Dr. Donald Liu, chief of pediatric surgery at U of Chicago Children’s Hospital was at Lake Michigan with his family and friends when two boys, part of his entourage, got caught in rough water. Without listening to his frantic children who warned Liu not to go in, he plunged into the water to grab the kids. The kids made it back to shore. Liu got caught in the swells and currents.
When rescuers grabbed Liu and brought him back to shore, his doc wife performed mouth-to-mouth, but it was too late and he was gone.
Quite an irony, that this hero doc, who lived to save kids’ lives in the operating room, was faced with the chance to save lives in the open water. His colleagues said he was just that kind of guy and they know he would have done it again in an instant.
What would you do? I’m a pretty good swimmer and I’d like to think if I saw a couple of kids in danger I’d dive in, unless someone restrained me or there were a nearby lifeguard.
Sad part of the story is that Liu has three beautiful kids and a lovely wife who are heartbroken. And countless kids he would have saved over the coming years.
His wife said, “He wore scrubs all the time. He would have gotten married in scrubs if he could.” And then she went on to say, “It was meant to be.”
I know the Olympians are champs, but to me, Dr. Donald Liu deserves even more gold than Michael Phelps. He’s the ultimate American hero. Hats off to you, doc.