Thursday, January 14, 2016

One man's life...

"Let he who has eyes..."
     After easing the pain and suffering of untold thousands, my long time friend and healer Dr. Nabil El Sinadi ended his life with two self-inflicted gun shot wounds on a South Florida afternoon a week ago today (1/17/16).
   "So it goes."
   Yesterday, six days after Nabil's suicide, more than a thousand folks gathered in the cavernous bowels of Fort Lauderdale's First Baptist Church to honor the good doctor's life and legacy.
   At the end, the good doctor had risen through the often profit-driven ranks of his profession to become the Chief Executive Officer of the North Broward Hospital (dba Broward Health) - the tenth largest public health care system in the nation and the epicenter of indigent care in Florida's second largest county.  
 Aside from a moving and profoundly personal eulogy from his daughter, Nabil's legacy was recalled by four men in suits and uniforms - each a seriously official representative from church and state.
   One among the host of sick and suffering whose pain Nabil sought to ease.
   And so it is my honor to offer a loving tribute* from a local EMS technician who worked side by side with Nabil to give care and comfort to a nameless host of South Florida's sick and suffering.
    by Megan Thompson, CCEMTP
    I met him (Nabil) when I first started working at the hospital (Board General Medical Center)  as an ER tech in 2010, fresh out of paramedic school. 
     When I first met him I was intimidated. I had heard of him before and that he was very well-respected in his field. (He was) Very tall, and broad, appeared confident.
      My anxiety was placated by his genuine smile, kind eyes, firm handshake.  He welcomed me to the team.
      I had the privilege of working side by side with him in the ER.
     When our (ER) department was over-flowing with patients and it seemed like I just couldn't keep up, he would
remind me that I could and keep up the good work. That motivated me to work harder and smarter. I didn't want to let him down.
      He treated us at Broward Health with such compassion.          
      He believed in us and the work we were doing.
      We felt like we were making a difference.
      He was such a good man and humble, always asking about my family and my kids. If I ever needed anything, he was always willing to help if he could. 
      Suicide is such a sad thing.  It's hard to reach out for help when all you see is darkness around you. 
      Especially in my field, we put down others for having depression or other forms of mental illness. 
       I don't know why we do it, maybe some of us are ignorant, or just don't care, maybe we try to blend in with the crowd. (In) denial with our own illness, afraid of the repercussions   
     This is very sad. Not only is it the  cold hard truth of our (health care) field we work in, but the world we live in today.
     It's shocking, but you never know what people are going through. We tend to invalidate others thinking they just shouldn't "feel" that way because of (their) success, respect,  money... whatever the case..."Oh just get over it, you'll be fine, others have it much worse than you".
   Whatever he (Nabil) was feeling, it was reality to him.    
    We need to our eyes and hearts without judgment and accept people for all that they are. 
    As a society, we need to stop stigmatizing (mental illness).     
    It's a shame we have to hide parts of ourselves for fear of criticism.
   But to show a "flaw" like depression or other mental illness is frowned upon?
   They question your capabilities and begin to pick you apart.
   (Nabil) had compassion for others and was there for us.
   But were we there for him?
   If he had opened up, would we have still looked at him the same?

    Fair Question.
   NOTE: In the interest of full-disclosure,  I have struggled with a diagnosis of depression for most of my life. 
                           *Slightly edited for clarity

1 comment:

  1. I realize as I write this on July 17, 2018 that my comments are distant from the time the above article was written. However, I too wanted to finally share some of my thoughts about Nabil and my past association and friendship with him.

    I met Nabil in Cleveland around 1984 when I went to work at Suburban Hospital. He was a contract E.D. doctor and soon after we met, we became fast friends. We spent much time together and I recall many specifics about him and our activities - driving around Cleveland, checking out the awesome view of his house that bordered Lake Erie, playing racquetball, his visits to my house and his most tender kisses that he proffered on my young children, his kindness and support of the E.D. staff, his eyes misting with the remembrance of past E.D. situations when he could not save his patience.

    I never made it to Nabil's wedding in NJ despite promising him that I would be there, I think that was in 1986, as it occurred during the time when I was moving my family to New Hampshire having taken a new job at a hospital there.

    Among the biggest three regrets of my life are 1) not having had the chance to meet and know Nabil's family in Cleveland, 2) having missed his wedding back in 1986(?), and the biggest regret of my life, not staying in touch with him after I left Cleveland.

    Following him on-line and reading, and celebrating, his career successes was something I so enjoyed doing. And, I can offer no reason for not following up with him those many years. I think that perhaps my failure to appear at his wedding in NJ stood in my way. And now, that opportunity to reconnect and re-share that close friendship can never be recaptured.

    I hope that my friend Nabil has found peace. He was one of the most caring and exceptional person that I have ever met in my life. And, my life was so enriched by him

    If anybody desires to contact me for any information related to Nabil's time in Cleveland during 1985-1986, you are welcomed to contact me at