My 6 years as chief medical editor of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today end with this editorial. I remember when David Cox and Adam Krafczek, cofounders of CRST, offered the role to me. They have always joked that I did not know who they were, and I have always denied it. Here is the truth: I had no clue who they were. Don't feel bad, guys. It was not the first time I have been clueless, and it will not be the last. I still shudder to think I could have missed the ride.
I owe a lot to John Doane, MD, and David Chang, MD, CRST's previous chief medical editors, whose sterling examples I tried to match but never really did. I also treasured working with Eric Donnenfeld, MD, my fellow medical editor and “überwit.” Special thanks and congratulations to Steven Dell, MD, for taking over my role. Many thanks to Sarah Rimmele, Callan Navitsky, Tammy Bogetti, Conni Koury, Jennifer Kreatsoulas, Kat Wilchek, Alicia Fagan, and Stephen Daily; Heather Toolan, who held ACOS (the American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery) together; Gillian McDermott, editor-in-chief, who put up with my “Texglish” and tortured grammar; Wes Burke, Russ Sabin, and especially Adam's sister Deborah Krafczek. I am grateful for every letter from everyone who wrote to me about a particular editorial, including those who disagreed with me and collegially argued their side.
During my tenure, we had some successes with CRST's issues, articles, and editorials; book on laser cataract surgery; ACOS and its annual meeting in Aspen; and interactions with the FDA for the trial of corneal collagen cross-linking. What really matters to me, however, is that I made new friends, something that becomes harder to do as time goes on. We simply do not have the opportunity to spend lazy days on end getting to know new people, not like Jacqueline, my 14-year-old daughter, can. Amazingly, Dave, Adam, and I found the time; we stayed up late a lot, rode bikes, and dreamed. We were like 14-year-olds.
I have shared many things with my new friends, good, bad, life changing: health scares, broken relationships, marriages, the mundane, great meals, successes, and failures. I loved hearing about each new baby and every fiancée and meeting the ones I did. I may one day forget my shouting matches with Dave and slamming down the phone, but my wife, Cyndi, and I will never forget our terror, tears, and prayers when, unconscious, he was airlifted from a bike race with a possible head injury and a collapsed lung. Dave had left our house the day before after spending a week with us.
All of these memories but, more importantly, these friendships are mine to keep. Three years ago, Adam and his wife, Daniela, asked Cyndi and me to be godparents to their son, Adam. We are pictured here at his christening. Nothing could better describe the magic of my 6 years with Adam, Dave, and everyone at CRST.