic surgical meetings and was sought after as a visiting professor at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the United States. She was elected to membership in the most prestigious and important surgical organizations including the American College of Surgeons, American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Surgical Association, and the Halsted Society. Most notably, she served in important leadership roles in many of these organizations. In the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, she served as Council member, Secretary-Treasurer, and in 2006 served as the President, the first woman to ever serve as president of a major thoracic surgical organization. She played numerous important roles in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons including service on the Executive Council, the Program Committee, and a five-year term as Treasurer of this largest organization of thoracic surgeons in the United States. She served on the Council of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the most prestigious thoracic surgical organization in the world. She served on the Boards of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education and the Joint Council for Thoracic Surgery Education. She was the first woman to ever be elected to the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the accrediting body for thoracic surgeons in the United States. She subsequently was elected as Chairman of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (2005-2006), again the first woman to serve as leader of this organization. She served as a Governor in the American College of Surgeons and as Vice Chair of the Thoracic Surgery Residency Review Committee. She served on numerous editorial boards including, The Journal of the American Cancer Society, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and Surgical Laparoscopy and Endoscopy. Of the numerous honors that she received, perhaps the one that meant the most to her was being selected as the commencement speaker in 2005 at her alma mater, the University of Maine, at which time she was awarded an honorary degree. She was an outspoken proponent for the role of women in surgery and specifically in thoracic surgery. In that regard, she served as the mentor and advisor for numerous medical students, residents, and women faculty members not only at MUSC but throughout the United States. Dr. Reed was widely recognized as a superb clinical surgeon, as an outstanding educator, and as a leader in the field of thoracic surgery throughout the world. It is truly ironic that she succumb to cancer-a disease that she spent her entire life trying to cure. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to The Carolyn E. Reed, M.D., Distinguished Endowed Chair in Thoracic Surgical Oncology. Mail to The MUSC Foundation, 18 Bee Street MSC 450, Charleston, SC, 29425-8610. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston


Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, 2012.
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135 Entries
As a fellow twin I think of her and the loss her death meant to many. I had many encounters with her as a PACU nurse at MUSC and she was one to challenge us and loved for us to challenge her back. Once she questioned my about something in a joking way and I responded "Yes Doctor" when she knew i was giving it right back to her. We spoke of her potential move to Savannah even though she decided not to and of her changes in her home. I never had to worry when I asked her anything. She was a bit of a friend to me and we respected one another. It still saddens me she lost her life to cancer. There will never be another on like her.
Lynn
Work
November 20, 2021
It has been years since she saved my life, but I will never forget her brilliance and most of all, her compassion and kindness. I echo the person who said there will never be another Dr. Reed.
Nikki Hardin
Acquaintance
November 13, 2020
I don't think this can be echoed enough......
There will NEVER BE another DR. REED!!!!!
Lindsay Way
November 26, 2019
Nov. 16, 2019 marks seven years since Carolyn passed away. She continues to be loved and remembered by everyone who knew her. There will NEVER be another "Dr. Reed". We don't want there to be because she is irreplaceable. What a huge loss to this world and especially to the field of surgery, healing, and caring for your patient as a #1 priority. Thoughts and prayers continue to go to Joyce and the whole family, and especially to Joyce, her twin sister, as their precious mom has recently joined Carolyn in heaven. With love, Rinne Sade
corinne sade
November 24, 2019
Dr. Reed saved my life on Feb. 4, 1988. I remember her greeting me bright and early in the OR ready to get started. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her. I will forever be grateful and hold her close in my heart. I was 24 yrs old then and 32 yrs later I am still here. I wish I could call her as I KNOW she would have THE answer. There will never be another Dr. Reed. Truly compassionate, caring and spending endless hours of being by my bedside. Until we meet again, I find comfort in knowing I will see you again.
Paula Halajcsik
November 20, 2019
Another one of these special days without you
Lindsay Way
March 4, 2018
I did not know she passed away. She saved my mothers life from lung cancer. My mother is still with us today. It makes me very sad to know she did not servive a form of cancer. God bles you Miss Reed. I'm very sad about this.
Roger Miles
February 18, 2018
She was a huge presence in my life and thoughts even after my mandatory follow up visits were no longer needed. My family and I pretty revered her for the incredible care she gave me and her beautiful spirit.
Nikki Hardin
December 22, 2017
Well said.
Terry Bodiford
December 22, 2017
This year marked 5 Years since Carolyn's death, and it still feels like yesterday. I drive by her home everyday at least once, and there has not been one time that I don't think of her and what a profound loss we have all felt. She will never, ever be forgotten in the hearts of her family back in Maine, her grateful patients, her colleagues around the world, her MUSC Thoracic Surgery partners, and her MANY friends. There will never be another "Dr. Reed".... and we will remember all of the good she did in this world. She truly cared about each of her patients, and I believe they felt her compassion. This, along with extraordinary surgical skills, made for a unique success story. This world is a better place because Dr. Reed was in it... what a blessing she was to us all.
rinne sade
December 20, 2017
An avid reader she was .... So much in fact that she couldn't stop herself even when we were crossing the street. If you heard the horrific clamor of a car slamming on the brakes on a Tuesday around noon on Johnathan Lucas Street, you knew exactly who was walking right out into oncoming traffic while reading her patient files. After about the third almost catastrophe, I started to walk in front of her if we were going across and beside her (nearest to the road) if we were on the sidewalk. She discovered my plan, though! One day she just stopped walking, and turned to me and said, You know I know what you're doing.... and you're treating me like an old person! I responded with, Oh no ma'am, you're Superwoman, remember? I'm just looking out for these unsuspecting motorists and the safety of their vehicles, because they know not the force that is Carolyn Elaine. :) I miss her !
Lindsay Way
December 19, 2017
Something made me think of Carolyn today and I found her tribute. I wasn't her patient, her resident, or her colleague. I was a friend. My husband is a member of many of the societies she was involved in and I met her at one of those meetings. Carolyn was an avid reader and would spend hours talking about books with me. She was a giant in medicine and an intellectual of enormous proportions, but she was also a very down to earth person. I miss seeing her smile. A lovely lady, gone much too soon.
Scottye C Lee
December 17, 2017
Please don't thank me... this "lady" also saved my life. The only difference is that in my case she needed not a scalpel or "scope".... I was saved by her heart. I met her as a Clemson freshman ... just a small town girl in complete awe of the mighty hands before me. My shadowing experience with her was only supposed to be a one time deal.... but for some reason... she asked me to come back ... and that I did for the next 6 years i became her proverbial shadow. In those 6 years, she become both my "touchstone" and "guiding light" ( words I borrow from one of her speeches when referred to her mother and father). She was the essence of the word healer. There has never been and never will be any person more worthy of praise ... and no one less reluctant to receive it. As long as there is breath left in my lungs :.. she will be remembered . Thank you for your remarks. It's good to know I'm not the only one who still remembers HER.
LINDSAY WAY
March 7, 2017
Yes, Thanks for keeping open.
Terry Bodiford
March 7, 2017
Thank you Lindsey for keeping this open. She was "one in a million". Saved my life....
Mary Fields
March 6, 2017
Always
Lindsay Way
March 4, 2017
My Superwoman.... For Always!!!
Lindsay Way
November 16, 2016
LINDSAY WAY
October 19, 2015
I just learn of her passing and this was an amazing woman and doctor. I will never be able to express enough gratitude for her care. She cried tears of joy with me when my surgery was over and she was right by my bed when I woke up. God rest her precious soul. My heart is broken.
Beth McHale
March 18, 2015
I caught a rare fungus in India as a Nurse on a medical mission. Dr. Reed did my surgery and saved my life. She was so kind to my Mother knowing she had just lost one daughter to cancer. Neither of us will ever forget you, Dr. Reed. Thank you for the gift of life.
Cathy "Cryptococcosis" Lawrence
January 12, 2015
My lung collapsed and she was my surgeon,would not be alive today if it wasn't for her
January 6, 2015
We were so sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. We're sending you a hug from afar.
Toby O'Neal
March 12, 2014
Wish u were here :(
Lindsay Way
March 5, 2014
Dr. Reed was a great inspiration to me as a radiation oncology resident at MUSC in the late 90's. She had a heart as good as gold and a mind as sharp as any tack. She was passionate about a great many things--great care for her thoracic surgery patients being paramount of those. If you could clone her and install those clones throughout the country, lung cancer survival rates would increase I have no doubt. I always thought she knew what to do and when to do it. Her smile and demeanor gave great comfort to her patients, as well. She'll be missed.
Todd Scarbrough
October 23, 2013
To Carolyn's family I add my sympathy. During the summer of 1971 I lived in an Orono apartment with Carolyn & Joyce as I did chemistry research at UMO. This was my first apartment living and we had a good summer. I appreciate reading the many ways Carolyn was used to touch lives. And I was happy to read of more twins in the family! May God bless and comfort you all.
Gloria Watt-Nelson
August 17, 2013
I learned of Dr. Reed's death yesterday. I can only echo all the other comments. I was blessed to have known her during my residency, and during the time I was on staff at MUSC. She was always available to help me in evaluating and deciding on appropriate treatment for my patients- most are here today because of her. She also cared for both my parents-both are still with me today. She is truly a shining example of the kind of physician we should all strive to be.
Jane Senseney
June 26, 2013
Dr Reed's professional life is a great example.
Than you dear Caroly rest in peace.
Annalisa Moretto
March 27, 2013
I just learned of Dr. Reed's death.I cried when I heard the news.I thought of the tremendous loss for all humanity, her family, patients, colleagues,friends and MUSC. She is loved by many.
I was diagnosed in 2007 with lung cancer with a tumor connected to my pulmonary artery.I am alive today because of this most gifted, caring,dedicated Doctor. I went twice a year for my checkup each time I saw her I said "You saved my life" and she would just smile.... I add me to the list of lives she saved.....
~Peace Dr. Reed ~
Mary Fields
March 16, 2013
I am a former paitent of Dr.Reed and I too owe my life to her.In October 2008, I was diagnosed as stage four lung cancer.It looked liked chemo and radiation with little hope until I met Dr Reed and Maggie.They took me into a room where alll the test xrays etc.and showed me exactly where the cancer was.Dr Reed told me she would open me up and see if the cancer could be removed if not she would close me up and send me for chemo and radiation. She also told me that if she saw that I had chance to remove the cancer, she would.Some how I knew that she was the right person for me. She smiled and siad Ill see you monday. after nine hours of surgery i woke up to see this smiling face and she said to me, We got it youll be fine. To this day I will always remember this guardian angel who saved my life. Be at peace Dr. Reed
John Trouw
March 12, 2013
March 4th was Dr. Reed's birthday. She would have been just 63 years old. Most of her friends still cannot believe she is gone ... just too painful for us, as well as for her patients and their families. We will never forget her and what she meant to us. We can only be grateful that she is no longer suffering or in pain. She fought a mighty tough battle after surgery. She gave it her all. Now may she rest in peace.
March 11, 2013
"I thought of you with love today
but that is nothing new
I thought about you yesterday
and days before that too,

I think of you in silence
I often speak your name
All I have are memories
and your picture in a frame.

Your memory is my keepsake
with which I'll never part
God has you in His keeping
I have you in my heart."-.............*lindz
Lindsay Way
March 7, 2013
Dear Dr. Reed's family, I just found out that Dr Reed had passed away. I just saw her this summer in the Chicago airport. I worked as an RN in the Cardiothoracic ICU and OR and scrubbed for her in the mid 90's. She was a wonderful surgeon with a passion for her patients that is rarely seen today. I am very lucky and blessed to have known and respected Dr. Reed.
Kim Nilsson
January 29, 2013
Our family just learned of Dr. Reed's death and want to extend our sincere sympathy. My mother in law is alive today due to her excellent care. She was and excellent surgeon, physician, and person and we are very saddened by her death.

Our hearts go out to the family.

We are blessed to have known her!
Janice Williams
January 22, 2013
Dear Family of Dr. Reed,
I am a former patient of Dr. Reed and owe my life to her. I saw her for regular visits for 5 years after my surgery for lung cancer in 1999 and was almost sorry to be discharged from her care as it was always so much fun and so special to see her. I am still in shock, having just learned of her passing today but wanted to add my name to the list of people grateful to have been in her care.
Lind Schrader
January 15, 2013
She saved my life. These words are the finest of all tributes. A wonderful woman who made a huge impact on the world. May she rest in peace.
Tina Eib
January 14, 2013
It is so hard to find the words to describe the sadness we feel of this news. Dr. Reed performed an esophagectomy on my husband August 30 when just two months before we were told that surgery would not be an option. On Sept 4 she came to his room and personally pushed his wheelchair to X-ray for his swallow test. I was amazed when he returned and she was still pushing him. i thought for sure she would leave him at X-ray once she viewed his results but she didn't. I remember her walking in saying, "Mr. Nemeth I have good news, the results of your biopsy came back and there are no residual cancer cells." When my husband responded with "is that good" we both starting laughing and said "that's very good!!" When he smiled, Dr. reed punched my arm while saying "now we got a smile out of him." I rubbed my arm and thought "wow, you can tell she works with her hands, she packs a pretty mean punch" ;). I took a picture that day of the the most wonderful, caring, skilled, talented and compassionate surgeon I have ever known. I am so glad I was able to tell her that she will always be our Hero. We are so sad she will not be leading us through the next portion of our journey as only she could do. R.I.P Dr. Reed, Charleston will not be the same without you! You are loved and missed tremendously. Our family will carry your memory in our hearts forever as you are truly our HERO!
Terri and George Nemeth
January 13, 2013
Thank you Dr. Reves for sharing your personal recollections. I met Dr. Reed in June 2012. She performed my surgery on Aug. 16th, I sept 5 days in hospital and the follow-up visit was on Sept 2nd. I experinced her sense of humor, caring and surgical skill. I am grateful to be alive and now to know more about her as a person. annette reynolds
January 12, 2013
Much has been said about Carolyn Reed since she died, even before she died when she was fighting a disease she knew so well, cancer.

Because so much has been said and written, these remarks will be personal, not biographical and hopefully not too long.

I remember first meeting Carolyn on my arrival here because Senator Hollings and Fred Crawford had said I needed to get to know her. As leader of the Cancer Center she had inherited what many termed a “mess,” but like the excellent surgeon that she was she was determined to fix it.

We would meet weekly and each time I would say: “what can I do to help?” and she would usually say: “I got it under control” and give me that famous very toothy smile that just made everyone smile.

As time went on, it was clear that Carolyn had 2 passions and those 2 passions were in a clear order: 1) her patients and 2) her cancer center.

There was nothing she would not do for either. Many a night she would be at the bedside in the ICU caring for her freshly operated patients – this after spending many hours during the day standing at the operating table with the very same patient. She reminded me of another pioneering surgeon, John Kirklin at Birmingham, whose patients' immediate postoperative care was frequently overseen personally by him, as Carolyn would do.

Her patients were aware of her long hours and devotion and many told her, and many more have written their thanks for all of us to read on her obituary page on the internet – some will bring you to tears and all will inform you of the love and devotion she earned from her patients.

I only remember one patient that she seemed powerless to comfort or cure and that was herself. When I visited her last in the ICU at ART she said: “you know the prognosis,” and I was at a loss for words – I felt totally inadequate in finding the right thing to say to this person who had done so much, for so long for all her many patients.
It seemed a cruel irony that after helping so many overcome cancer she succumbed to the disease herself at too early an age. She had helped so many survive, but we could not match the feat.

Her second passion was the Hollings Cancer Center, and make no mistake she was a great leader and did so much for the center organizationally and administratively – that is why many of you are here. And she did this while maintaining a full surgical schedule and also teaching the thoracic residents. She served as an incredible role model for our students – most of whom had never seen a female surgeon.

In one of our weekly meetings in 2004, we were discussing the strategy to get National Cancer Institute designation. This had been a goal for the Hollings since it was created years earlier, but we had not gotten very far until Carolyn assumed the role of director. However, on this fateful day in our conversation she said: “you know hardly any NCI cancer centers are directed by a surgeon – Hollings needs a medical oncologist to be the director.”





She clearly had thought long and hard about this and said that our best chance to get designation would be with an oncologist at the head of Hollings, so she gracefully and unselfishly explained she wanted to serve only until her replacement could be recruited – someone who was a medical oncologist.

Carolyn stepped aside so that Andrew Kraft could come, and with her help and a lot of others – we got HCC designated by the NCI.

This was Carolyn Reed – not about herself, but about her patients and her desire for this center to reach goals that she felt only possible with different leadership. Few people are as selfless yet accomplished as Carolyn Reed was.

In closing I will quote William Faulkner - selectively modifying the pronouns he used – making “he” a “she” in places (I believe Faulkner would approve, and he would also approve his words written about poets being used for a physician like Carolyn Reed). These words are especially germaine as we immortalize Carolyn with the naming of the Hollings Cancer Center floor in her honor. Quoting Faulkner:



“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. She is immortal, not because she alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because she has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance… It is her privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of her past.”
William Faulkner to the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1950
Jerry Reves, MD
January 10, 2013
Doctor Reed has always been respected and admired for her dedication to her patients. She will also be remembered by her residents, students, nurses and colleagues as an outstanding teacher and exceptional role model. The state of South Carolina has been truly blessed by the 27 years Carolyn gave her heart and soul to MUSC.
To her friends, she was a great gal and enjoyed having fun (unless she was preoccupied—worrying about patients, publications or general university issues, which was often the case). Dr. Reed often gathered groups around her dining room table, all nicely set and diplaying one of her favorites: Nambe. She had a “secret marinade sauce” for her grilled steaks that everyone begged for, but she enjoyed her reputation for the best steaks ever! Only the finest of her red wine collection would be served with her dinners, and she loved sharing stories of the patients who had given her the wine as a thank you. Many people knew Dr. Reed's appreciation for only the best when it involved red wine.
Her favorite spot to relax (or to read journal articles, which was more often the case) was poolside at her home. She had a favorite lounge chair and tried to be there every sunny Saturday & Sunday. No sunscreen for Carolyn—she enjoyed basking in the sunshine and the resulting deep suntan.
Her home in the Crescent subdivision overlooked the lake, and her screened in porch was another favorite place…UNTIL THE DUCKS ARRIVED! Her friends laughed about these neighborhood “drop ins” but oh! how she hated them. Her “big heart” stopped young neighborhood boys to take care of the problem with their beebee guns, however.
Carolyn loved her home state, Maine. Every summer, her goal was to spend time at “the camp” on her favorite lake with her family visiting, especially her twin sister, Joyce and her family. She said she read her “beach reading” novels, but everyone wondered if she really left all of her medical journals behind in Charleston. Carolyn would smile widely and proudly refer to relaxing while reading her “trashy novels”. Her books were far from “trashy”—only the brightest authors and well-written novels for this lady.
Carolyn proudly brought Maine customs to Charleston. Her favorite Christmas gift to friends was a huge jug of real Maine Maple Syrup. She often bragged that she kept Maine syrup in business because she ordered so much! Many of our families enjoyed “the real thing” for the whole year…and lo' and behold, the next December came and then came another jug?. Our refrigerators won't be the same now, without the delicious reminder of our dear friend.
Another Maine custom Carolyn enjoyed was eating lobsters. Many MUSC “old timers” recall her Lobster Party at the Isle of Palms. That was quite an undertaking! Thank goodness for the able assistance of Dr. Kratz and Dr. Crawford to get those lobsters thoroughly cooked. Meanwhile, Carolyn was enjoying being the “perfect hostess”, while the guys did the hard work.
Dr. Reed was a lot of fun! She enjoyed being the life of the party! We often pulled practical jokes on her, and she was always “a good sport”. Her quick wit carried the fun farther along, and many laughs were shared, sitting around her dining room table of which she was very proud. How did we know this? Ask anyone who dined with her—not one scratch or water glass could touch the table's surface or she would (usually kindly) let you know TO BE CAREFUL! No one ever forgot again; that's for sure!
We had a surprise party for Dr. Reed's 40th birthday, and the group gave her a bicycle. What did she do? Hopped right on it and road it around and around the dining room table telling jokes. She loved being the “center of attention”. (This was just a “practice round” for being the Queen Bee of Southern Thoracic Surgery Association 17 years later). She especially joked about being the only gal in the division and having to constantly put up with “those guys”. She might have fussed a lot, but reality was that she had a unique relationship with each and every one of them. Her presence is missed terribly by “those guys”, and always will be.
She had other interests, although her commitment to her work always came first. We tried to plan dinner parties around her call schedule because her patients were her #1 priority. Many a dinner was interrupted by her pager. Everyone understood why she had to go.
Carolyn loved her black ebony Grand Steinway Piano—that was her “splurge” a few years ago. She played beautifully, naturally, at ease…and enjoyed being “begged to play”. She was usually fairly easily persuaded.
Anyone who has been in the Department of Surgery since the late 1980's will remember Dr. & Mrs. Fred Crawford's annual Thoracic Surgery Christmas parties. By 10 pm, the crowd was gathered around the piano, singing with Dr. Reed playing Christmas carols. This “performance” became the Christmas event everyone looked forward to, and guests often stayed late, just to “sing along with Carolyn”. She was quite an accomplished pianist, and she loved all of the fun and frolic of the holidays. Her finale was always The Twelve Days of Christmas, played as loudly and fast as she could. Dr. Sade & Dr. Crumbley thought they could “carry a tune” but every year, Dr. Reed enjoyed “setting them straight”…AND THAT, SHE DID!
She thoroughly enjoyed eating M&Ms—in fact, she was known for this passion. She had quite a few “M&M men” (i.e. stuffed toys or candy dispensers). She especially enjoyed those given to her by her patients. Another practical joke we recall from 12+ years ago was the kidnapping of her M&M man. We never were 100% sure who was responsible but photos were taken of M&M man all over Charleston, with ransom notes for Dr. Reed. She played right along, and we all laughed for weeks over this escapade.
QUEEN BEE!!! And that she was! Our very own! Dr. Reed earned the title because she was the first female to be elected President of the Southern Thoracic Surgery Association in 2007. Her biggest smiles were when anyone referred to her as “Queen Bee”. Her presidential address was outstanding and, as she ended, the membership gave her a very long standing ovation.
She was so proud of her niece, Lisa, in Maine, and they shared a very close relationship. When Lisa's twin girls were born, “Auntie Carolyn” was thrilled beyond words. She had fun selecting outfits and toys for Emily and Anna, and she loved to brag on them.
Carolyn never married. We always said that she “was married to her work.” That's what she loved! She led a full life with her incredible accomplishments. She had very close relationships with colleagues, nurses and almost everyone she worked with at MUSC. Her REAL family was close to her heart, even though they all lived in Maine. Her mother, Margaret, was “her inspiration” (a quote from Carolyn). Her mom worked as a nurse and made it possible for Carolyn to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. Her dad a professor at the University of Maine, but he passed away when Carolyn was in college. Losing her father to cancer probably solidified her decision to enter the profession of healing. Her best friend was her twin sister, Joyce. Despite the long distance, Joyce and her husband, Allen, were at Carolyn's bedside for the majority of her 2 months hospitalization; this was such a comfort to her.
Rinne Sade
January 9, 2013
Every minute, every second that passes by I miss u more. If you said it once, you said it 1000 times... "the heart is just an organ that pumps blood to the esophagus." They say that you can't take anything with you when you go to heaven... I used to believe that until November 16. That fateful moment you ( My Superman/ My Captain) beat the odds yet again ... because you did not leave this world empty-handed... you left with my heart in your hands. I love you so much forever and always. - "Your Kiddo"
Lindsay Way
December 21, 2012
God bless. Such a wonderful person and a skilled doctor.
Susie/Terry Bodiford
December 20, 2012
I am just devastated by our loss. She was a wonderful, skilled surgeon and person, who saved my life.
Peter Coe
December 19, 2012
Broken hearted that we lost a great medical talent and friend, the Book Club will never be the same. We too are thankful God directed us to Dr. Reed.
Larry/Nickie Durham
December 19, 2012
She was truly an Angel
Ida Spruill
December 16, 2012
As others I was so shocked to hear of Dr. Reed's passing. For some reason I was fortunate enough for Dr. Reed to take an interest in my case last year. She performed surgery to remove a nodule in my lung and ended up removing the lower lobe of my right lung. I know she was brought to me by God. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Diane Price
December 15, 2012
My wife and I were shocked when we heard of Dr. Reed's passing. She operated on me in May of this year.Through God's guidance Dr. Reed saved my life. I'm very thankful to God for him leading me to her. The medical world has lost one of the best. May the Lord have Grace and mercy on Dr. Reed and her Family.
Mickey & Darlene Williamson
December 14, 2012
My family & I just heard about Dr. Reed passing. My father was a patient. And we are so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort & peace in the days to come. God bless you all during this holiday season.
The McQueen Family
December 14, 2012
We love you
December 14, 2012
It was a sad day to hear that we lost Dr Reed.I to was fortunate enough to land on Dr Reed's table in Dec of 2011. She saved my life. It is so sad that she had to leave us from a beast that she spent her life trying to find the cure for. We will miss you Doctor Reed but knowing you are in the house of the lord now makes me feel better. We love you. Terry And Kathy
December 14, 2012
My husband and I owe both owe his life to Dr. Reed. I am truly saddened and shocked by her passing.
Kat Knox
December 13, 2012
I WAS HER PATIENT, SHE MADE ME WELL AND REALLY CARED ABOUT ME.
KEN TURNER
December 12, 2012
This is the saddest of news. Dr. Reed was an inspiration to patients and doctors at MUSC and throughout the State of South Carolina. She could be tough...but it was always motivated by the welfare of the patients; on that, she would never compromise.
Marc Judson
December 7, 2012
Thank you
December 6, 2012
I was fortunate enough to land on Dr Reed's table in March of this year. I never truly understood what a great surgeon and person she was (and still is) until I read these comments. My family and I were absolutely shocked to hear of her passing. She will be GREATLY missed. Dr. Reed, THANK YOU for your expertise, talent, and healing hands to get me back in the race. My scar will forever remind me of you and your outstanding team! Rest well!
Kyle Henneman
December 6, 2012
Shocked and saddened to learn of Carolyn's death. She was a remarkable Type A who fought to cut through bureaucratic nonsense, which frustrated her no end. I loved that about her. Her sense of humor was fabulous. She will be missed.
Linda Sears
December 6, 2012
Like so many others, I am shocked and saddened with the news of this loss. Carolyn taught me so much when I had the privilege of working for her at Hollings. I loved that she would talk about herself in 3rd person. She challenged me and everyone around her to think outside the box. What an amazing healer and an inspiration to us all. The world is not the same without her.
Janet Spangler (Jessey)
December 5, 2012
Devastated to learn of Carolyn's death. She was my classmate at ELAM and a stellar person and brilliant physician. I will always remember our stimulating discussions, her antic sense of humor...but particularly her driven dedication to good patient care and to rigorous education. A great loss....
Laura Wexler MD
December 4, 2012
Our deepest sympathy to your family. Brian and I worked with Carolyn at MSKCC in the eighties. We returned to Australia but always kept in contact. Carolyn was at our wedding in New York the thing I remember about her the most was her fabulous sense of humor we had many laughs together. I loved it when she gave my husband a hard time as he is a cardio thoracic surgeon always putting him back in his place.
Brian and I are just so shocked at hearing the news. Such a loss
Helen McCaughan
December 3, 2012
Dr. Caroyn Reed was my surgeon and also my friend. I will miss her more than I can explain in this statement. I would love to hear from any of her family so I could explain my personal feelings about Dr. Reed. MUSC must always remember Dr. Reed's unbelievable accomplishments. See you in heaven Dr. Reed. James B. (Jimmie) Powell, Ware Shoals, S. C.
November 30, 2012
Dr. Reed was a friend, mentor, and tremendous role model to me and so many others in thoracic surgery. I am deeply saddened by her untimely passing. She has broken many glass ceilings for the next generation of women surgeons. I will miss her and will always remember her fondly.
Linda Martin
November 29, 2012
To the family of Doctor Reed: Doctor Reed was my doctor for over 10 years. She was with me when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was so compassionate. In my darkest hours, she was there for me. She will never be forgotten by myself nor my family. She had so much to give. Her life was an exemplary example to all of mankind. I am honored to have known her as, "DOCTOR REED---MY HERO!!!"
Judy Hutchison
November 29, 2012
Dr. Carolyn Reed was an outstanding physician and surgeon. A very caring person-- especially for patients, families, and students (nursing, medical, or surgical residents). She defined surgical excellence. She will be missed. Our deepest sympathy and prayer's for Carolyn and her family.
Liz and Larry Sullivan
November 28, 2012
What a sad loss. Carolyn was a friend and strong advocate for cancer prevention and services in SC. I had the pleasure of working with her for 3 years when she chaired the SC Cancer Alliances' Advocacy and Policy Task Force. She was an excellent leader and talented advocate for change. Missing having her in our lives.
Gailya Walter
November 28, 2012
Dear Dr. Reed and Family,

I would like to take this time to thank you for being such a life-altering bright spot in my sister, Lindsay's, life. The simple mention of your name illuminated her to a power more elaborate than the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. You truly meant the absolute WORLD to her, and your absence will eternally be felt by her and our family. Although I never had the honor of meeting you, I always felt as if I knew you through the ever-adoring words of my sister when she spoke of you (which was and will be ALL THE TIME :)). You were and always will be the most driving force in her life. For that, I will be eternally grateful - along with my family. May you please rest in peace knowing your knowledge and spirit resides in my sister who will always regard you as her hero and will no doubt practice medicine based on the impeccable model you instilled within her. Thank you forever and always,

Heather Way, Oldest sister of your "Kiddo"
November 27, 2012
We have lost a beautiful person far too soon. I'll remember her smile, laugh, passion for good, and integrity. She was a bold leader in our profession, a generous mentor to so many, and beloved physician and surgeon to her patients. I wish peace and comfort to her family.
Barbara Bass
November 27, 2012
What a terrible loss.. I had the honor of taking care of her patients in CTICU for 10 years. These were rarely "well" patients. They were all complex. Dr. Reed gave them all a chance at life. What a blessing from above you were not only to your patients, but also to your nurses in CTICU. You made us think. Thanks for the honor and privilege to have worked with you.
Bob Barber CRNA
November 26, 2012
Dearest Margaret, My heart goes out to you on the loss of your daughter, we must cherish our thoughts and memories.Paula Niles Enman(Lois Niles daughter)
paula enman
November 26, 2012
Jeff and I had the pleasure and privilege to know Carolyn since 1987 when we returned to Charleston. It was always a pleasure to work with her on mutual patients. They did not know how lucky they were to have the "best" in her as their surgeon. She was a wonderful friend and we will cherish our memories with her. We will share stories and tears. The world is a better place because of her work and dedication. We will miss you. Cathy and Jeff Seymore
Cathy and Jeff Seymore
November 26, 2012
To Carolyns family I am sorry for your loss. Carolyn is not suffering anymore and free from pain forever. She is with her dad and grandparents. I wish I had got to know Carolyn more but can say she was a very intelligent person and her family can be very proud of her achievements. My thoughts and prayers are with you Margaret and Joyce and family may God grant you all peace at this time. God Bles You All Cousin Marjorie Grover
Marjorie Grover
November 26, 2012
Our deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Reed.
UMaine Alumni of the Lowcountry
Lawrence Schiner
November 25, 2012
It was a true blessing to have known you. No finer person have I known.
Kathy Daw
November 25, 2012
Dr Reed has given me the best gift in the world. More time with my father. She found his cancer early and with treatment and 10 hours of surgery he is cancer free. Words can never be enough to say thank you. She was a wonderful surgeon and compassionate towards the families that she touched in so many ways. Dr Reed will be missed dearly and never forgottten. Prayers for her family during this time. Heaven has an amazing angel now.
Cindi pelletier- ashley
November 25, 2012
Dr. Reed, You made the world a better place. I am grateful to have known you. You will always be a source of inspiration for me. I will miss you dearly.
Sahar Saddoughi
November 25, 2012
Dr. Reed saved my live both with her surgical skill and excellent bedside manner. It was the bedside manner that convinced me to procede with surgery sooner rather than later. My lung cancer was found at the earliest possible stage because of that. I am eternally grateful.
annette reynolds
November 24, 2012
Dr. Reed was an inspiration to all women in medicine . I am honored to have known her.
Sandra Conradi
November 23, 2012
A beloved colleague and friend. You will be missed
John DeRosimo
November 23, 2012
Dr. Reed has touched my life in a very unique way. I am shocked and very saddened by her premature passing. As a younger colleague at MUSC up until several months ago, I will always remember her as one of the most outstanding physicians, mentors and women.
Masha Bilic
November 23, 2012
Like many others, words cannot express the gratitude we have to Dr Reed for the vital role she played in helping to cure Dad of cancer last year. God Bless her family in this difficult time. Thank you Dr Reed.
The Howard Family
November 23, 2012
We have lost a great healer and physician; but the great doctor will live on through those she taught, loved and cared for. I thank God for Dr. Reed. She saw the desire my husband, Dana, had to live and despite his advanced age agreed to operate giving him two more years of life. I will always remember Dr. Reed and her team of skilled physicians.
B. Moberg
November 23, 2012
Dr. Reed removed my esophageal cancer last November. I just got results of one year followup CTscan and am cancer free. I was looking forward to returning to MUSC to thank her again. "Well done thy faithful servant." I will always remember you.
Rob Meggs
November 22, 2012

I'm so sad to hear about the loss of Dr. Carolyn Reed....she was an amazing surgeon, a compassionate and caring physician, a person of great compassion who geniunely cared about the people she worked with and the patients whose lives she ch
anged. She was personal inspiration for so many of us, an example of a woman of great strength, skill and determination who I admired greatly . I feel so lucky to have had the honor to work with her. She will be missed by many, many people.
Andrea Ward
November 22, 2012
I cannot thank Dr. Reed enough for curing my father of cancer and giving him many more years of life. She was an amazing woman. My sympathy and blessings go to the family during this difficult time.
Irene Au
November 22, 2012
It is so sad to loose such a wonderful Doctor at such a young age. I used to work with Dr. Reed on 10E. We all loved and respected her. I have never forgotten her in all the years I have . I have been away from MUSC. I always thought of her often. She made me want to be a better nurse. I've never known a better person or Doctor. I know she will still be watching over her people. I thank God for her.
Stephanie Rice
November 22, 2012
I am truly grateful for all you did for my father in January of this year. He is cancer free after esophageal cancer rocked our world. You saved my father's life and I will never forget the impact you had on our lives. God bless you and you family during this most difficult time.
Jimmy Clary
November 21, 2012
Dr. Reed saved my father's life in January of this year. To this day, he is cancer free after removing esophageal cancer. I am shocked to hear of her untimely death. I will forever be grateful for everything you did for my family. You are my hero and you will be missed.
November 21, 2012
Linda Breznicky
November 21, 2012
To the family of Dr. Reed: Dr Reed saved so many lives as evidenced by these entries. Because of her helping my good friend, Mackey Morris, get in on a clinical trial that provided very aggressive treatment prior to lung cancer surgery, she saved his life! Unfortunately, Mackey passed away on October 24. At the time of his death, he was still cancer free. Mackey, his family and friends will be forever grateful for the excellent care Dr Reed provided. May God bring you comfort during this very difficult time. RIP Dr. Reed.
Eva Clement
November 21, 2012
I am alive today because of Dr. Reed. She saved me from esophageal cancer 9 years ago. I was on email with her just recently. She wrote back and wished me well. I shall miss her dearly. I want to express my deepest sympathy to her family.
C K Au
November 21, 2012
Thoughts and prayers for the family of this wonderful lady and amazing physician. D. Cool Charleston SC
November 21, 2012
She will be missed. Carolyn was a wonderful mentor
Becky Wolfer
November 21, 2012
Carolyn saved my Dad's life, a man who said he would never have another surgery. She so graciously convinced him that she could do the surgery and extend his life...and she did. I will always be grateful to her. She was a brilliant healer and an amazing person. My heart goes out to her family, she will be greatly missed.
Laurie Hull
November 21, 2012
Carolyn was a good friend,mentor, and a fine leader.
I am honored to have had her friendship.
Carolyn will be sadly missed.
my deepest sympathies to Carolyn's family on their sad loss.
Brigid Scanlan Eiynck
November 21, 2012
I am so blessed to have my father today because of Dr. Reed's surgical excellence and patient dedication. I recall being worried sick over my dad's cancer and fearing the worse. An employee at MUSC asked who was my daddy's doctor. When I told her Dr. Reed, she smiled and said, "Your father will be OK. He's in excellent hands, as she's the best in esophageal cancer." Dr. Reed will surely be missed by all of her patients and their families in which she changed their lives. God bless Dr. Reed and her family.
Rhonda Rawl
November 21, 2012
Dr Reed was my hero. She was the greatest advocate for nursing that I have ever worked with. I loved working with her on 10E.
Anne Redick, RN
November 21, 2012
On May 17th Dr. Reed saved my life and touched my heart.
Dr. Reed; you and the staff at 4-ART have given me tomorrow. You have given me time. Time to spend with the ones I love and I am forever grateful. We love you.
Ron Breznicky
November 20, 2012
I was blessed to have this incredible woman touch my life. She saved the lives of both my Father, who had esophageal cancer, and my Grandfather, who had lung cancer. I can never fully express my gratitude for her steady hands, brilliant mind, and compassionate heart.
Kristy White
November 20, 2012
I was shocked to hear of the death of Dr. Carolyn Reed. As a PACU nurse since 1992 I had many encounters with Dr.Reed (over the early years) and she was always willing to listen and she respected the nurse who held her own. She was a twin too and we spoke of that. She contributed so much to her profession. Peace to you and your family.
Lynn Bond-Kostos MSN, RN
November 20, 2012
Dr.Reed was loved by the Barbara Sue Thomas family for Her care and interest in Barbara. Dorothy E. Harvey (Allendale,SC)
November 20, 2012
We could never express in words the gratitude that we have for all that you had done for our family. We are truly saddened and will be praying for your family. You are responsible for saving both my father and my grandfather. You were a hero. Rest in Peace and know that your work will always continue in your name.
November 20, 2012
Dr. Reed will always be a special person to me...God used her in my life...I came down with Lung cancer stage 3 and Dr Reed performed surgery May 2012 and removed the mass...God works through Doctors and He truly worked through Dr Reed..I praise the Lord for leading me to her...our prayers will be with the family...
Remee Liggitt
November 20, 2012
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