East Side physician honored with Baptist Health System Humanitarian Award

Dr. Leo Edwards has devoted more than 40 years to where he was born and raised

SAN ANTONIO – When his patients congratulate him for the Humanitarian Award from the Baptist Health System, Dr. Leo Edwards said he tells them, “It’s y’all who made it possible.”

Edwards has spent more than 40 years in the East Side community where he was born and raised, helping and healing those like Judy Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins said it’s Edwards’ kindness that’s earned him recognition by the Baptist Health System.

After Dr. Edwards heard there was a patient who became hungry while waiting to be seen, “he went and got her something to eat,” Jenkins said. “Then, he also had a cab to take her home.”

Jenkins said that’s the kind of doctor Edwards is to all his patients.

“He’s the heart. He really is. He’s the heart,” Jenkins said.

Edwards said, “It’s in my nature. It’s just kind of how it is. I’ve been brought up like that.”

He said his parents were community-minded and, like him, active in the church at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

Whether it’s helping a patient get a medical apparatus they can’t afford or simply listening to what’s on their minds, Edwards said, “You treat them like they’re your family.”

The irony of Edwards being honored by the Baptist Health System was that Edwards has a deep personal connection to downtown Baptist, dating back to the day he was born.

Since it was a segregated hospital back then, Edwards said, “We had to go to a section of the hospital that was for Blacks.”

Yet, when he was born not breathing, he said a white nurse gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Edwards said, “She didn’t hesitate to save my life.”

To be recognized by the Baptist Health System all these years later, Edwards said, “It’s really cool, especially at this point in time in my life.”

About the Authors

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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