DETROIT – The ripples of tragedy have traveled down from Michigan to Ottawa County with the passing of Cynthia Ray, M.D., an interventional pulmonologist and former Miami resident.
The Detroit Free Press reports Ray, 47, who was hit by a car on Sunday when she stopped to help passengers in an overturned vehicle, died Wed., April 5.
Ray's career in medicine followed her father's Fred A. Ray, M.D., who served Ottawa County for almost four decades as a general practitioner helping to establish the NEO Medical Center in Miami in 1975. He preceded his daughter in death in Aug. 2007.
Ray is survived by her mother, Flo, her brother, Greg, and sister-in-law, Amber and two nephews and one niece.
According to the Free Press, Ray was on her way to work just before 8 a.m. Sunday morning when she saw an overturned Jeep on eastbound I-96 and stopped to help the six teenagers trapped inside.
She and another good Samaritan, 17-year-old Sean English, were struck by a car pulling around a curve on the Detroit freeway.
English, a junior at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, had to have part of a foot amputated after the crash.
Keith Martin, the 17-year-old Southgate driver of the vehicle that struck Ray and English, was on his way to work when he lost control of his car as it came around a curve on I-96 spinning as he attempted to avoid the crash scene of the overturned Jeep.
Martin is currently hospitalized in critical condition.
"It would have been impossible for Cyndi to pass by the car that overturned because that’s the kind of person she was," said longtime friend and mentor Mike Eichenhorn, in a press release. "She was always there to help others."
Henry Ford Hospital released a statement following the accident which read, "We were so saddened to hear the news about Dr. Cynthia Ray. Ray has been with the Henry Ford family since 2005 and is widely known as a stellar physician and kind, compassionate colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Ray’s family and the entire Henry Ford pulmonary team.''
Ray attended medical school at Ross University School of Medicine in the West Indies. She completed her post-graduate training at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor.
Ray was also a clinical assistant professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine as well as a senior staff physician at Henry Ford Hospital.
Ray's professional profile shows she was the secretary and treasurer of the Michigan Thoracic Society as well as the chairperson of the Tri-State Thoracic Society.
She was a member of the American Association of Bronchology, World Association of Bronchology, American College of Chest Physicians and American Medical Association.
Ray participated in extensive research, publication and scientific presentations in Pulmonary Medicine. Her special interests included Interventional Pulmonology which involves advanced diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy and Women's Lung Health which includes diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases in women as well as smoking prevention and cessation.
A former ballerina, gifted singer, cook and accomplished dogsledder, Ray was also passionate about rescuing Weimaraners, the Free Press reports.
Ray's funeral will be Saturday morning at St. Kenneth Catholic Church in Plymouth, Michigan.
Donations in Ray’s memory should be made to the Dr. Cynthia Ray Patient Rescue Fund at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, which provides financial and other assistance to patients with pulmonary diseases or to the Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue.
– Ann Zaniewski and Perry A. Farrell, of the Detroit Free Press contributed to this report from Detroit, Michigan.