CONFIRMED: Veteran engineer Walter Willis dies- St. Joseph Hospital

Last Updated on Monday, 11 July 2016, 22:37 by Denis Chabrol

St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital Monday night confirmed that veteran Guyanese engineer, Walter Willis died and at the same time announced that a probe has been launched to ensure that all the rules were followed in treating him.

“His condition deteriorated and he was treated for multi-organ dysfunction. Regrettably, Mr. Willis passed on the evening of Monday July 11, 2016,” the hospital said.

“The hospital has embarked on an investigation to ensure that all clinical guidelines were adhered to in keeping with Standard Operating Procedures,” the hospital said in a statement.
At the same time, the health care institution sought to assure that “protocols were followed on his admission.”
Willis was admitted to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital on Saturday July 9, 2016.
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital extended deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Willis.
Hours after the Ministry of Public Infrastructure confirmed Willis’ passing, news broke that a doctor had detected that he was still alive on life support.

Sources said Willis had ulcerated stomach and his kidneys subsequently failed while hospitalised.

Willis appeared fit and well up to last Friday while on a tour of the expansion works at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

Following is the full text of a statement by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

It is with the deepest regret that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure announces the passing of Mr. Walter Joseph Willis, Technical Adviser to Minister David Patterson, following a period of brief illness.

Mr. Willis was born on July 23, 1949 and was employed with the ministry for 17 years. Upon his commencement of service on May 3, 1999, Mr. Willis served as the Technical Adviser for Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Anthony Xavier, under the Ministry of Public Works and Communication.

Mr. Willis also served as Technical Adviser to Minister Harry NarineNawbatt and Minister Robeson Benn before working alongside Minister Patterson from May 2015.

Outside his position as Technical Adviser, Mr. Willis held several positions, including that of the Chairman of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority; Project Manager of the Solid Waste Management Programme; and Project Engineer for the Caribbean Development Bank Third Road Project (Ruimveldt to Providence). Mr. Willis was also involved in a number of key developmental projects, including the construction of the Providence Stadium, where he served as the Project Manager.

Mr. Willis will be remembered by all as a dedicated worker who went above and beyond to ensure the proper execution of all projects under his remit. He was always willing to offer advice and worked meticulously. He was also fondly known to all as a stickler for protocol and could be seen traversing even the hallways of the Ministry with a safety vest on.

Up to last Friday, Mr. Willis led a team on a site visit to the CheddiJagan International Airport Expansion Project.

He will be sorely missed.

Mr. Willis leaves to mourn his wife, Dolly; three children, Christopher, Sonia, and Sandra; and three grandchildren.

Ministers of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, along with the staff of the Ministry, wish to extend their heartfelt condolences to the Willis family.