Posted by: calloftheandes | September 6, 2010

Surgeon Who Helped Establish Jungle Hospital in Ecuador Dies at 92

Dr. Morris Everett “Ev” Fuller, a physician who helped found HCJB Global’s jungle hospital in Ecuador more than 50 years ago, died in Spokane, Wash., on Tuesday, July 20. His wife, Elisabeth “Liz,” of 66 years was at his side when he passed away at the age of 92.

Born to Morris and Helen Fuller in Schenectady, N.Y., on Oct. 10, 1917, Ev graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Union College in Schenectady in 1939 and completed medical school at Syracuse University in New York in 1943.

He married Liz that same year, after which he joined the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, serving in the Medical Corps until 1946. Citations included two Bronze Stars for military activity on the front lines, and he was promoted from first lieutenant to captain while in combat.

After leaving the Army, Ev returned to Schenectady for additional medical training from 1946 to 1949 in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and anesthesiology, completing his medical residency at Gorgas Hospital in Panama.

The Fullers then dedicated their lives to Christian medical work in Ecuador, serving with HCJB Global from 1950 until 1966. Ev worked as a physician while Liz helped as a registered nurse, initially both serving at the Indian Clinic in Quito.

Shortly after their arrival in Ecuador, Nate Saint, the missionary martyr then serving as a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship, asked HCJB Global to consider building a hospital in the jungle community of Shell. Ev embraced the idea, and he was put in charge of establishing a clinic in Shell in 1955 and the Epp Memorial Hospital (now Hospital Vozandes-Shell), completed in 1958.

While serving as a medical missionary in Ecuador, Ev was given an award from the Ecuadorian military. He also earned an M.D. from Quito’s Central University and taught anesthesiology.

“This man was a great contributing member of our mission,” said Ron Cline, who served as HCJB Global’s president for 20 years. “He was an inspiration to all the other missionaries. He came from that old school where he responded to the Lord, ‘Here am I, send me!’ Then he spent the rest of his life doing anything we asked him to do or anything that needed doing. During the many years I worked with him, I never heard, ‘Someone should do something!’ It was always, ‘What can I do?’”

After the Fullers, along with their seven children, left Ecuador in 1966, Ev opened a private practice in general surgery in Whittier, Calif., working in that capacity for 14 years. Following additional training in Schenectady and Panama, he was named a Diplomat by the American Board of Surgery. In 1968 he became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He also received an honorary master’s degree from Union College for his surgical work in Ecuador.

In early 1982, when Ev was 64, the Fullers returned to part-time medical missions for nine years, serving at HCJB Global’s hospitals in Ecuador as well as the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society’s Nazareth Hospital in Israel.

In 1990 they moved to Spokane where Ev worked at Franklin Park Minor Emergency until 1991. He then worked part time as a medical consultant for the Washington State Office of Disability Insurance (1991 to 2008).

Ev’s interests and commitments included church involvement, piano playing, history, Middle East studies, fishing, photography, archaeology, traveling, reading and praying for his friends and family with his wife, Liz, every morning.

In addition to his wife, Ev is survived by five children (Nancy, David, Dan, Rick and Don), 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Larry, and daughter, Susan.

Memorial services were held in Spokane on Tuesday, July 27. Memorial donations may be made to Horizon Hospice, 123 W. Cascade Way, Spokane, WA 99208.

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Responses

  1. […] in the 1950s by Nate Saint. In fact, before his death in 1956, he had helped in constructing the Epp Memorial Hospital, later called Hospital Vozandes del Oriente or […]

  2. We had the pleasure and priveledge of meeting with Ev and Liz in Nazareth when we worked with them at EMMS Nazareth Hospitals. They were a wonderful couple, becoming surrogate grandparents to out children and very special friends to us both in Israel and also in Scotland, where they came to visit us twice. Ev will be sadly missed and our love goes to Liz and the family at this time. A wonderful, devoted couple who in the last couple of years spoke only of the time they would both be together with their Lord and Saviour in Heaven.

  3. I was blessed to be able to work as a Caregiver for Dr. Fuller for a short period of time. What a wonderful, kind person he was. God bless him and his family.

  4. I was friends with Suzie and Larry Fuller while I studied at Biola in 1967. Then worked as receptionist for Dr. Fuller for a while. He and Liz inspired me to switch from Nurse’s training to medical school, which I did. Finished training at the UNAM in Mexico, then worked 25 yrs as a medical missionary among the Zapotec Indians in Oaxaca.
    I reconected with Ev and Liz by phone last year from Shell – such a blessing to have known the family. Liz, my God be your comfort and strength.

  5. David and I were blessed beyond measure with our “family” connection with Ev and Liz and Larry and Nancy and Susie and David and Daniel and Donald and Rickie. (If we’ve missed the birth orders it’s just because we too grow older.) We did not learn of Dr. Fuller’s passing until the day after the funeral and our first thoughts were sadness at separation and our second feelings were of gladness at his reunion with Susie and Larry. If anyone ever asks, “how is it possible to love the children of others?”, just refer them to Uncle Dave and Aunt Kay, and we will answer, “not difficult at all when the children are the Fullers.” They enriched our lives, filled our hearts with wonder, challenged us in delightful ways, touched our souls with tears and filled our lives with a youthful joy that will remain warm and vibrant until we too shall join all those who have gone before us. We send a very special love to Liz– patient and kind who married the love of her life.


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