Son of South Carolina doctor killed in mass shooting now taking over father’s practice

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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WJZY) – After a mass shooting in York County led to the death of a local doctor, and a pillar in his community, his son is now vowing to carry on his father’s mission.

“He would always seek those who needed help and he would make that happen even when it was uncomfortable for him and that’s one thing I learned,” Jeff Lesslie said.

Jeff Lesslie learned from the best. He worked alongside his dad, Dr. Robert Lesslie for eight years at Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care

“It meant a lot from a father-son aspect, but at work, he was Dr. Lesslie, but now I can just say ‘dad’ all day long,” Jeff told FOX 46.

Dr. Lesslie opened Riverview Urgent Care in 1986 after a long career as an ER doctor.

“He started that when people would come to him and say, ‘Robert, such and so needs a doctor, would you like to do it?’ Nobody wants to do it, and he’d say, ‘yeah,’ and he kept saying yes and he kept saying yes.”

Jeff says he always knew his dad wanted him to take over the hospice care portion of the practice when he passed away.

“He’s with me and the Holy Spirit is here,” Jeff said.

Dr. Robert Lesslie’s death came unexpectedly and horrifically. He, his wife Barbara, and their two grandchildren, nine-year-old Addah and five-year-old Noah were killed when deputies say former NFL pro Phillip Adams stormed inside their house this past April.

Deputies say Adams also killed two HVAC workers at the Lesslie’s home that day before they say Adams killed himself.

Jeff had no idea he’d have to take on his father’s mission so suddenly, but he says it’s important work.

“It’s a blend between treating the whole person and doing the right thing,” he said.

Jeff says he’s learned how to do the job with a little humor learned from a great physician.

“I’ve learned a whole lot,” Jeff said. “Not to take yourself too seriously, to be vulnerable, to be open to learning.”

Riverview Hospice and Palliative care will continue to serve the York, Chester and Lancaster communities.

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