Lambert G. Eichner attempted to save Beatrice K. Grainger from drowning, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, September 21, 1947. Beatrice, 15, with several others entered a dark passageway in the concrete pier of Memorial Bridge, and she fell into a hollow shaft 15 feet long and nine feet wide that extended 13 feet below the passageway floor and contained stagnant water eight feet deep. Eichner, 20, student, reached the shaft and lowered himself to the water. After groping at the surface for Beatrice, Eichner submerged and found her caught in debris near the bottom. Freeing her, he brought her to the surface and trod water, supporting her for five minutes. A rope was then lowered, but it was too short for him to tie around her. Holding the rope, Eichner attempted to climb up the shaft wall with her as the rope was pulled; but it broke, and they were briefly submerged. He resumed supporting her for three minutes. A boy then climbed down a drain-pipe attached to the wall and called Eichner’s attention to it. Eichner towed Beatrice to the pipe. A makeshift line was lowered, but it broke. With the boy holding Beatrice, Eichner submerged, got his shoulders under the boy’s feet, and tried but could not raise him and Beatrice. Eichner and the boy then raised Beatrice to a man lowered from the floor. The boy and then Eichner climbed the pipe. Eichner, who had been in the water 12 minutes, was tired. He tried for two hours to revive Beatrice but could not. He suffered slight abrasions and a stiff knee. 41223-3536
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Lambert George “Skip” Eichner, 83, physician in Broomall, Pa., for more than 40 years, died of complications from strokes on Feb. 15, 2011, at his home in Berwyn, Pa.
Eichner maintained a family practice in Broomall until retiring in 2003. “House calls were part of his daily regimen, and he emphasized diet and lifestyle to maximize quality of life,” said his son, Bill. “His files are filled with tributes and letters from patients and their families. He understood the healing quality of humor, which he used liberally with patients, friends, and family.”
An internist who studied metabolic disorders and endocrinology, Eichner volunteered at a diabetes clinic in Philadelphia for years. He was a past president of the board of directors of the Delaware County Chapter of the American Cancer Society and oversaw periodic Red Cross blood drives at his church and community center.
For a decade in his career, Eichner was the physician for the Marple Newtown School District and served as sideline doctor for wrestling matches and football games. For three years in the late 1960s, he and his wife, Beverly Klipple Eichner, a nurse, spent two weeks annually in Nicaragua treating patients in remote villages under the auspices of the American Baptist League.
During his more than 40 years at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, he served as vice president of the medical executive committee and chief administrative officer of the medical staff, and he was president of the board of directors from 1989 to 1991.
When he was 19, he was with a group of young people in Swarthmore, Pa., when a young woman who could not swim fell into a 20-foot pool of water. He dived in and brought her to the surface, but she could not be revived. He received a Carnegie Medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Eichner earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University. From 1955 to 1957, Eichner served in the Navy Medical Corps in the Mediterranean.
Eichner was active in several historical societies in the Philadelphia area and used his medical background for presentations on such topics as medicine in colonial America.
Burial was in Arlington Cemetery, Drexel Hill, Pa.
(Edited from an obituary in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 18, 2011.)