Loved ones call murdered Michiana doctor irreplaceable

By  | 

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - One day later, the community is trying to make sense of Dr. Todd Graham's horrific murder.

Dr. and Mrs. Todd Graham / Photo courtesy of Dr. A.J. Mencias

Thursday, the beloved orthopedic doctor was remembered by family, friends and loyal patients.

Dr. Graham touched thousands of lives; not only through his philanthropic work in the community, but also through his passion for his profession.

"He dedicated his life to taking care of people and that's the sad, sad part of this whole thing," said Dr. A.J. Mencias, business partner and best friend of Dr. Graham.

Wednesday, Dr. Graham was killed by a patient's husband in the parking lot of South Bend Orthopedics, located at the Elm Road Medical Campus.

Mencias says 'difficult' doesn't begin to describe this loss.

"He is the most generous, just kindhearted. He was the center of many lives and his three kids are gut-wrenchingly very, very sad right now," said Mencias.

As the healing process begins, loved ones are remembering Dr. Graham's impact.

"His personality was electric. He lit up a room anytime he walked into the room," said Mencias. "I could tell you the one thing we all have joked about is that Todd Graham will be the best dressed man in heaven."

Dr. Graham studied medicine at Northwestern and has been practicing in the South Bend area for more than 20 years.

"Unbelievable work ethic," said Mencias.

One former patient credits Dr. Graham with his recovery.

"With his help, I was able to get my life back," said Ryley Fitzsimmons who is a former patient of Dr. Graham.

After injuring his spinal cord while playing golf in 2009, Ryley Fitzsimmons was treated by Dr. Graham for nearly three years.

"He was one of those doctors who actually cared how you're feeling, always following up, and his door was always open," said Ftizsimmons.

Other patients who spoke with NewsCenter 16 Thursday say they feel the same way.

"Compassionate, caring, his bedside manner was amazing; I mean he really cared about us," said Angela Valentiny, a former patient of Dr. Graham.

Meantime, Dr. Graham's death has left a gaping hole in the community.

"We just loved him. So many of us loved him. Definitely irreplaceable," said Mencias.

Dr. Graham was also a generous philanthropist in the area. He devoted time to time to Logan Center and the Center for the Homeless, among other groups and organizations.

In his passing, Mencias says that he is going to find a way to honor Dr. Graham. He wants to work with law enforcement to make sure that doctors and medical staff are protected at all times. He says he wants to prevent an incident like this from ever happening again.

Click here for the fully story on Dr. Graham's death and the ongoing investigation.