December 31, 2018:
A pediatrician and mother of three was killed while shielding her 3-year-old son from a falling tree last week while hiking in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountain National Park, officials said.
Laila Jiwani, a 42-year-old doctor at Cook Children’s Northside Neighborhood Clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, died Thursday after being struck by the tree that was knocked down due to high winds along the Porter Creek Trail inside the 800-square-mile park as she walked with her husband and three children, park spokesman Mike Litterst told the Dallas Morning News.
Jiwani, of Plano, was hailed as a hero by doctors at the hospital for saving her son’s life by “taking the brunt of the impact” from the tree, according to the post.
Funeral services for Jiwani will be held Wednesday (January 3, 2019) in Dallas. A website for the clinic identified her as a pediatrician who studied at New York University’s School of Medicine before joining the facility. The president of Cook Children’s Physical Network told the Dallas Morning News that she had been an employee there since 2007.
“Over the years, Dr. Jiwani served as a primary care physician in Lewisville as well as in our Northside Fort Worth clinic,” Brett Nelson said in a statement to the newspaper. “She was beloved by her patients, families as well as her coworkers. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”