Coffs Harbor and Armidale retired doctor Mark Henschke dies from injuries after being hit by truck while cycling

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Respected retired doctor Mark Henschke has died after he was hit by a garbage truck while cycling in Coffs Harbor a fortnight ago.

The 72-year-old practiced as a general practitioner and obstetrician for many years in Armidale, where former patients and colleagues have begun to pay tribute.

Nurse Sophie Bailey worked as a bachelor’s nurse at Dr. Henschke at Autumn Lodge in Armidale.

“Dr Henschke was a kind, thoughtful and gentle person, he had so much to give,” Ms Bailey said.

“He took his oath to be a doctor very seriously.”

Ms. Bailey recalled Dr. Henschke as a fixture in the Armidale community.

“On weekends, in his own time, he would come and play his piano accordion as a voluntary thing, and he used to say, ‘I come up here to practice because I reckon the residents won’t mind if I playing wrong. note or two,'” she said.

Simon Scott, who lives in Armidale, recalled that Dr. Henschke showed up for the premature birth of his son Fletcher in his tennis courts 19 years ago.

“It was a very hot February afternoon in Armidale, he ran into his whites, went straight into delivery mode and helped deliver a healthy baby boy,” Mr. Scott.

The doctor was a committed educator

Dr. Henschke retired to Coffs Harbor after spending the last several years of his career practicing there.

He worked at the University of NSW rural campus in Coffs Harbor and the University of New England, mentoring young doctors.

A staff memo from the Dean of UNSW Medical School Dr. Vlado Perkovic and the head of the School of Clinical Medicine Adrienne Torda gave a glowing tribute to one of the university’s alumni.

UNE uni of new england sign
Dr. Henschke mentored young doctors at UNE and UNSW.(ABC News: Kerrin Thomas)

“Mark was dedicated to improving the health and lives of countless individuals in the Coffs Harbor region and further afield,” it said.

“As a local GP, Mark also had a special interest in children’s health, obstetrics and medical education and his leadership, commitment and passion in these areas as a clinician has been extraordinary.”

Dr. Perkovic said Mr Henschke had been the heart and soul of Coffs Harbour’s rural campus since 2009.

“Mark was an inspirational leader to students and staff in Coffs Harbor as well as across the faculty and state,” he said.

“His legacy will live on through the many people he impacted and he will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Chris Mostert was another colleague of Mr Henschke who spoke highly of their time at both UNSW and Coffs Harbor hospital.

“I’ve really come to appreciate what an exceptional person he was,” Mr Mostert said.

Mostert described Mr Henschke as “humble” and someone who would spend countless hours helping others.

“He would be around four to five days a week with his pay on one day a week and he would be available to both students and staff for support.”

“Even at the age of 72, he was an intellectual powerhouse to deal with and it was indeed quite a privilege to see all that in action.”

The police investigation continues

Dr. Henschke suffered leg injuries and was flown to Gold Coast hospital after he was hit by a truck while cycling earlier this month.

Accident scene surrounded by emergency vehicles
The truck driver who allegedly hit Dr. Henschke, was taken for testing by the police after the incident.(Delivered: Frank Redward)

The police were told on Wednesday that he had died.

The truck driver, a 28-year-old man, was taken to Coffs Harbor Base Hospital for mandatory testing.

No charges have been brought.

The police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.

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