We aren't typically big fans of the Los Angeles Times around here, but they did run a big story this weekend which I thought was definitely worth sharing. It was featured on their online site Saturday, and I've heard it was on the front page of the paper today.
The article is titled: Surgeon races to save a life in L.A.'s shooting season and can be seen online here.
The story details the arrival of a teenage gunshot victim at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the efforts of the medical team, led by Chief of Trauma Dr Brant Putnam, to save his life.
The reason I wanted to fanpost this story was to let you all know that Dr. Putnam is a U.C.L.A. graduate. I know this because he was my roommate freshman year in Sproul, but we go back beyond that. Brant was one of my closest friends since childhood. We grew up together from pre-school through U.C.L.A. We played with toys and rode bikes and went swimming and played sports and studied and worked together over those years. Our families were just as close. We were in each others weddings.
Time and distance and life have intervened and Brant and I haven't spoken in a while, though our families stay close so I can keep tabs. I've known Brant has been running trauma at Harbor for several years, and I have often wondered if he took care of Nick Ekbatani the night of his accident. The chronicle in the LAT story has undoubtedly played out for Brant and his colleagues countless times over the years. But unlike the many Bruin greats that we all know about and celebrate here on BN, Brant is one who you probably never heard of.
This fanpost isn't about our usual Bruin sports related material, but it is all about being a Bruin. It is a special part of our history that we get the opportunity to meet and learn from so many great people through our association with U.C.L.A. Now I was lucky to know Brant for 18 years even before that, and his presence pushed me to work hard and keep up and that helped me make it to Westwood in the first place, and it continued through college where he was one of the great influences that pointed me toward my career in medicine. We can all think of those special people we met through U.C.L.A. who made a difference for us. Brant's example helped shaped me then, and it continues to push me even to this day, so it was really cool to see him highlighted in today's paper and for a great Bruin to be celebrated somewhere besides the sports page.
Anyway, enough reminiscing. But I did want you all to know that that guy on the front page of the LA Times today who saved that young man's life was a Bruin. And after reading the article, I'll bet you aren't surprised.