When heavy snow or bad weather hits, everyone gathers around the television to check if they have to go to school or work. With some professions, missing a day or two will not hurt anyone, but with others, like doctors, that is not the case.
Atlanta barely gets snow, so when they were bombarded with snow and ice on January 18, it prevented one doctor from driving to work. Dr. Dean McKenzie is a chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and a day out of work means patients do not get treated.
But Dr. McKenzie did not allow the weather to stop him.
In order to get to work, Dr. McKenzie walked a mile through the snow, the hospital shared on Facebook, alongside a photograph of Dr. McKenzie holding one of his patients, Madden.
When icy roads prevented Dr. McKenzie, our Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, from driving to work yesterday, he walked a…
Laura Beckwith is Madden’s mom, and when she heard that Dr. McKenzie had braved the elements to get into work, she was not surprised.
“When I heard that he walked, I immediately was like, ‘Of course he did,” she told Inside Edition. “It exemplifies the type of person he is.”
Beckwith’s son, Madden, has congenital heart disease, which Dr. McKenzie has been treating. He performed open heart surgery on Madden in December, and she knew when she first met the doctor that he was a great guy.
“Something about his presence made us trust him with our son’s life,” Beckwith said.
“When everyone else is calling out, he walked to work. It spoke volumes about his character.”
Dr. McKenzie understands how important his job is and went out his way to get to his patients. His patients are lucky, and indeed, in an outpouring of love, many of them commented on the hospital’s Facebook post to express their thanks to him for his dedication.
“There is no doubt in my mind he would do this to be with his patients. May 12, 1999 he saved our oldest daughter at Texas Children’s Hospital. She just celebrated her 19th birthday. We will never forget Dr M,” wrote the mother of one of his former patients.
“Thank you Dr McKenzie you are the best …. You saved my son’s life,” wrote another.
Another commenter shared how Dr. McKenzie had overcome weather-related obstacles to perform his duty before when he worked at a hospital in Texas.
“During Tropical Storm Alison, TCH hospital was flooded and powered by generators. He rode his bike and waded through flooded waters to get to the hospital. He saved our son’s life on more than 1 occasion.”
Many former colleagues were moved to express their admiration for the doctor.
“He is one of the greatest and nicest Cardiac Surgeons I worked with,” wrote a former colleague.
“That’s the kind of man he is. I worked for him at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Awesome guy,” wrote another.