“Not on my shift”

This, from NBC News, is very cool:

Brain surgeon walked six miles during snowstorm for emergency operation

by Becky Bratu, staff writer, NBC News

Not a snowstorm, a traffic jam or a daunting six-mile walk through fresh powder could stop an Alabama neurosurgeon from getting to the hospital where he was needed for emergency surgery.

Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw had to travel from Birmingham’s Brookwood Medical Center to Trinity Medical Center to perform the operation Tuesday, but a sudden snowstorm had snarled all traffic, with thousands of drivers getting stranded for hours.

Authorities in Alabama had declared a state of emergency only for the southern half of the state, leaving out hard-hit Birmingham and sending available equipment the other way.

Getting to the hospital by car would’ve been nearly impossible.

Instead, the neurosurgeon decided to make the trek by foot.

“It really wasn’t that big of a deal,” Hrynkiw said Thursday. “I walk a lot, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

He said he left Brookwood  around 10:45 a.m. ET — and by 12:45 p.m. he was already operating on the patient.

And the good doctor said he was even able to receive the patient’s CT scan via text message while walking toward the hospital.

The emergency surgery was for a traumatic brain injury and Hrynkiw is Trinity’s only brain surgeon, according to The Associated Press.

“He had a 90 percent chance of death,” Hrynkiw said. “If he didn’t have surgery, he’d be dead. It’s not going to happen on my shift,” he added.

“Without the surgery, the patient would have most likely died,” Steve Davis, charge nurse in the neuro-intensive care unit at Trinity, told the AP. “But he is doing well.”

Google Maps estimates the distance Hrynkiw walked at around six miles.

“This just speaks volumes to the dedication of the man,” Davis said. “When I saw him, all I could say is ‘you are a good man.’”

Video here.

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Reading the signs of the times

The USSCB’s Labor Day 2013 statement:

The current [income] imbalances are not inevitable, but demand boldness in promoting a just economy that reduces inequality by creating jobs that pay a living wage and share with workers some profits of the company. It also requires ensuring a strong safety net for jobless workers and their families and those who are incapable of work. As individuals and families, as the Church, as community organizations, as businesses, as government, we all have a responsibility to promote the dignity of work and to honor workers’ rights.

Since the end of the Civil War, unions have been an important part of our economy because they provide protections for workers and more importantly a way for workers to participate in company decisions that affect them. Catholic teaching has consistently affirmed the right of workers to choose to form a union. The rise in income inequality has mirrored a decline in union membership. Unions, like all human institutions, are imperfect, and they must continue to reform themselves so they stay focused on the important issues of living wages and appropriate benefits, raising the minimum wage, stopping wage theft, standing up for safe and healthy working conditions, and other issues that promote the common good. The Church, in accord with her principles on the life and dignity of the human person, wishes to collaborate with unions in securing the rights and dignity of workers.

Private enterprises, at their best, create decent jobs, contribute to the common good, and pay just wages. Ethical and moral business leaders know that it is wrong to chase profits and success at the expense of workers’ dignity. They know that they have a vocation to build the kind of solidarity that honors the worker and the least among us. They remember that the economy is “for people.” They know that great harm results when they separate their faith or human values from their work as business leaders.

Full text here.

Pope Francis, yesterday, on the situation in Syria:

[B]rothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.

On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.

Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace.

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us! [Off-script: Let’s all say it together: Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!]

Full text here.