Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dr. Mark Ray McIlwain: A True Hero

The President has declared this a day of prayer in Alabama, and so it should be. While every Sunday should be observed as such, we who are living and have homes and families intact need to offer up extra thanks this Lord's Day and extra supplications for those who were not so lucky.

Dr. Mark R. McIlwain is a Colbert County maxillofacial/plastic surgeon; as such he was one of the first responders to the Phil Campbell area last Wednesday. Even for those experienced in such calamities, triage can be a dicey proposition and not for the faint of heart. Dr. McIlwain was faced with images he will carry with him for the rest of his life...and those whom he helped will carry his name and face in their hearts for the rest of theirs.

At this time the casualty count in Phil Campbell alone is 29, and it could still rise. Mary Carton posted one of the most moving tales we have read in her Facebook:
Dr. McIlwain was one of the first responders there. He said a Dad brought his 4 yr old for him to check on. After cleaning him up, he told him I'm sorry he's dead. The Dad carried the boy off & came back 4 more times asking him to check 1 more time to be sure.
We don't know Dr. McIlwain personally, but for this man, under extreme stress and pressure to help the living, to offer such compassion truly makes him our local hero. Thank you, Dr. McIlwain, for being with those Franklin Countians when they needed you.

Today is May Day. If you haven't yet remembered your mother or other loved ones with a May Basket of Flowers, it isn't too late to do so. This past week has brought home just how unsure our lives can be.