A family dentist who worked in remote New Zealand has died after a battle with cancer.
The 66-year-old, who worked at The Family Dentistry in Waimate, died on Thursday, New Zealand’s Department of Health said.
He had been battling the cancer for five years and was due to receive a terminal diagnosis on Friday, according to a statement from the ministry.
“We are devastated by the passing of our colleague, Dr Tipton Lake.
He will be greatly missed by all of us,” the statement read.
Lake was a regular contributor to the ABC’s 60 Minutes and hosted a radio show called The Tiptons that covered a range of topics including the medical profession and child health.
His work with children, adolescents and young people was so important to his clients that they referred him to children’s hospitals for treatment, the broadcaster said.
Lake had been working in New Zealand for 30 years and had a degree in dentistry.
He died at his home in Wairarapa on the Waimatara Peninsula, in the North Island, about 60 kilometres from Wellington.
A statement from a family friend read:”It’s been quite a difficult day, I’ve got to say.
It’s been a very difficult week for us.
He was the type of person who wanted to see patients, make them feel better, and he was a great doctor. “
We know he loved his patients and we know his work was so much appreciated.”
He was the type of person who wanted to see patients, make them feel better, and he was a great doctor.
“He was always talking about the importance of being a family doctor and that is what we are all about and we are so very proud of him.”
Lake was married to a former nurse, the family friend said.
The BBC reported that his son and daughter were visiting him when they were told his condition was terminal.
They said the news was devastating.
“It was just so upsetting and devastating and so sad,” the family’s friend said, adding that they had been told the news would not be shared for weeks.
Lake worked at the family dental clinic for many years and worked on a number of projects with children.