Dr. Vahan Kilaghbian was tragically lost in an accident at his home in June of 2007. Vahan Ardashes Kilaghbian was born in Beirut Lebanon on May 8, 1965. He attended the prestigious American College in Beirut where he was a top student. In order to escape the violence of the worsening Lebanese civil war and in hope of a better life, Von's parents sent him to the U.S. at the age of 14. He settled down in Fresno with a distant relative. But within months, Von was living on his own supported by money supplemented by doing odd jobs and installing car radios. Upon completing high school, Von attended Fresno State University where he excelled. Because of his hard work, he was awarded a scholarship to attend Creighton University Medical School in Nebraska. He graduated with AOA honors in 1993.
Von moved to New York City for his internship and first year of orthopedic training. Von was the star of his residency class and was known as the guy with the best hands. He joined an orthopedic practice at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles in August 1998. In May of 2000 Von and Dr. Marc Samson started a new independent practice at Good Samaritan, Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center. Under Von's leadership the group grew from a two doctor group to a five surgeon multi-specialty group, the only one in the area. Von's skill in the operating room and hard work allowed him to become one of the best and busiest joint reconstruction doctors in Los Angeles. He became a national expert on the use of navigation to improve the outcomes of total knee replacements.
Medicine was only one part of his life and Von was much more than just a great doctor. He was an exceptional husband and father, always placing his family above all else. No matter how busy he was he always had time for his family. He was an excellent son to his parents and a great brother to his sisters. Von was also very active and excelled at outdoor activities such as mountain biking. He loved to paintball particularly in the canyon behind his old house. But Von's great love was fast cars, which he loved to race at the track.
Von overcame many obstacles in his life to become a great doctor and a great man. He lived the true American dream. Von should be remembered as an inspiration. An inspiration to any young child who thinks he has too tough of a life to achieve greatness. An inspiration to any man who thinks he does not have enough time for his family and his career. An inspiration to anyone who thinks the American dream doesn't apply to them. He will be missed dearly.