The Friday Four seeks to highlight some of the people behind some of the interesting stories I stumble upon during my daily search for relevant content. Without further ado, here’s the second installment…
1. Derrick Rose -- There’s something unsettling about situation where a uniquely talented performer is unable to use his or her one-of-a-kind gifts and skills to entertain because some circumstance prevents it. This unsettling feeling is only made worse if there is even the smallest chance this individual’s natural gifts and skills are lost or diminished due to the unfortunate circumstance. These thoughts came to mind when I heard one of my favorite athletes, NBA star and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, suffered his second serious knee injury in two years late last week. Rose, who missed the entire 2012-13 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during the 2012 playoffs, tore the medial meniscus in his right knee last Friday night. He underwent a successful surgical procedure Monday and will be sidelined for the remainder of this NBA season. Rose is a player blessed with both incredible athleticism and basketball acumen, and it’s hard to watch him play and think there’s anything he can’t do on the court. While modern medicine allows surgeons to quickly and effectively address all sorts of athletic injuries and allow for players to resume their playing careers faster than ever, it’s impossible not to wonder if Rose will ever truly be the same basketball player again. No one knows for sure, and all Rose’s fans can do is hope and wait that he makes a full recovery. It’s that fact that makes Rose’s situation so disconcerting.
2. Jayant Patel -- I find it difficult to believe a surgeon once accused killing as many as 13 patients through botched operations is not behind bars, but not much about Jayant Patel’s story makes sense. An Australian court gave Patel, an American surgeon, a two-year suspended prison sentence last week for lying to get a job in a public hospital and allowed him to walk free. It seems Patel had failed to declare that the U.S. states of Oregon and New York had placed restrictions on him from performing certain types of surgical procedures, and he continued performing those operations in Australia. However, what’s truly interesting is that prosecutors chose to drop a pair of manslaughter charges and two counts of causing grievous bodily harm, all of which were related to past treatment of patients. It should be noted that an Australian government investigation initially found that Patel may have directly contributed to 13 patient deaths. Wow… Just… Wow… It’s a truly unbelievable story. That’s about all I can say. Let’s just move on.
3. Andy Sommers -- There are uncommon surgical procedures, and there’s the one performed on Andy Sommers last week. The 17-year-old Seattle teen suffered a burned right hand (among other injuries, including a collapsed lung, broken bones, and other second-and third-degree burns) in an October car accident. The procedure called for a surgeon to temporarily tuck and sew Sommers’ hand into an opening into his stomach. The director of the burn center explained the surgery helped the growth of healthy tissue on the patient’s damaged hand. Honestly, I’ve never heard of such a procedure being done before. Photos related to the story can be found here. Simply amazing.
4. Gail Sandidge -- I was saddened to see a nurse was killed and four people were injured Tuesday when a stabbing attack occurred at a medical complex in East Texas. Gail Sandidge, the nurse who was killed, was an employee of Longview's Ambulatory Surgical Center of Good Shepherd Medical Center for approximately 35 years. A 22-year-old Longview man was charged with murder in the stabbings. According to an Associated Press story, Kyron Rayshawn Templeton was at the facility with his mother when he allegedly “went on a knife-slashing rampage.” He apparently fled the scene and was caught nearby and taken into custody after a brief struggle. However, one detail about this story struck a chord with me. According to a Longview police spokesperson, it is not known what led to the attack. That’s difficult for me to accept in the wake of a tragedy taking place. If there’s an identifiable reason, that means steps can be taken to try to prevent it from happening again. However, that is not the case here. Furthermore, I consider a hospital to be a place where those in danger of physical harm due to injury and illness go to seek asylum from that danger. Simply stated, I think of a hospital – any hospital – as a safe place. Stories like this one serve to remind me no place is ever completely safe at all times.