Court - What I shared with the fellow that changed our lives

The following information is what I shared with the teen that struck me in August 2004 at his sentencing in January 2005. This was both given to him verbally and in the form of a letter, so that he could have time to fully process the information shared. I was able to go to court that day to share a bit about myself with him, not out of bitterness - as you will read, but out of sincere hope that he indeed would be able to change his life - to make something beautiful come of it.
Most unfortunately, to date that has not been the case....

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The Story - life changed in an instant

Variable, and therefore miserable condition of man! This minute I was well, and am ill this minute. I am surprised with a sudden change and alteration to worse. We study health, and we deliberate upon our meats, and drink, and air, and exercises, and we hew and we polish every stone that goes to that building; and so our health is a long and a regular work: but in a minute a cannon batters all, overthrows all, demolishes all; a sickness unprevented for all our diligence, unsuspected for all our curiosity; nay, undeserved, summons us, seizes us, possesses us, destroys us in an instant.
John Donne, 1623
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

John Donne penned these remarks after he was struck by a sudden, then often deadly influenza nearly 400 years ago. Yet even as an Emergency Physician well acquainted with the frailty of life in my 16 years and over 50,000 patient visit experiences, nothing really could prepare me for what would strike me on August 23rd 2004.... Continue Reading...