Archive for June 20th, 2013

Craig Ferrell Succumbs to Injuries

Thursday, June 20th, 2013


´╗┐Craig Ferrell Succumbs to Injuries

Nancy Jaffer/For The StarLedgerDr. Craig Ferrell with his wife, Lorraine, left and Melanie Smith Taylor

Dr. Craig Ferrell was a top surgeon, but his caring spirit made him more than a physician who heals the body. Talking with him was always a special experience for the soul; he related on a deeply personal level with everyone, not just his patients. This man was deservedly beloved by so many, many people.

His death this morning from spine and neck injuries he suffered in a fall Thursday while playing polo will leave a hole in lives around the world. It’s impossible to believe such a vibrant and vital spirit is gone.

Dr. Olympic Committee.

He treated not only celebrities, such as country singer Trace Adkins, but also the biggest names in equestrian sport; most recently, McLain Ward, when he shattered his patella in January, and helped him get back on track for the Olympics.

“Dr Ferrell has been a friend for years now but in the past year he has been a saving grace for me,” McLain said in a statement.

“Through my injury, he has been a huge shoulder to lean on for my wife and I. Hearing the news of his accident has shaken us to our core. It is hard to express what this man has done for me over the past four months, thing’s like this should not happen to people like him.”

But Dr. Ferrell also did so much for countless others, whose names you would not recognize. I was one of them. When I got sick at a world championships or Olympics, he offered medicine and counsel. Last year, after he saw me limping around as I recovered from a broken leg, he volunteered to become a consultant, following my progress by email. And I know there are legions who could tell the same story.

I had a wonderful talk with him and his terrific wife, Lorraine, at Rolex Kentucky last month. Little did I know I would never speak to him again, and I am devastated.

Last week, his son, Aaron, and wife, Tanya, became the parents of Michael Canon Ferrell, a grandson who will know Craig only through the praise of others. Although the child will miss having a relationship with this incredible person, he still can learn so much by hearing about the life of caring that his grandfather led.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to BrightStone, 140 Southeast Parkway Court, Franklin, TN 37064.

Dr. Ferrell was a former board chairman of BrightStone, a facility catering to those with special needs, one of whom was his son, Jon. A donation there is proper tribute to the memory of a man who gave so much of himself.