Nominee: Dr. Edward Smith
Nominator: Riley Callen
Date of Nomination: 9/1/2016
Description of Bravery!
Dr. Smith is one of the bravest individuals I have ever met. He set a goal as a teenager to make a difference in the lives of individuals affected by brain tumors. Today, he is saving lives as a brilliant, kind, and incredibly humble neurosurgeon and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital. I asked him to share his story here.
Dr. Smith – “I chose to become a pediatric neurosurgeon after I witnessed my close friend, Seth, struggle with a brain tumor when we were in high school together in Southeastern Massachusetts. At the time, I knew nothing about medicine, with no doctors in my family or exposure to serious illness. Seth was treated for his disease at Boston Children’s Hospital and – while he ultimately lost his life to the tumor a few years later as we started college – he won the battle for bravery in the face of adversity. He served as an inspiration to me – and to all that knew him – during his all-too-short life. As a consequence of seeing Seth battle his disease, I was drawn to the idea of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon, focused on the goal of treating brain tumors and vascular disease. My role model was the chair of neurosurgery at Boston Children’s, Dr. R. Michael Scott, and I made it my goal to “be like Mike.” Through a combination of lots of hard work – and even more good luck – I was fortunate to be hired by Mike Scott as a pediatric neurosurgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, where I remain on staff today. I have dedicated my professional efforts to working on curing these diseases, both in the operating room and also in the laboratory. The bravery that Seth embodied has fueled my drive to work on helping other children like Seth to the best of my ability.”
“Bravery to me is continuing to persevere – and help others – even when you know that there is nothing left in it for oneself. Bravery to me is realized every single day in the children – and parents – that I treat.”
Dr. Edward Smith