David Hines: a dedicated colleague who loved helping others
David Hines thrilled at flying, thrived on challenge and loved helping people. He died in a helicopter crash early Monday morning along with Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon Luis Bonilla, M.D., and pilot E. Hoke Smith. They were flying from St. Augustine, Fla., to Gainesville, Fla., to retrieve a donor heart and transport it to a transplant recipient waiting at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. (story continues below video…)
Colleagues say Mr. Hines was a selfless man with an easy smile who cared deeply about his family and his coworkers. He often said he had the best job in the world and called transplant team members his second family. “It was never about him; it was always about our patients, his teammates, everyone he worked with,” says Linda Boso, his supervisor. “He was a very caring and giving individual who would do anything for anybody.”
Transplant nurse Thomas Mulligan says Mr. Hines was “always ready to help, anything you needed help with, he would do it,” even crawling in a co-workers attic to fix something. “He was real handy,” says Mulligan. “I don’t think there was a co-worker’s house he hadn’t done some work on.”
He brought that same caring attitude to his work as an organ procurement technician, a person who assists a surgeon in procuring an organ and helps keep it viable. “He was always ready to go,” says Mulligan. “Anytime I was on call, he’d say ‘Call me, I’ll go; I want to go’.”
“David was a very valuable member of our Florida transplant team,” says Justin Nguyen, M.D., chair of Transplant Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
Courteous, kind, dedicated and hard working are words used repeatedly by colleagues describing Mr. Hines.
“He was never afraid to go the extra mile to get the job done, and he never hesitated to help out any of his colleagues,” says Dr. Nguyen. “David exemplified all of the Mayo values by continually placing the patients’ interests above all else. He will be missed dearly by all of us.”
Mr. Hines, 57, trained as a medical services specialist with trauma management experience in the Air Force. He spent almost 30 years as an emergency trauma technician in the Air Force National Guard and retired as a master sergeant from the Florida Air National Guard in 2006. He was deputy rescue chief for the volunteer fire department in Solomons Island, Md., for three years before joining St. Luke’s Hospital in Jacksonville as an emergency room technician in 1999. At St. Luke’s, he worked as a patient care technician and an anesthesia technician before transferring to Mayo Clinic’s Transplant Center in 2006. He also was as a procurement technician for LifeQuest for two years.
“David loved to fly, and he loved a challenge,” says Mulligan. “I think the idea of flying and doing something challenging that helped people was so alluring that he had to go for it.”
Mayo Clinic patients and staff were the beneficiaries of that drive. “David was a wonderful friend, employee and teammate,” says Boso. “He always smiled. He was military grown, so you heard a lot of ‘Yes, ma’ams’ from him. We were always teasing him to stop saying that because it made us feel old.”
Mr. Hines is survived by two daughters, Christine Hines and Crystal Griner from Jacksonville and a son, Jonathan Hines from Lusby, Md., and two grandchildren, Keriona Griner and Cassidi Hines.
Mayo Clinic Remembers Dr. Luis Bonilla (posted 12/28/11)
Dr. Rupp’s Message About the Helicopter Crash (posted 12/27/11)
Mayo Clinic Statement Regarding Helicopter Crash (posted 12/26/11)
All “Helicopter Crash” Stories published by Mayo Clinic
Hi-Res photo of David Hines: http://db.tt/RkWDunq6 (JPG)
Transplant programs at Mayo Clinic: MayoClinic.org/transplant
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