Cynthia Ray, M.D., an interventional pulmonologist who was hit by a car on Sunday when she stopped to help passengers in an overturned car on the freeway, died tonight, Henry Ford Health System announced. She was 47.
Dr. Mike Eichenhorn, a mentor and close friend, described Dr. Ray in a press release as a "giving, generous spirit,” and a consummate caregiver.
"It would have been impossible for Cyndi to pass by the car that overturned because that’s the kind of person she was," he said. "She was always there to help others.
"At her bedside, she had visitors from all walks of life who she had helped through difficult situations. She embodied selflessness.”
Dr. Ray was on her way to work when she saw an overturned Jeep on eastbound I-96 and stopped to help the six teenagers trapped inside.
A car pulled around a curve and hit her, authorities said, injuring her and another Good Samaritan who also stopped to help, teenager Sean English. English had to have part of a foot amputated after the crash.
On staff at Henry Ford Hospital since she was a fellow in 2005, Dr. Ray quickly gained her colleague's respect. She mentored many women pulmonologists, officials said.
Dr. Ray published several articles on pulmonary medicine. She was the secretary and treasurer of the Michigan Thoracic Society as well as the chairperson of the Tri-State Thoracic Society.
A former ballerina, Dr. Ray was also a gifted singer (and Henry Ford Hospital Campus Idol contestant), great cook and accomplished dogsledder, officials said. She cared deeply about rescuing weimaraners and once had three in her home at one time.
Dr. Ray grew up in Oklahoma, following her father into the field of medicine. She is survived by her mother, Flo, her brother, Greg and sister-in-law, Amber, two nephews and one niece.
The funeral will be Saturday at St. Kenneth Catholic Church in Plymouth. Doors open at 10 a.m., with the service beginning at 11 a.m.
Donations in Dr. Ray’s memory may be made to the Dr. Cynthia Ray Patient Rescue Fund at Henry Ford Hospital providing financial and other assistance to patients with pulmonary diseases or to the Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue.
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