A neurosurgeon known for his work separating conjoined twins has died Monday after complications related to Covid-19.

Dr. James T. Goodrich, originally from Oregon, was passionate about surfing, according to Montefiore Einstein, the hospital where he worked for more than three decades.

Dr. Goodrich, who also served as a Marine during the Vietnam War, was an elite surgeon who dedicated his life to saving children with complex neurological conditions, Montefiore Einstein said in a statement.

He famously led a team of doctors to separate twins Jadon and Anias McDonald, in a 27-hour procedure in which he was a known as the word's leading expert.

While he was never one to seek the limelight, it thrust upon him in 2004 when he operated on Carl and Clarence Aguirre, twins from the Philippines who shared about 8 centimeters of brain tissue.

"Dr. Goodrich was a beacon of our institution and he will be truly missed," said Montefiore Medicine CEO Dr. Philip O. Ozuah in the statement. "His expertise and ability were second only to his kind heart and manner."

As well as surfing, Dr. Goodrich -- who was in his 70s -- was also passionate about historical artifacts, and travel. He is survived by his wife and three sisters.

"Jim was in many ways the heart and soul of our department - a master surgeon, a world-class educator, and a beloved colleague for all," Dr. Emad Eskandar, chair of the department of neurosurgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center said.

"His sudden loss is heart-breaking and his memory will always remain foremost in our thoughts."

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