My name is Lindita Çoku, I am Albanian and cardiothoracic surgeon in US. I have been privileged and honored to have known Dr. Leka for the past 16 years or so.
Dr. Leka served the Albanian community of immigrants in NY and especially in the Bronx area all his professional life with love and dedication. He helped all Albanian patients who were in need and the newly coming physicians from homeland to integrate in the US healthcare system tirelessly.
Dr. Leka has been instrumental in helping numerous Albanian physicians obtain training positions in US and especially difficult candidacies that otherwise would have not been successful in their own.
Albanian American Medical Society was proud to have Dr. Leka as his first Honored Member and in March 2011 he was awarded for his Excellency in serving our community in a Gala Dinner organized in NYC. Honorary Chairman of our society, Nobel Prize winner in Medicine and Physiology, Dr. Ferid Murad handed the honor to him. Dr. Murad sends his deep condolences for the loss of such a great man.
Dr. Leka is very near and dear to me, he was like a father and a mentor. We as new generation of Albanian physicians always turned for help to Dr. Leka found a warm hand (Dore te ngrohte) in difficult moments of our career. He will remain a legacy for all of us and an example of how much impact he left among us by offering his indivual help and always succeeding.
Dr. Leka was supporter of gender equality in our community and helped anyway he could to encourage Albanian women to step up in a higher level either way in the family life and or their professional goals. He was a supporter in fighting illiteracy in our community and served as a role model from every aspect, as a father, spouse, colleague and friend. His sons, Donald and Drini should be proud of both their parents. May he rest in peace with his wife, Elizabeth Çipi Leka.
Speech held at the funeral ceremony of Dr. Leka, by Lindita Çoku MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, founder of the Albanian American Medical Society