Archive for October 21, 2012

Your Startup Is Only One of Many Obligations

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Rules of Thumb

“Fifty years of experience have taught me that admission to an academic hospital is not restful.  I have stopped counting the patients who want to be discharged to get some rest.”
Dr. Michael Levitt “When a Daughter Dies

Steven Levitt turned his blog over to a moving essay by his father, Dr. Michael Levitt on the last days of Linda Levitt Jines, sister to Steven and daughter to Michael.  The account is detailed and well worth reading, it concludes:

The purpose of this brief chronicle is not to criticize the practice of medicine. While I had several  disagreements with non-physicians, the physicians who cared for my daughter, without exception, were very understanding and gave freely of their time.  Each did everything possible  to deal with her  enormously  aggressive malignancy.   Rather, I have attempted to relate  the experiences of  a father/physician as he watches his daughter die of cancer.   Her course was a testament to the limitations of medical care.  In this era of molecular biology, the most valuable medication was morphine, a drug that has been available for almost 200 years.

Although painful, I am capable of describing the events of my daughter’s illness.  When I try to describe my despair and grief, words fail.

Linda Levitt Jines died on August 29, 2012: it was less than a month from her first symptoms of an unsteady gait and 20 days from her initial diagnosis based on an MRI.  Her family was able to spend time with her and to provide what comfort and companionship that they could during that time.

Startup entrepreneurs can get caught up in their obligations of getting a new business moving and a new product successfully established in the marketplace. Meeting family obligations and keeping up with old friends can get postponed in the tyranny of the urgent, especially if you are bootstrapping. Whether it’s an accident, a stroke, a heart attack, etc…death can arrive without warning.

Don’t wait to reconnect with folks who have made a difference in your life.


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