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Dr Daniel Christidis 1986-2018: A Rising Star Lost Far Too Soon




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Dan was lost to us on Monday 5th November, 2018 after a fatal shark attack at Cid Harbour in the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia. Dan was surrounded by friends, many of them medical, who tried valiantly to resuscitate him. Other bystanders and the Queensland rescue team managed to assist in retrieving him to the nearest trauma hospital but nothing further could be done despite all best efforts.

This blog in the BJUI, a journal Dan contributed to in many ways (blogs, articles, creating projects) is a celebration of his life, and an opportunity for those who knew Dan directly or indirectly to post their own special memory of him, and to post a tribute to one of the rising stars of urology.

 

Daniel was a remarkable person- a unique individual who touched so many with his charm, style and intellect. He will be missed by so many – the world has been robbed of one of its true shining stars that was only beginning to rise.

D​an​ wore so many hats – doctor, researcher, young urologist, ​mentor, ​international contributor and organiser to name a few. ​he has been described as having a ​‘Heart of ​g​old’ ​and this​ is absolutely true for those who ​k​new him​. ​ ​Th​e fact that the Victorian State Health Minister was moved to comment on what a loss his tragic death is speaks volumes for his impact.


Daniel was a doctor who trained through the Austin Hospital after graduating where his passion for urology was ignited. He headed down the surgical pathway completing a Diploma of Surgical Anatomy. This was after studying medicine at Deakin University in Victoria as a postgraduate and after completing prior undergraduate studies. He became an enthusiastic and accomplished researcher culminating in international presentations and recognition well beyond his years. Some highlights included being the youngest elected member of the SIU young innovators committee and his instrumental involvement in setting up the YURO (Young Urology Researchers Organisation) which has seen urology research thrive in this region and globally. His journey in urology although only beginning was off to a flying start- all due to his diligence. The prizes and awards were only just beginning.

Dan rarely stepped aside from a challenge and was always willing to take part in adventures and travels in his personal life. Ironically his death is linked to the things he loved. He was inclusive, engaging and managed to make anyone in contact with him feel that they, and not he, was the centre of the universe. He was such a fun person to be around- laughing, smiling and filling up a room with his genuine love of life.

How do we make sense of such a tragic and unexpected event? The impact circles from those friends and bystanders who desperately tried to save him, his immediate and extended family, his friends, to the numerous colleagues and extended urology and research family he had created over the past years.

At age 33 years, Dan had so much left to give we can only cherish what was shared with us all and celebrate a person who engaged rather than watched- who loved life to the fullest- something to which we can all aspire. Our thoughts are with his parents, brother and sister who ​are undoubtedly proud of Dan- an incredible individual who will never be forgotten.

 

A/Prof Nathan Lawrentschuk MB BS PhD FRACS (urology)

Associate Editor BJU International; Editor USANZ Supplement, BJU International

Director EJ Whitten Prostate Cancer Centre at Epworth
University of Melbourne
Department of Surgery, Austin Hospital, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre and Department of Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Melbourne, Australia

 

  1. Fernando Secin Reply
    I am really sorry to read this. I did not have the Pleasure of meeting him but no question my family and myself will keep him and his family in our prayers. May his soul Rest In Peace and his deeds an example for the rest of us.
  2. Emma Birch Reply
    Thanks Nathan, Dan was such an achiever and so humble with it. His generosity of friendship and kindness I got to experience many times at the SIU. He once even included my sister (non medical tag along!) as if she was one of the gang! Terribly sad but he truely was a shining star. RIP


    Here I am with Dan at SIU in Korea just a few weeks ago
  3. Sandra Elmer Reply
    Dan, you were such a great guy and you’ll be missed by so many. You were such an enthusiastic trainee and set to become an incredible urologist. I’m sorry I intimated you the first time we met ? but so glad I got to know you and share the funny conversations we’ve had ever since. I’ll never forget your huge smile and your kindness. RIP.
  4. Daniel Moon Reply
    Nathan this is a heartfelt tribute to a wonderful colleague who was so tragically taken and will be sorely missed. Words cannot express.
  5. Prokar Dasgupta Reply
    Amidst this tragic loss we remember his big smile. Dan made significant contributions to the BJUI including the AUA 2018 blog, for which we remain most grateful.
  6. Declan Murphy Reply
    Lovely words Nathan. Totally devastating news, just heartbreaking. We will miss you always Daniel. Big smile will never be forgotten
    • Declan Murphy Reply
      PS if you also want to post any pics you have of Dan to embed with your comment, please email them to [email protected]
  7. Siska Van Bruwaene Reply
    You have people who enter a room and the sun starts shining, the conversations become filled with laughter and at the end of the meeting everyone stays for another coffee. Those people you bump into only a few times a year but everytime they infect you with their uncomplicated enthusiasm, innovative ideas (often with a crazy sparkling touch) and solid trust in a good outcome. Dan was definitely such a person to me and I bet to many others. Will miss him greatly.
  8. Ranjit Rao Reply
    We’ve lost an upcoming star of urology. Great guy, excellent hands, outstanding mind. Condolences to his family , friends, fellow trainees, colleagues.

    I enjoyed drinking whisky with you en route to San Francisco this year.

    See you on the other side
    RIP
  9. Gideon Blecher Reply
    Lovely words Nathan. Such a tragic loss of a superstar. My thoughts are with Dans’ family and friends.
  10. Brad Newell Reply
    It’s hard to believe the surreal tragedy to befall Dan this Monday. The outpouring of grief we all feel speaks volumes for who Dan was. A man of integrity, empathy, passion and excellence. Dan had such an infectious smile and warm personality that you couldn’t help but love him! Our times together at Austin and abroad at conferences were filled with the intellectual, as well as stories, a drink or two and plenty of laughs! Many treasured memories.

    My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all of those who have been lucky enough to have had the privilege to know him.

    “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”

    - Bob Marley
  11. Mark Frydenberg Reply
    I really don't think I would be exaggerating to say how heartbroken and devastated we all are as a urological community in Australia. Daniel's academic achievements speak for themselves . His potential was limitless and now tragically unfulfilled for which we are all worse off.

    During his PhD Daniel often assisted in my cases and I so thoroughly enjoyed his enthusiasm for life, what he wanted to do, where he wanted to go and what difference he wanted to make in the urological world. We all knew he was destined for greatness, as he already achieved so much in so little time. It is therefore so much more distressing that none of us will ever see those ambitions realized.

    However he was so much more that his academic achievements. He was simply an outstanding young man . His smile was infectious and lit up rooms, making everyone around him feel just that bit better . He empathy, thoughtfulness and inclusiveness were evident with every interaction . As an anecdote, during the SIU in Portugal , many of us were at the WUOF dinner. That year , my daughter who is a pelvic floor physiotherapist attended as a delegate and came to dinner with my wife Barb and myself. Almost as soon as we arrived, Daniel knowing my daughter would enjoy interacting with the registrars and people her age, just came and introduced himself, and made sure she was brought to the registrars table to enjoy the night with peers her own age. There was no need for him to do this, no one asked- he just knew that being inclusive was just the right thing to do; he was that sort of young man.

    As Nathan has said, our thoughts and prayers rest with his immediate family,close friends and colleagues during this difficult time, with the word difficult being almost inadequate and an enormous understatement.

    I sincerely hope that his family realize how much he was admired and respected , and that we will all miss his wonderful intellect and enthusiasm, but perhaps even more his smile, and warm,caring and friendly personality. He leaves a hole that will be impossible to fill, and we will ensure that his memory lives on for future generations of young talented urologists. Rest in peace.
  12. Damien Bolton Reply
    I never understood what a star could mean until today. Giving brightness and warmth, seeming entrancing and universally appealing, and offering direction on the correct path. Dan you were the brightest of bright stars. Why a star is extinguished is a mystery, but I know for certain that we were all better people for knowing you. Shine on somewhere DC.
  13. Jason Chuen Reply
    Thanks for writing this Nathan. Dan was outstanding and always a pleasure to work with - but also emblematic of the amazing quality of young surgeons that we are training. We will all miss his energy.
  14. Peter Black Reply
    The news of Dan's death is just brutal - how can this happen? For someone on the other side of the planet, I am just glad I had the opportunity to get to know him over the past couple of years. Secretly I was hoping we would be able to entice him to Vancouver one day for a uro-onc fellowship. I knew Dan mostly from the SIU, where he was supposed to be the young up-and-coming urologist looking for mentorship, opportunities and learning - but I think in most ways he gave much more than he received. He created opportunities for those around him and we all learned from him - we learned from his incredible love of life and his enthusiasm to tackle any challenge. I would echo Siska's comments - he always lit up the room, and those in it left energized to do something good. He made the world a better place and we will all miss him greatly. But specifically within the SIU Innovators, a group tasked with enriching the SIU to appeal to early career urologists, a group to which Dan contributed significantly, we will carry on in the spirit that Dan exemplified.
  15. Sanjay Kulkarni Reply
    I remember Dan taking my interview during SIU meeting in Seoul recently.
    He came across as a funny, loving person full of life
    Will miss him
    Great loss to all of us
  16. Manoj Monga Reply
    Our deepest condolences to Daniel’s family and friends and his extended family in urology across the world.
  17. Gil Reply
    There are no words to describe the sadness in knowing that Dan will not be with us again.
    This is a terrible terrible loss.
    A colleague, becomes friend, will always be remembered for his kindness and intellect.
    Rest in peace Dan.
  18. Nick Brook Reply
    A moving tribute Nathan. Reading through all the comments is a real inspiration and i hope that is what Dan’s memory will be to many.
  19. Renu Eapen Reply
    Dan, you have given more to this world in your short 33 years than many people do in an entire lifetime. You will be a friend forever and I will miss you.
  20. Cyril Dixon Reply
    Just terribly sad news to hear for anyone to lose their life this way. Dan was a great guy as already mentioned above that both Paul and I had met and worked with. Dan had also been a Mobro previously. Our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the urology world from everyone at Movember.
  21. Douglas Travis Reply
    Urology has lost a unique man;
    Medicine has lost a man who had made his mark on the profession;
    The world has lost a man who cared and gave so much of himself;
    As colleagues we have lost a friend and keen professional mind;
    BUT … Heaven and the universe have gained a bright star
    To all Dan’s family, I express my sincere sadness and condolences to all. We grieve Dan’s death with you. His life and legacy will live long with us all.
  22. Alain Lavoipierre Reply
    Nathan, your eulogy speaks volumes about the person Dan was.Charming, with an infectious smile, full of confidence, yet humble, gifted beyond words and destined for greatness. In our few meetings, he was always so helpful and pleasant, I love your story, Mark, about the SIU dinner in Portugal. We've been robbed of a unique talent. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
  23. Claire Molloy Reply
    Beautifully written Nathan. The team here at Epworth Freemasons are so deeply saddened by this tragic loss. Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and colleagues.
  24. Simone Morgan Reply
    Never a truer word spoken Nathan. Dan was a true gentleman, an absolute top guy. I had the privilege of knowing and working with Dan at Austin. Sincere condolences to Dan's family and friends.
  25. SIU-urology Reply
  26. Luis Enrique Ortega Polledo Reply
    Devastating news from across the globe. My condolences to his family and friends.
  27. Kay Talbot Reply
    My heart goes out to Dan’s family. A friend and colleague particularly rom SIU. Dan was an amazing ambassador to medicine, a brilliant young innovator in Urology and wonderful support of Urology Nurses internationally. A special person and a gentleman to boot. So sadly missed.
  28. Athina Pirpiris Reply
    Dan, an exceptional human being, friend, surgeon and fellow trainee. You were one of the funniest and compassionate guys that I have known. You will be missed and remembered by all of us, in particular our trainee cohort. May you rest in peace.
  29. Jas Coles-Black Reply
    Thank you Nathan.

    I will never forget how Dan was there for me my first week of internship, when I was a fresh intern far from the Austin on a rural rotation, not sure where to turn. He patiently would take my calls day or night to reassure and advise. He was a genuinely kind soul, a true gentleman. I admired his strength of character, and will strive to be like him.

    Rest In Peace Dan, you’ve touched more lives than you could ever know. The world is just that little bit dimmer as we struggle to come to terms with this tragedy. You’ve left this world better than you found it.
  30. Todd Manning Reply
    BROTHER, “Handler”, Twin (I was Danny U were Arnie), Sounding board, Co-Author, Editor, Psycologist, Roomie. A small number of roles you held for me. What will I do without you. No-one will ever fill the void. The pain is immense #vale







  31. Ivan Hoh Reply
    Dan will be greatly missed as a dear brother, friend and colleague. He is the guy we all look forward for a meal. His company is endearing, infectious and leaves you wanting for more.

  32. Sophie Rintoul-Hoad Reply
    Thank you Nathan and the BJUI for the tribute to Dan. From his professionalism, intelligence and huge potential in urology to his sense of fun, inclusiveness and that brilliant smile; there are only good things to remember.

    SIU, YURO and global research successes are a testament to his hard work, collaboration and how he inspired others.

    I count myself so fortunate to have been his friend. Distance was no barrier. We shared our trainee experiences, gave words of encouragement and had fun travelling to conferences all over the world. I thought we would continue to do so for many years to come and hoped we would work together during fellowships. The loss is immeasurable.

    My thoughts are with his family, friends and all the many people that loved and admired him. His light is not dimmed though; it will continue to shine brightly through our memories and will help us all to be a little more ‘like Dan’.



  33. Dennis Reply
    My heartfelt condolences to the Christidis family.
    Daniel was a remarkable person, who will not be forgotten.
    May we celebrate his wonderful life and keep his memory alive.
  34. Joseph Ischia Reply
    Dan was warm, intelligent, charismatic, and a wonderful guy to work with. He was truly a star on the rise who had already achieved so much and still had so much to do. His self-starting nature meant he was a leader of the future and we will miss him dearly. My thoughts and condolences go out his family and friends, of whom, I was one of many. May he rest in peace.
  35. Dr Luis Prado Reply
    Dear Colleagues

    Earlier this week we received sad news of the passing of Dr Daniel Christidis, urology registrar at Western Health.

    Dr Christidis worked as a surgical assistant with us and his death is a tragic loss for Epworth and the medical community.

    On behalf of Epworth HealthCare I’d like to express our heartfelt condolences to those who knew or worked with Dr Christidis. Our thoughts are with you during this time of mourning

    Yours sincerely

    Luis

    Dr Luis Prado
    Chief Medical Officer
    Academic and Medical Services

    Epworth Healthcare Melbourne Australia
  36. Young Urology Research Organisation Reply
    Beyond being a cofounder, driving force and inaugural vice president of YURO, Dan truly embodied the spirit of YURO. Dan was a mentor and role model to the many keen urology researchers who have been inspired and supported by his love of urology and research, his warm and inclusive nature and his drive to contribute to the wider community. He demonstrated what could be done in a such short space of time with his enthusiasm and drive to do more and be better. We have lost an incredible colleague and friend. We will continue to strive for the excellence Dan exemplified in collaboration, research and urology in his memory.
  37. Veeru Kasivisvanathan Reply
    On behalf of BURST and on a personal level, this has been shocking news that I and my colleagues have all been extremely saddened by. Dan was a such a warm person who had an unmistakable aura of positivity about him. I remember when we went to watch the baseball at Fenway Park at AUA - such fond memories of a kind and witty person. During our cross-collaborative BURST-YURO meetings, Dan's intelligence always shone through and it was clear he was a natural leader who had so much more to offer the world. We will all miss him very much and my thoughts go out to his family and friends.
  38. USANZ Reply
  39. Ashley Hague Reply
    I only had the pleasure of working with Daniel a handful of times from the other side of the surgical drapes, and regretfully didn't know him well enough to call him a friend - just a colleague, but his gift with people was clear to see. He had an aura; you noticed him, not just because of his stature, but because of his warmth. I admired him. He was a real, genuine guy and I noticed his ability to connect with people as well as being a very slick urologist.
    He will be dearly missed by us all at Western Health, and I would like to offer my condolences to his parents and siblings who visited us yesterday and had the courage to talk to us and tell us more about his life.
    With love,
    Ashley

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