GP's sudden death devastates Coast community
A LOVED and respected Coast GP's death has left a hole her grieving colleagues say can't be filled.
The Nambour Medical Centre will close for three hours on Friday so all staff are able to attend the funeral of Dr Christine Orazio.
Dr Orazio was surrounded by family when she died in Royal Brisbane Hospital on Australia Day, succumbing to complications from a brain haemorrhage.
She had suffered the subarachnoid haemorrhage during a gym yoga class 15 days earlier.
Despite successful emergency surgery that day and excellent hospital treatment, the effects were too great.
Her older sister Trish Mahon said Dr Orazio had cemented many lifelong friendships in her 52 short years.
"Her loves were family, friends, travel and her work," Mrs Mahon said.
Dr Orazio worked her love of gourmet food into her adventures to take cooking lessons overseas.
"She was a bit of a dessert queen."
The jelly in the family Christmas trifle she made would not be store bought but cooked from fresh raspberries and gelatine leaves.
Dr Orazio was treasured by her family and was a "divine" aunt to her nine nieces and nephews.
Nambour Medical Centre principal Dr Wendy Welsh said Dr Orazio had built a base of loyal patients during her eight years in the surgery.
Her passing has left those patients as well as staff and other health workers devastated.
"She is a huge loss to the practice," Dr Welsh said.
"She is a huge loss to the Sunshine Coast medical community."
Described as an "exceptional GP", it was Dr Orazio's background in nursing which her colleagues believed gave her a "grassroots" understanding of patients' issues.
"I think her skills as a registered nurse made her very empathetic with people."
Dr Orazio was born in Dirranbandi in south-west Queensland and enjoyed a country childhood before boarding at Lourdes Hill Catholic College in Brisbane in Years 11 and 12.
She got into nursing in 1983 and graduated as a registered nurse in Brisbane in 1986.
Her work took her back to the bush for about 18 months in hospitals in Dirranbandi and Roma before she travelled to Europe and Africa for another 18 months.
Dr Orazio returned to Australia in 1989 to start her medicine degree at the University of Queensland, graduating in 1994.
She worked at the Gold Coast and Brisbane before moving to the Sunshine Coast in 2008.
Dr Welsh said her colleague looked after people through all sorts of crises in their lives.
"She had a passion for it and a passion for being a family GP," Dr Welsh said.
"There are reasons people stand out and she demonstrated them.
"She worked hard for her patients."
Her death came as a shock for which they had no time to prepare.
"She was a healthy person one day and not the next.
"It makes you look at yourself and makes you think that life is very short."
The Nambour Medical Centre will be closed from 11am until 2pm on Friday for Dr Orazio's funeral.
Family and friends are welcome to attend Stella Maris Catholic Church in Maroochydore from 11.30am.
Mrs Mahon expected lots of friends from throughout her sister's life would be there.
"It will certainly be a very, very sad day for us," Mrs Mahon said.