Letters to Campus Community
Survival Flight Crash
June 5, 2007
To the Campus Community:
Our hearts are broken by the devastating and irreplaceable loss of six members of the Survival Flight transplant team.
Every day, the doctors, nurses and flight personnel of Survival Flight do heroic work in saving the lives of others, and that is how we will remember those who perished in Monday’s tragedy—as selfless heroes.
There is no greater act than that of saving a life, and through our grief, we take comfort in knowing these six men died in the service of a fellow human being.
Please hold in your hearts David Ashburn, M.D., a fellow (physician-in-training) in cardiothoracic surgery; Richard Chenault II, a transplant donation specialist with the U-M Transplant Program; Dennis Hoyes, a Marlin air pilot; Rick Lapensee, a transplant donation specialist with the U-M Transplant Program; Bill Serra, a Marlin air pilot; and Martinus (Martin) Spoor, M.D., a cardiac surgeon who had been on the U-M faculty since 2003.
Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and colleagues. We are taking every measure possible to comfort and support those most affected by this loss.
We also have in our prayers the transplant patient and the patient’s family during this extremely difficult time.
A tragedy of this magnitude affects every corner of our campus. Please know that counseling services are available for faculty, students and staff. For assistance, faculty and staff may contact the Health System’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 763-5409 or the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP) at 936-8660. Students may contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 764-8312.
We have postponed several celebratory events associated with the opening of the Cardiovascular Center that were scheduled for this evening and Wednesday.
As we move forward as a community, let us always remember the hope and selflessness that guided the work of these six individuals. It is the very best reminder of the values we hold as an institution.
Mary Sue Coleman