Hello from lovely Orlando, Florida home of Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal and many other theme park attractions. My visit however has other things in mind, most particularly my daughter who underwent surgery at Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) which I was stunned to learn on my drive in from the airport is a mere quarter of a mile north of the infamous Pulse Nightclub, scene of terrible and senseless carnage just a little over one year ago. First, however, let’s talk about the exceptional facilities at ORMC and the very caring and professional staff there. Recipient of contributions from Arnold and Winnie Palmer of professional golf fame, I came away extremely impressed with ORMC in comparison with the many hospitals in the USA and abroad where I have either worked as a neurosurgeon or visited as a guest of members of the medical staff. One gets a different view of a hospital as a family member of a patient where ones medical background counts for little or nothing.
I would also like to compliment the Hampton Inn and Suites, a brand new Hilton Hotels property located just a block north of ORMC at 43 Columbia Street. My room was spacious and scrupulously clean, quiet, excellent fast internet connection, large and convenient HD TV, walk-in shower with nice soaps etc. and a large and varied breakfast selection every day from 6:30 am to 10 am. The staff was friendly and very helpful. I cannot really complain about anything and for anyone visiting ORMC, it couldn’t be more conveniently located.
And then we come to the Pulse Nightclub now only a grim and stark reminder of the death, fear and chaos which reigned here only a little over a year ago. As I made my way north up Orange Avenue from Orlando International Airport to ORMC I was stunned to see the large sign “PULSE” on my left just a short time before my arrival at the hospital. After my daughter was discharged from the hospital I made a brief return to the Pulse to absorb the scene and try to imagine the tragedy that unfolded there last year. The now shuttered and surrounded by fencing club, stands as a stark reminder of how disturbed people with guns, can wreck havoc and death on a gruesome scale and destroy the lives of innocent people and their families and friends. As those of you who follow my travel blog may recall, I visited the scenes of the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 just two months after those other scenes of destruction and death but one can never get over the eerie feeling that accompanies coming face to face with such senseless tragedy. Let us all try to work together to reduce the chance that ourselves or our loved ones may be the victims of such mayhem. Love and understanding not hate and fear are the ways forward to a better world and oh yes, let’s not forget travel!! Traveling, even within our local regions or states, to other states in the USA and very importantly to other countries is, I believe, a way to help us understand and accept that other people wish for the same things in life that we do-a roof over their heads, food on the table and a sense of safety and security in their lives. Travel my readers, TRAVEL!!!!