\"Rory

Rory Staunton taking his first flying lesson in 2011. Photo by: Family Handout

The Boy Who Wanted to Fly - Maureen Dowd on Rory Staunton

\"Rory

Rory Staunton taking his first flying lesson in 2011. Photo by: Family Handout

“If something good comes from Rory’s death, it will be that we realize we have a broken system,” he told me. “Patient care is so fragmented. For the most part, medical professionals aren’t taught these human skills that some deride as ‘soft skills.’ So there’s insufficient sharing of information and ineffective communication.

“Some in the medical field look upon these deaths as an unavoidable consequence of giving care. But they’re inexcusable and unthinkable.”

Rory is up there now, with the laughing stars. But even before he got to heaven, he knew, as Saint-Exupéry wrote, that “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on July 15, 2012, on page SR11 of the New York edition with the headline: The Boy Who Wanted to Fly.

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