Linda Farmer is everything the world needs more of. That’s what her husband, Kermit, said of her after her death from stomach cancer on Feb. 15.

“She’s an amazing individual, amazing inside and out,” he said. “Her smile is contagious to anybody that’s ever met her. Never met a person with a higher integrity or stronger work ethic. She’s just a phenomenal person.”

Linda was committed to her work as an oncologist at East Alabama Health, treating patients with cancer.

She would wake up each morning at 3:45 a.m. to begin reviewing charts and radiology exams before she began seeing patients at 9 a.m.

“She just goes the extra mile to ensure that she’s ready for that first patient and the last patient to walk through her clinic doors,” Kermit said.

“… The lucky ones, and there’s only a small percentage of the lucky ones, actually find a thing that they’re supposed to do for their career that gives them passion, that gives them purpose and my wife was one of those. And how she was able to administer quality health education and service to her patients over that many years, I still have no idea.”

Kermit said oncology has the highest burnout rate for physicians, but Linda loved her work. And she made a difference in her patients’ lives.

“Linda was the epitome of what I consider the ‘perfect’ physician,” someone commented on Facebook. “There will never be a human being, professional or not, who even comes close to having the many superior qualities your precious brilliant wife extolled upon all those individuals who were impacted by her love, care, grace, hugs, wit and overall, presence in their lives.”

Another commenter said that because of Linda, she had a second chance at life.

“In the summer of 2017, I told Dr. Farmer I would do whatever she recommended to have another go at this life on earth. The protocol and surgeries weren’t easy and when I wanted to throw in the towel at halftime she personally called me at 9:30 p.m. one Thursday night and talked me through the darkest hours of my life. I’m forever changed by Dr. Farmer’s servant’s heart, dedication to medicine, cancer research, her grace, her humor, hugs and love for UNC. May each of us continue to shine Dr. Farmer’s light through our daily lives and feel her warmth on the tough days.”

Kermit and his son Spencertake a monent to snap a photo during Linda’s memorial service on Feb. 26. Kermit’s caption for this photo is “This is what love looks like my peeps.”

Dana Hicks, RN, said she met Linda in 2004 when she came to East Alabama Health as a nurse.

“She was one of the few physicians in the room, she held your hand,” she said. “She listened to you. She knew her patients, knew their name, knew exactly what was going on.”

Julie Stallions, RN, said her first experience with Linda was in 2008 when she contacted her about one of her patients.

“I had to call her because we were doing report and [the] lab had called to give us a critical lab value and our policy is you call the doctor within an hour of receiving them,” Stallions said. “So it’s 6:30 in the morning and I call her and I’m like, ‘Hey, my name is Julie. I’m new here but I had a critical white blood count on your patient.’ And she said, ‘Just so you know, I get up at 4 a.m. and look at my patients’ labs so you never have to worry about whether I know about them or not because I guarantee you I looked at them way before you ever got his information about it.’ And she said, ‘That’s one of the things I do.’ And she said, ‘Thank you for calling me.’

“… So then she came up here later on and she said, ‘Hey, I just wanted to introduce myself so that way you would know who I was and I would know who you are.’ And she asked me about my background and stuff like that. And that was how we met the first time.”

Linda was available at all hours for her patients, Stallions said.

Stallions told the story of one of Linda’s patients who was expected to pass away.

“Another nurse had the patient because I was a charge nurse so I don’t always take patients,” she said. “She was a new nurse, and she came and got me and she said, ‘Hey, I think the patient’s passed.’ And I said, ‘okay, Dr. Farmer likes to be notified as soon as it happens.’ And I said, ‘So, we need to call her and let her know, she wants to be up here for the family.’ So the nurse called and Dr. Farmer called me and she said, ‘Julie, I just got the phone call, is the family still there?’ And I said, ‘Yes ma’am.’ And she said, ‘I’m getting dressed, I’m on my way.’ And I was like, ‘Dr. Farmer, it’s 8 o’clock at night.’ And she was like, ‘I’m on my way.’

“… She comes up here and she goes into the room and she comes back out and I was like ‘That was quick.’ And she said, ‘Julie, I don’t know this nurse. Did somebody do chest compressions on my patient?’ And I said, ‘What, no, what are you talking about?’ And she said ‘I think the nurse is mistaken.’ And I said, ‘No, I personally went and verified there were no respirations, there were no heartbeat and she goes, ‘Then tell me why my patient is sitting up on the side of the bed?’ And I said, ‘No way.’ And so I went in there, by the time we left that night, the lady was walking in the hallways. And [Linda] went back in there and she talked to the patient and she said, ‘I just was curious as to what happened.’

“And [the patient] said, ‘All I remember was, it got really bright and a voice told me to turn around.’ And I said, ‘Dr. Farmer, I think we just saw a miracle.’ And she goes, ‘You get it, don’t you?’”

Linda didn’t only deeply care for her patients but for the nurses and doctors she worked with.

“We’ve all been a family,” Hicks said.

Linda would check in on staff members and nurses to make sure they were well emotionally and mentally.

“She is a remarkable woman and Kermit said it best that we’re the lucky 3% that got to know her,” Stallions said. “Imagine everyone else in this world who didn’t and how sad that is that they’re not getting to meet that wonderful lady.”

Kermit said that his wife received about 1,000 get-well cards.

Linda found oncology after exploring different specialties of medicine and ruling out the ones that didn’t fit.

“She knew she didn’t want to do general medicine,” Kermit said. “She spent about 30 seconds in pediatrics … she knew that wasn’t right for her and looked at cardiology, looked at different things,” Kermit said. “It wasn’t until she got to oncology, which she equated to a chessboard that really mentally challenged her.

“There’s so much nuance to treating not only the patient’s physical needs, but the emotional needs and the family’s needs that she gravitated toward it, because it is a hard craft and she wanted to exercise her brain in that and thought she was up for that.”

Kermit and Linda met in Birmingham when they lived in the same condominium complex. They would see one another walking their dogs.

“She had a wild child [dog] and I was like, ‘hey, you need help walking that beast of yours?’ And one thing led to another.”

Their 20th wedding anniversary would have been in May. Kermit and Linda adopted a son, Spencer, from Korea, who is now 15.

Linda moved to the United States when she was 14-years-old, without any knowledge of English, but she taught herself.

“When she was coming to the U.S., she didn’t want to go by her first name which is Hyoseon, so standing in the federal building or whatever, ‘well what name do you want to be called?’ And the only thing that came to mind was Wonder Woman,” Kermit said. “And she said, ‘well who is that?’ And her name is Lynda Carter. ‘I want to be Lynda.’ She didn’t know the spelling of the name, which has actually bothered her all this time that she didn’t spell Linda the way that Lynda Carter did.

“That is how she came to the U.S. When we have adversity, like going to a new country that you didn’t know you were going to, right, and you figure it out and you set a gauntlet like ‘I’m going to be Wonder Woman in this community.’ And she is.”