Neurosurgeon who became famous for separating conjoined twins died of covid-19. His real legacy is his humanity.
[James] Goodrich attended … Orange Coast College, and while there, a guest lecture by a University of California, Irvine professor changed the trajectory of his life. The professor, James McGaugh, a neuroscientist, became his lifelong mentor. Because of that friendship, Goodrich said, he learned to value people everywhere — to extend a hand to those who sought help, to embrace those unlike himself and help the most vulnerable. He went on to graduate from the University of California, Irvine and then earn his medical degree from Columbia University, where he also earned a doctorate of philosophy. “What’s so wonderful about his story was this was a failed kid who scratched around and started over in life,” said McGaugh, 88, in an interview this week. “He graduated at the top of his class, then came and worked with me.”