What a Long, Strange Trip

I’m sitting inside a big hotel in Seattle (it’s really nice). Right this minute, I am surrounded by medical professionals who are learning about sudden cardiac arrest in students. Later, I’ll be surrounded by parents who have lost children to sudden cardiac arrest at the Parent Heart Watch Conference.

I’m intrigued by the reason that people come here. The docs are here to get CME credits – that’s easy. But the parents . . . why are they here?

This trip is long – an entire week (weekend too). This is a significant chunk of time away from work and family. I take vacations that are this long, but my family is with me. I have friends that go away to work on deals for this amount of time too, but they are making money! What’s up with this?

Why do you travel? Is it to see beautiful sites? Relax? Visit friends and/or family? Attend a work conference? This conference doesn’t neatly fit into any of those categories.

Maybe this is the visit to the child’s college that they’ll never take. Maybe it is like an archeological dig, but instead of looking for antiquities, they are looking for ways to prevent other parents from having to book this trip. Maybe it is an opportunity to leave the “world” for a brief moment for some group therapy and support.

Whatever the answer, I’m just really touched by the time and effort these people have dedicated to helping others. I know that there is a lot going on back at their homes, but they are here for your kids.