Divisions >> Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery >> Otolaryngology Surgery Update e-newsletter >> April 2014 Issue >> Alumni News
In Memory of Ed Ermini
I am profoundly saddened to report the passing of our friend and UW Otolaryngology resident alumnus Edward B. Ermini, MD, FACS, on June 21, 2013, at the young age of 53. Early this year, I spoke with Ed by phone about his recently diagnosed and inoperable esophageal adenocarcinoma. Ed was working through the difficult process of dealing with that reality, and he spoke of plans for initiating chemotherapy. Ed also revealed insightful thoughts and feelings about the importance of relationships, especially family and friends. He was enormously grateful for the experience and friendships that evolved during his years with us at UW. It was a bittersweet and memorable conversation.
When I visited Ed and his wife, Cheryl, at their home in Lumberton, North Carolina, the following month, he was midway between chemotherapy sessions and said he was about as good as he had felt in a while. Obviously frail and weak, he remained in remarkably good spirits. I met his teenage son, Anthony, and reminisced with Cheryl, whose life was so obviously changing. Ed gave me a walking tour of where he lived, worked out and engaged in his hobbies. I was impressed with his creative woodworking shop where he constructed some clever mechanical devices, furniture pieces and attractive acoustic guitars. Reminding me that I had once encouraged him to maintain a balance in life, he took pride in presenting me with a dedicated copy of his recently published novel The Guardians of the Catacombs. Three months later he would succumb to his cancer.
We first met 25 years ago when Ed came to UW for a clinical rotation in Otolaryngology, and later that year he interviewed for a residency with us. I recall being impressed with his work ethic, integrity and emotional intelligence. Throughout his residency he was attentive, a good student, and always exercised good judgment. He interacted nicely with all of us and was a great team player whom everyone enjoyed being around. Based on his growth during residency years, it was not surprising that Ed continued to thrive after graduation as a physician, leader and humanitarian. Nationally he was an active participant in the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery where he served as chair of the Medical Informatics Committee, participated in courses and regularly attended our annual AAO-HNS UW Alumni gatherings. Locally, Ed was Chief of Surgery at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, board member of the North Carolina Medical Society, member of North Carolina Health and Communications Alliance, the Rotary and the Knights of Columbus.
Reflecting on the death of Ed Ermini, it seems so unnatural and provides me with just a hint of what it might be like for a parent to experience the loss of a child. Ed thought of himself as family, he kept in touch with fellow resident alumni, attended reunions and gave generously in support of our program. He will be missed by all of us at UW, and we extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Cheryl, whom we recall fondly, and to his entire family.