Friday, October 27, 2006

The Vagaries of Fame

A moving tribute to my friend and mentor, Don Hillman, appeared in a national newspaper recently covering his colourful life dedicated to international health. A short part of the story I wrote in my blog Remembering Don is quoted.

Dr. Borneo Breezes*, "a former colleague at Newfoundland's Janeway Hospital, described how Dr. Hillman helped her deal with a case of child abuse in Davis Inlet. The community had expected the child's parents to be arrested but instead they continued to be at large. He "heard me out and asked a few pertinent questions. He seemed to appreciate what a miscarriage of justice this would be and how devastating [it would be] in this small community. Then he asked, 'What can I do?' I was so taken aback, I was, for a short minute, speechless. I had been hearing so many versions of, 'It really isn't my problem' that I was totally unprepared for someone who cared."

I was pleased to have the journalist use my story, chuffed even. Central to the story, however, was the fact that there was no child abuse happening. We managed, through Dr. Hillman's high level intervention, to put a stop to having parents who did not abuse their child, hauled out of a remote community and charged with doing it. And we managed to avert this horrid outcome before anyone in the community got wind of it.

* Actually they used my real name, but my anonymity has only ever been skin deep on this blog so I am going to continue as if they hadn't.

What do you think, was I that unclear about what happened?



Blogger TheTundraPA said...

You were not at all unclear on that point. The journalist simply did not do his/her homework well enough, or was lazy in the synopsis. Or perhaps had an editor whose clumsy use of the blue pencil shifted the focus inaccurately. Certainly a cause for mixed emotions. I would rather have someone leave me out than get me wrong.

4:37 PM  

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