Dr Ross David Gurgo
27 January 1970 - 15 August 2019


Ross Gurgo was born on 27 January 1970 in Mt Isa, North Queensland to Neville and Lorraine Gurgo.  Ross was the eldest of two children. Mt Isa was a booming mining town in the 1970’s and Ross had many great memories there with his younger brother Tony. He and his younger brother always had an unshakeable bond. In addition to being brothers they were best friends and each other’s biggest supporters.

In 1977 to give the boys some better schooling opportunities the family moved to Chapel Hill in Brisbane. 

Ross’s schooling in Brisbane commenced at Holy Family and Nudgee Junior College in Indooroopilly, and then onto St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace.  From the early years, as Ross progressed through schooling, he displayed special qualities as a gifted person and leader. He was chosen by his teachers and peers as a prefect at both Nudgee Junior and St Joseph’s.

He always excelled academically and in long distance running. When he was 16, Ross completed the Gold Coast half marathon in a time of 1 hour 14 minutes, winning a number of awards over the years for his running efforts.

He also had a talent for building model war planes with exquisite attention to detail. 

Ross excelled in his final grades in high school allowing him to follow his passion in medicine and ultimately wanting to help people in need.    Ross commenced his medical degree at the University of Queensland in 1988.  In Ross’s second last year of university he received the devastating news his devoted mother had a glioblastoma. She died the following year sadly missing out by only a few months  seeing her elder son complete his medical degree. As a consequence of his mother’s illness Ross decided to follow a path of neurosurgery.  During Ross’s years of training in this program, he travelled to Townsville, Sydney, Canberra, Perth and to Toronto for his spinal fellowship. 

Upon arriving back from Toronto in 2005 Ross commenced as a consultant neurosurgeon at Greenslopes Private Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital. He was an extraordinarily gifted surgeon and dedicated much time to spinal on call at Princess Alexandra Hospital and the teaching of trainee neurosurgeons.  He had many little pearls of wisdom and techniques for managing problems that have been passed down to the next generation of neurosurgeons.

Ross married Panteha in 2007 and they had a baby girl Mischa in 2009 who brought them both enormous joy.

Apart from spending time with his family, Ross loved to go for a run to unwind. He was an avid reader, particularly in his early years – he read many biographies of influential people and was very knowledgeable about them. Ross loved foreign films and artwork.  Another thing he adored was luxurious European cars and was always exploring the newest and latest engines and changing his cars regularly for something he thought much better.  

From the distant origins in North Queensland to being a busy neurosurgeon, loving husband and father in Brisbane, Ross’s life to this point had been an incredible journey.  Like all our lives it was filled with periods of happiness and sadness, successes, trials and tribulations.  

Sadly the next stage of Ross’s life was a dark period that tested him in ways he hadn’t experienced before. 

As his friend it was difficult to watch mental illness take a hold on someone who had never suffered from it before and to be unable to help, other than to be there.  He was enormously determined to conquer it but even with all his intellect and tenacity he could not. 

Ross desperately wanted to push out of the dark place he was in – he lived for all his family and friends – he lived for his beautiful daughter Mischa.  In a lovely note Ross sent to a good friend Ross wrote – “being a father to Mischa is the most important thing in my life, I live for her, she is my ray of sunshine, the centre of my existence. I love her more than words can describe and I have to get better for her”. 

Mischa is a wonderfully strong, intelligent and caring young girl, with maturity and wisdom well beyond her years.  I see her on her birthdays and Christmas. It is magical to see this highly intelligent beautiful girl grow but terribly sad to think of her adored father not being here to see it.

Ross was a kind, loyal and thoughtful friend. He was a gentle, shy and a highly intelligent, remarkably insightful person. He never said a bad word about anybody. He was devoted to his family, his patients and his friends whose lives he touched on a daily basis. Through his upbringing Ross was brought up on faith and he continued to visit his father’s church up until his passing.

How Ross will be remembered - his legacy – will be the good, beautiful person we all knew – the family man, the doctor and carer, the teacher and the best friend to us all.   He is always missed and a great loss to our profession.

This obituary was written by Associate Professor Sarah Olson, Neurosurgeon and good friend of Dr Ross Gurgo.