Son of Windsor pediatrician hopes to promote father's legacy with documentary

·3 min read

The son of a Windsor pediatrician is hoping to tell his father's story in a documentary about the impact his dad had on the local community.

Joseph Galiwango is the son of Dr. Joe Galiwango, who practised pediatric medicine in Windsor for over 30 years. Dr. Galiwango co-founded the former neonatal intensive care unit at Grace Hospital in Windsor, and was also instrumental in helping with the W.E. Care for Kids campaign fundraising, which supports local pediatric health care.

Dr. Galiwango eventually retired to his native Uganda. He was found dead in his home in 2016.

Joseph Galiwango says he's eager to tell his dad's story because of the effect he had on the local community.

"The story is kind of a Windsor story to be honest," he told Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette. "This is about this person who was embraced by this community, and found so much joy in helping the most vulnerable babies, up until teenagers, and their families — and that impact, it's still being felt."

Joseph Galiwango
Joseph Galiwango

Affectionally known as "Dr. Joe," Dr. Galiwango was born in Uganda and studied in the United Kingdom. He later came to Canada and eventually settled in Windsor.

Joseph Galiwango — who would often be at the office while his father was working — says what he remembers most about his dad was his cheerfulness.

"He had an innate joy from working with his patients and working with their families," he said. "The thing I remember most about him is how happy he was with his patients."

A doctor's office is not always the happiest place, but Joseph Galiwango describes his father's as being "almost like Santa's workshop."

Documenting a life

The passion and jubilance Dr. Galiwango brought to his work is why his son is so eager to start documenting his father's life and telling his story.

While checking his Facebook, Joseph Galiwango came across a seven-month-old message from a friend, who is a documentary producer.

The friend, as a baby, was a patient of his father's, and said he was interested in making a documentary about Dr. Galiwango.

Joseph Galiwango
Joseph Galiwango

"We got the conversation going, and he told me it's a passion project of his because when he was a baby he was quite sick, and my dad was responsible for bringing him back to health," Galiwango said.

They'll be looking to interview medical colleagues of Dr. Galiwango's, people involved with the W.E. Care for Kids Foundation he was involved with, and, of course, patients.

A sad end to a happy story

After Dr. Galiwango's death, his family held a memorial in Windsor in 2016.

Joseph Galiwango suspects that his father was murdered, and the family is still looking for answers.

"We don't know a whole lot more to be honest with you," he said. "But we do have some people helping us get some more information, but we don't know a whole lot more than what we found out four years ago and what was in the papers and things."

"That's a sad part of an otherwise amazing legacy," he added. "But, you know, the book on that is not really closed. So with the documentary, and to support that we hope to get more of a sense of closure."