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Norman McSwain, MD, FACS

Gross, Ronald Ronald.Gross at baystatehealth.org
Mon Aug 17 13:52:23 BST 2015

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to share with you the images and thoughts from the memorial service and internment for our lost teacher, mentor and friend, Norman E. McSwain, Jr. MD, FACS.  On more than one occasion yesterday, Dr. McSwain was referred to as the Tsa-La-Gi, or Medicine Man, and as a giant whose legacy will be thought of and recounted in many ways by many people.  The speakers all spoke about his innumerable accomplishments and awards, the many talks and publications he will be remembered for, as well as the countless lives he touched with his hands and through the hands of the EMS providers that have benefited from his PHTLS course.  But Lance Stuke, MD said it best when he told of his first encounter with the revered Tsa-La-Gi; Lance was a paramedic, and he brought in a trauma patient that passed away from a lethal GSW to the chest.  Lance Stuke was standing in the trauma bay watching the team try to save this man’s life by cracking his chest.  When it was all over, Dr. McSwain looked at the then paramedic and asked, “What are you doing here?”.  Stuke thought that he was in deep trouble, but at that moment Dr. McSwain did what he has done for his entire life – he changed on man’s life one man at a time; he brought Mr. Stuke over to the gurney and started to teach him what had just happened and why.  It was at that moment in time that Mr. Stuke decided he was going to be a physician, and more than that, he was going to be a trauma surgeon.  Dr. Stuke is now very much involved and imbedded in the PHTLS program, and he was Norman’s partner, friend and colleague to the day that Norman died.

And so I will ask what Dr. McSwain asked each and every person as he would greet him or her - “ What have you done for the good of mankind today?”.

God Bless you Norman, God Bless Merry, and God Bless all who you touched with your grace, your knowledge, your wit, and most of all, your caring and your love.  And for those of you who wonder about Dr. McSwain’s impish wit, just take a close look at image 1024 and you will see just what I mean.

We have lost a true giant in spirit only for his teaching and his love of his fellow man will survive in all of us who remember him!

Ronald I. Gross, MD, FACS
Chief, Division of Trauma, Acute Care Surgery & Surgical Critical Care
Baystate Medical Center
Associate Professor of Surgery
Tufts University School of Medicine
Ronald.gross at baystatehealth.org

Please view our annual report at http://baystatehealth.org/annualreport

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