There are days when if you’re not fortunate enough to work from home in your pajamas and cozy slippers, you have to brave an unpleasant trek to your job in nasty weather. This means cleaning off your car and warming it to a bearable temperature where your hands won’t feel like icicles. Packing a lunch or at least a hot drink to sip on your drive in. Oh and making sure your mobile device is charged in case you run out of gas. But smart driver you are, you have a full tank of fuel already.
Sometimes though, you don’t have a choice but to call off work. You could be snowed inside your home. rains could have flooded your basement. You could experience all manner of problems to prevent you from getting to work. Last week, while the city of Atlanta was inundated with snow and ice, one doctor refused to be kept from his job of tending to the children who needed him.
Dr. Dean McKenzie is chief of cardiothoracic surgery at children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Despite the treacherous conditions, Dr. McKenzie walked a mile to get to work.
“When I heard that he walked, I immediately was like, ‘Of course he did,’” said Laura Beckwith, whose son is one of Dr. McKenzie’s patients.
“It exemplifies the type of person he is.”
This patient’s mother wasn’t the only one impressed with the doctor’s fortitude. The hospital posted this on its social media: When icy roads prevented Dr. McKenzie, our Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, from driving to work yesterday, he walked a mile through snow and ice to get to the hospital. Thank you to the men and women on our staff who made it possible to continue with surgeries, procedures, and exams as winter weather swirled outside this week!”
The good doctor understands how crucial it is for operations to continue. Especially when it concerns the health of children. What a great man to not let anything get in his way.
I remember as a child having to endure surgery a few times. I was always nervous, and a bit scared beforehand. I appreciate Dr. McKenzie’s consideration for his patients and their families. Any sort of heart surgery can be stressful. It doesn’t help if these operations were to be postponed because of the weather.
During the rough climate in Atlanta last week, schools were closed along with nonessential government offices. Hospitals remained open. Beckwith’s son, Madden, has congenital heart disease and Dr. McKenzie performed open heart surgery on him last month. She said she met the doctor at 28 weeks and something about him made her choose him as their physician: “Something about his presence made us trust him with our son’s life,” Beckwith said.
She posted a picture of her son with Dr. Mckenzie together after hearing about his journey on foot to the hospital. “When everyone else is calling out, he walked to work. It spoke volumes about his character,” Beckwith added.
We have to agree. Dr. McKenzie must love his job if he doesn’t hesitate to bundle up and walk to work. His patients are truly lucky to be under his care.