Four people were killed at a Tulsa, Oklahoma hospital last week

It doesn't seem like something that should hit close to home considering St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is 1,685 miles away from us (more specifically, from One City Center in Portland). That's the hospital where, last Wednesday, a gunman opened fire and killed two doctors (including his own surgeon) and two others (a receptionist and patient) according to CNN.

Google Maps
Google Maps

But 1,600+ miles away or not, there is actually a Northern New England connection to that shooting -- me.

It was only about 2 1/2 years ago that I worked a mile up the street from that exact hospital. I used to drive right by that hospital every single day on my way to work. One of the best friends I'll ever have in my life had a procedure done inside of that very hospital. And to think that if her procedure was delayed to Wednesday, June 1, 2022 for some reason.

Empathy vs Experience

A lot of times, we hear these stories from across the country and sure, we feel terrible. Our hearts break that elementary school kids just doing nothing but having what they thought would be a regular day celebrating the end of the school year at their school would have their lives either turned upside or lost because of a shooter. We feel awful hearing that doctors and nurses can't go to work to save lives -- patients can't even go to a hospital for a procedure to better or save their lives -- without possibly losing it to a gunman opening fire -- we hear these stories and we feel empathic, but always assume it'll never happen to us. It'll never hit that close to home.

Sure, I've been gone from Tulsa for over two years now and ultimately, I wasn't there last week when it all went down. But knowing that a hospital that I drove by every single day had something like that happen, so close to where I used to work. A hospital that some of the best friends I'll ever have in my life go to for medical procedures -- it just hits different. Especially since out of the massive bank building that the station I worked for was located in -- you can see the hospital just over a mile down the street.

In fact, from in front of that building I worked in, this is the view. The set of buildings inside of the red circle? The hospital where the shooting happened. It was that close.

Google Maps
Google Maps

For context, the distance between that building is the same distance between One City Center and Maine Medical -- just over a mile away.

If anything can be learned from this, regardless of it being 1,600+ miles away from us or not -- when you don't think it'll happen close to home, it will. Because that was my home for a part of my life, and it happened.

Stay safe.

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