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August 13, 2007 - Image 19

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-08-13

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The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2007 {7

Transplant team thought dead

'U' mourns loss of crash victims

By JESSICA VOSGERCHIAN
Managing News Editor
June 5, 2007 - No one from the
University Hospital's organ recov-
ery team whose plane crashed into
Lake Michigan Monday is thought
to have survived, the University
announced today.
The team was returning from
Milwaukee, Wisc. with organs for a
transplant patient in the University
Health System when its Marlin Air
Cessna Citation plunged into 57-
degree water minutes after the pilot
called in an emergency.
The Coast Guard confirmed that
human remains and debris from the
aircraft were found about six miles
northeast of Milwaukee.
Coast Guard Capt. Bruce Jones
estimated the plane's speed at 185
to 190 mph and said people could
survive for 16 hours in water of that
temperature.
The University identified the
members of the team as Martinus
Spoor, a cardiac surgeon who had
worked at the University Hospi-
tal since 2003; David Ashburn, a
physician-in-training in cardiotho-
racic surgery; transplant specialists
Richard Chenault and Richard Lap-

ensee; and Marlin Air pilots Bill
Serra and Dennis Hoyes.
University President Mary
Sue Coleman and Vice President
of Medical Affairs Robert Kelch
spoke at a press conference today
about the change of the rescue
mission to one aimed at recovering
the victims' bodies.
"It is particularly difficult when
a place of hope such as ours loses
hope,"Kelch said.
Kelch said surgery for the male
patient who was to receive the
transplant organs began before the
plane took off from Milwaukee, but
was aborted after the accident.
The plane crashed during a 42-
minute flightcfrom General Mitchell
International Airport in Milwaukee
to Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti.
Marlin is the University's jet
contractor for Survival Flight trips
of more than 200 miles and the
pilots had frequently flown organ
recovery missions.
Each year, Survival Flight trans-
ports by helicopter and fixed-wing
jet about 150 organ donations and
1,200 patients to the University.
- The Associated Press
contributed to this report

ByEMILY BARTON
Daily News Editor
June 5, 2007 - Medical student
Carlan Wendler remembers phy-
sician-in-training David Ashburn
as someone who was always quick
to laugh.
"He was one of the friendliest
surgeons I have run into," he said.
Wendler worked with Ashburn
for part of his medical school
training this past March in the
thoracic service department,
which specializes in chest sur-
geries.
Ashburn was an avid hunter, he
said, and was known to demon-
strate his turkey call in the middle
of the operating room.
"He was the kind of person we
all want to be like when we grow
up into doctors," Wendler said.
Ashburn, along with transplant
specialists Richard Chenault and
Richard Lapensee and cardiac
surgeon Martinus Spoor, was a
part of the transplant team that
was returning to Ann Arbor from
Milwaukee when their plane
crashed into Lake Michigan late
Monday afternoon.
Jeffrey Punch, director of the

University Hospital's transplant
program, said Chenault was "the
kind ofguy thatceveryone liked and
trusted." He said Chenault was
often put in charge of approach-
ing families about donating their
loved ones' organs.
Chenault was also the girls
cross-country and track and field
coach at Fr. Gabriel Richard High
School of Ann Arbor.
Punch described Lapensee as
fairly quiet and always conscien-
tious. He said he also worked as a
fireman and enjoyed flying.
Spoor was completing his Mas-
ter's degree in clinical research,
said Biostatistics Prof Rod Little.
Little was impressed by Spoor's
integrity and dedication, he said.
Recent medical school graduate
Hilary Roeder worked with Spoor
in June 2006 as part of her medi-
cal school training.
Roeder said he served as a
mentor to her and her fellow
classmates, often allowing them
to participate in surgical proce-
dures.
She said he was always pleasant
and willing to help, even when she
would call at 3 a.m. with an emer-
gency situation.

Timeline of the Day
7:30 a.m.: The transplant team was notified
of its flight from Michigan to Milwaukee.
10:30 a.m.: The team met and drove to Wil-
low Run Airport in Ypsilanti as the pilots read-
ied the plane.
11 a.m.: The Marlin Air Cessna jet took off
for Milwaukee, where the team traveled to a
hospital.
12:30 p.m.: Spoor began the process of
removing the organs from the donor. Spoor
and Ashburn decided the organs were accept-
able for transplantation.
2:45 p.m.: Surgeons at the University Hospi-
tal began to prepare the recipient for surgery.
5 p.m.: The team packaged the organs and
left to board the plane, which left General
Mitchell International Airport at 5:45 p.m.
5:45 p.m.: The plane left General Mitchell
International Airport. About five minutes later,
it crashed into Lake Michigan after the pilot
signaled an emergency.
sOURCE: Darrell Campbell, chief of clinical
affairs at the University Health System in a
conference cal lJune 5.

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