For Spencer.

For a lot of us, both doctors and nurses, death is something we deal with on a regular basis.

You learn to live with that.

Separate yourself from it.

Maybe it’s a survival mechanism that prevents you from emotionally burning out. You’ve got to keep your objectivity. You’ve got to approach things clinically. I hope that doesn’t sound cold. It’s not meant to. Because every now and then you get a reality check on it.

Your emotions are there.

And you feel the weight of them.

Whatever wall you’ve built gets knocked down. Roles reverse. Maybe now you are the patient that would give anything for a little good news. Maybe now you are that family wanting anything that looks like hope.

For some reason this evaporation of the survival mechanism happens at lightening speed when we hear that friends and family within the medical field become ill.

Why is that?

Do we better know the odds?

Is it the “that only happens to other people” mentality?

For me, for our team, we have been unfortunate witnesses to this several times within the last 12 months, loosing a young mentor cancer specialist, a young medical student choosing his life path and now last week a young surgeon ready to help change peoples lives.

Words cannot describe the sadness and grief I felt at hearing of the passing of Dr. Spencer McLean. I got to know Spencer through the orthopedic community and then the Broken Earth family. I feel privileged and honoured to have worked along side such an outstanding human being.

The team will honour his memory with work we will continue to do in Haiti.

Spencer, you will be missed.

– Andrew