Dave Griswell Obituary, Death – Dave Griswell Has suddenly Passed Away. Today, @teamrubicon and the world lost a titan of a human. After a short but aggressive battle with lung cancer, Dr. Dave Griswell passed away today. He was a seasoned humanitarian and an Army veteran of Vietnam. He also was a full time emergency department physician in DC. Doc Griz was on TR’s first mission in Haiti.
He approached me at the baggage claim in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We were the only two passengers with lost luggage. He looked me up and down and said, “You look like you’re headed to Haiti.” I replied that I was. “You look like the type of guy I’d like to go with.” 18 hours later we were crossing the border into Haiti and making our way into Port-au-Prince. 12 hours later we were treating some of the most horrific wounds I’d ever seen. Throughout it all, Doc was a calm, cool, and collected voice.
On that mission Doc unknowingly taught me a lesson I’ll never forget, which I dedicated a chapter to in my book. On the second or third day of the mission we’d taken over management of an emergency room at a hospital. We began treating a woman with an open hip fracture and a likely spinal cord injury. She also had advanced AIDS. Working with Mark Hayward, a former army special forces medic, we tried to start an IV for her, but to no avail. Faced with dozens of critical patients and dwindling supplies, Mark and I deemed the woman “expectant,” or likely to die imminently.
We immediately turned our attention elsewhere. Ten minutes later I looked over and saw Griz still working to start a catheter for the woman, an attempt to ease her excruciating pain. He never gave up, and eventually he succeeded. The woman’s pain was eased, and she survived the night before passing the next day. For those 24 hours she was treated with a grace and dignity she likely had received in decades. For Griz, nobody should be dismissed as “expectant.” It’s hard to convey how beautiful a human being Doc Griswell was, but the world was better for having had him in it – and Team Rubicon may not have become what it has without his early influence. Doc – rest in peace my friend.