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Legendary doctor leaves legacy of caring and service

Tom Sweat, MD, talks with his daughter, Anne Sweat Thompson, MD, at the Living Healthy Free Clinic in December 2017.

Staff photo by Mark Boehler

Dr. Thomas Sweat was remembered Thursday for a lifetime of caring and service.

"If you got to know Dr. Sweat, you got to know a legend," said Tommy Bain, a registered nurse who volunteered at the Living Healthy Free Clinic founded five years ago by the legendary doctor.

Sweat died Thursday at his home in Corinth at the age of 93.

A native of Corinth, he volunteered for the US Navy in 1944 and returned home to complete his studies at the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee medical school. He began his private practice in Ripley in 1950 before returning to the Navy as a Division Medical officer for two years and then returning to Corinth where in 1955 he opened the medical practice he would continue until 2008 when he went to work with Magnolia Regional Health Center's Community Clinic helping teach the next generation of physicians through its internal medicine intern program.

In 2015 he founded the Living Healthy Free Medical Clinic, helping to provide free medical care to those in need throughout the community. He was also involved in numerous other community efforts through his service on the Magnolia Hospital Board of Trustees, including two terms as chairman, Chief of Staff of the hospital, founding of the Coronary Care Unit at the hospital in 1969, 38-years as a member of the Corinth Rotary Club, service as a founding member of Corinth Alcorn Reaching for Excellence (CARE) and much more.

An emotional Corinth Mayor Tommy Irwin said he has known the doctor his whole life and has a hard time imagining Corinth without him. He said Sweat was the ultimate example of service in his profession and to the community.

"It seems that the good Lord put him on this earth to serve," said the mayor.

"He was a doctor who gave everything he had to his profession. He used himself up in his profession," said Irwin.

He said he feels privileged to have known such a special person.

"I feel extremely blessed to have known him because I have witnessed a person that was so special and he was special to mankind," he said.

Bain said Sweat saved many lives through his care and concern for others and he will be greatly missed by many who were lucky enough to call him a friend.

"Dr. Sweat was my leader. He was a mentor. He was my boss, but most importantly, he was my friend," he said.

Magnolia Regional Heath Center Foundation Executive Director Tracey Moore said Sweat left a legacy of caring that was reflected in his dedication to the community through the free clinic and every other effort he was involved with.

"He genuinely cared about every single person he took care of. He's going to be truly missed," she said.

Funeral services are set for Sunday at First Methodist Church in Corinth with visitation from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and the services to follow.