I received this email from the PRNeuroscience list and wanted to share it with you. Although I didn't know this student, it is a tragic loss of a young neuroscientist from Dr. Gregory Kirk's Lab at Ponce School of Medicine:
"From: Forum for MFP Neuroscience Fellows on behalf of Austin-Dailey, Andrew
Sent: Mon 8/28/2006 12:43 PM
Subject: [MFP_NEURO] Tragic Drowning of DPN Fellow
Dear DPN Fellows, Alumni, and Friends,
Below is a compilation of e-mail messages from Drs. Kenira Thompson and Sandra Peña de Ortiz:
Iván Vidal-González passed away Friday in a tragic accident. He drowned at the beach in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Iván was a fifth year doctoral student at the University of Puerto Rico's Ponce School of Medicine. He was in his second year of DPN support and was so proud to be a Fellow! He was also a previous SPINES Fellow.
Iván worked in Dr. Gregory Quirk's lab for almost 7 years (since he was a MARC undergraduate student). As all of those who had the pleasure of talking and interacting with him know, Iván had a special spark that made him special and difficult to forget.
This is what happened: Iván's girlfriend (of 6 yrs), Marta, was going to U Michigan on Monday to do a PhD in Immunology. He took the afternoon off from the lab on Friday to spend the day with her at the beach. Marta couldn't swim and they were not far from shore, but apparently the current was strong and they were pushed away from shore. When Iván realized how far they were, he swam to push Marta towards the shore. Apparently he managed to get her near the shore and a woman helped her out, but the current pushed him farther away and then they lost sight of him. He surfaced about 5 mins later and was already dead. He drowned but saved his girlfriend. That was so like Iván!
We are planning a memorial for this week. Everyone is pitching in to help his parents offset funeral costs. They have 3 other kids and not a lot of money. Greg is thinking of organizing a fundraiser later on to establish a scholarship in Iván's name at Ponce School of Medicine (or something like that).
Iván had a lot of friends here, but he touched people wherever he went. He was the pride and joy of his family. He was a first-generation college student, and took such pride in his work. He was a great student, a great guy, and a good friend to all of us here. Most of all, he was so proud of his family and of being Puerto Rican.
This is a terrible tragedy and loss, not only for his family, friends, and colleagues, but also for Puerto Rico Neuroscience, for our DPN program, and Neuroscience as a whole.
We'll keep you posted regarding further details. There will also be an opportunity to remember Iván in the DPN newsletter. Please remember Iván's family, friends, and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers.
Andrew T. Austin-Dailey, MDiv
Minority Fellowship Program
American Psychological Association "