A Favor For A Friend

Filed under: @ 5:10 pm

A little over a year ago (January 24th, 2007 in fact) one of my VIN buddies came to work to find that an employee had been raped and murdered in his hospital before opening.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a “VIN buddy” is a veterinary colleague with whom I correspond on a fairly regular basis, there are hundreds of people that I “know” across the country and across the world this way, on the Veterinary Information Network.

Andrea was the opener for Michal’s hospital that day. She was in the building alone at 0530 when someone broke in, raped her and then stabbed her to death.
Michal’s hospital is in a fairly nice section of a quiet city in Florida. The suspect, who was arrested within a fairly short period of time, was a multiple offender who had been granted early release from prison on a previous rape charge. He is currently awaiting trial for first-degree murder. It is not clear at this time where or how he picked Andrea, nor how he managed to follow her without her noticing.

On this first anniversary of Andrea’s death many in the VIN community are lighting candles in her memory.
This is, and has been, a shocking thing to us. Despite the loonies that we deal with on a fairly regular basis, despite veterinary hospitals being targeted for break ins for drug theft, Andrea’s murder was personal for all of us. Local tweakers breaking in to steal ketamine is one thing. Having a friend’s employee left to die on the floor of his hospital was something we never thought we’d have to even contemplate.
Reading what details Michal has been able to provide over the last year we have all thought of our own safety, the security measures that are present for our buildings and our coworkers and staff and what measures we can take to provide just a little extra safety for everyone. If anything good can come from Andrea’s death it is that thousands of people around the world took a step back to consider the safety of their workplace and, hopefully, implemented changes to improve it.

It’s a scary world out there sometimes people. Please be careful of your family, your friends, and yourselves.

Michal this is for you, your staff, and Andrea and her family.

Andrea’s Candle

2 Responses to “A Favor For A Friend”

  1. Sue Says:

    A very nice memorial for Andrea. Thanks for doing this.
    A vin friend

  2. Michal Says:

    Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. Andrea was such a very special person to all of us. Sharing our shock, grief, bewilderment and all of
    that with everyone on VIN has been the best therapy we could have asked for. It has meant more than you could ever know to my staff to see people from
    all over the world praying for us and lighting candles. More than anything I would ask that everyone remember that life is precious and fleeting. Say
    what you need to say to those you love today. Every day is a blessing.

    Michal Harris, DVM

Leave a Reply

All comments containing hyperlinks are held for approval, so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. (I'm not editing for content, just weeding out the more obvious comment spam.)

All portions of this site are © Andrew Lenzer, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.