My wife and I were internal medicine residents rotating through Coulmbus Hospital in Chicago. I was lucky to know dr Belic from 1990 to 1997. He was an amazing teacher and his weekly "EKG rounds" were consistently ranked at the top of educational experiences by Columbus and Northwestern residents. It was a real joy to watch his analytical mind and clinical brilliance in action. I think he liked me and over the years we became quite friendly. From 1994-1997 when I became heme-onc fellow I would meet him primarily at the weekly Firm Conference at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Almost every time I would ask him about his boat and the preparations for transatlanic voyage. I read the logbook from one of his Lake Michigan rows. He never sought any special attention to his plans but I knew a little bit about the subject having done long kayaking trips and reading a lot about ocean kayaking and rowing. I read the book about Chay Blyth's and John Ridgway's transatlantic crossing in the row boat and that gave me some credibility with dr Belic. It was obvious to me that he was determined to give it a shot.
After I moved to California -
I am a hematologist-oncologist at the City of Hope Cancer Center near Los Angeles
- I have been busy with my new job, I have not stayed in touch.
On September 29 we were coming back from our week-long trip around Northern California driving through San Francisco down the Pacific Coast Highway. We began reminiscing about Chicago and wondering what was happening to Dr. Belic. I thought I remembered that his boat was built in SF area. We were going to get in touch with him after we came back. We had no idea he's been rowing for months and that he was within hours of disappearing. Just a few days after we came back one of our friends called us with the news.
We want to express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We are so saddened by what happened and we are so glad to have met him.
Przemek & Kasia Twardowski
2357 Lambert Dr
Pasadena CA 91107