A Brother, A Son, A Father

6 Jan

by Dr. Ryan Bozof

All three of those describe me.  I am a brother to Evan Bozof, who lost his life to bacterial meningitis at the age of 20.  Being just 13 months apart in age, I not only lost my brother, I lost my best friend.  Evan and I both wanted to be doctors, and his passing made me more determined to make that dream come through, for both of us.  The day I graduated med school, I said a silent “We did it” to my brother.  I can only hope that he heard.  I grieved terribly after my brother died, and I could see that pain mirrored in my parents’ faces.  I felt vulnerable, because if something happened to me, then my parents would have no one.  When my parents would break down in tears, I was helpless to ease their pain. All of a sudden, I was an “only child,” but had not been brought up as an only child.   I could only understand my grief at losing a brother, and that grief was devastating.  But,  now that I am a parent to three healthy children, I can better understand my parents’ grief and  the fear of  a parent losing a child.   As a doctor, I encourage all of my patients to stay current with their immunizations.  I know the consequences that can happen when you don’t, or when you don’t know that a vaccine is available.   There is just so much outside of our control, but we can take advantage of vaccines.  They are medical miracles, and parents who don’t vaccinate or who don’t vaccinate according to the recommended schedule are not only endangering their children, they are endangering the lives of other children.  My brother didn’t get a second chance, to go back and get vaccinated for meningitis.  When he died, he was gone.  As parents, siblings, sons, we need to all do our part in being healthy, and vaccinations are important for people in every age group, from infants through the elderly.  Make sure that the people you care about are protected.

2 Responses to “A Brother, A Son, A Father”

  1. Ashley January 15, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am sure you make a difference in the lives of all of your patients.

  2. article mania January 20, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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