December 10, 2017
by John Annese
An acclaimed trauma surgeon was found dead, with a knife in his chest, by his 11-year-old daughter Sunday in his Park Ave. apartment, police said.
Investigators were treating the death of Dr. Dean Lorich as an apparent suicide, sources said.
“He was under some personal stress,” a police source said.
The surgeon was home with his daughter, police said, adding there were no signs of forced entry at the tony Upper East Side apartment at Park Ave. and E. 96th St.
The girl alerted the building’s doorman, who called 911. Police said the call was regarding an assault.
Cops found the 54-year-old doctor’s body in the bathroom around 1 p.m. The knife was near his heart, a source said.
Lorich’s wife was playing tennis at the time, police said.
A woman who said she was one of Lorich’s colleagues came by and spoke to the doorman before falling to a knee in prayer.
“This is horrible, this is horrible. I don’t believe this,” the woman said before kneeling and crossing herself.
She declined to give her name.
(Gardiner Anderson/for New York Daily News)
Lorich, a father of three girls, was the associate director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He was also a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.
He treated Bono in 2014 after the U2 front-man was badly injured in a cycling accident in Central Park.
In addition, Lorich treated Matt Long, a firefighter who was run over by a bus on Dec. 22, 2005.
The death of the doctor shocked Long, who had become friends with Lorich.
“He was a good doctor, and a good man. He saved and helped so many people. He gave me back my life, and my family and I are all devastated,” the 51-year-old Long said Sunday night.
“He came to my wedding. He was part of my life … This guy did so much for me.”
In 2008, Long ran the New York City Marathon — and Lorich met him at the finish line.
The surgeon brought his young daughters, who all congratulated Long on a remarkable recovery.
“Girls, this is why Daddy missed Christmas,” Lorich told his daughters.
Long visited Lorich whenever he went to the hospital. Sometimes the doctor asked him to speak with patients in need of motivation.
“He sacrificed his whole life to help other people, and I happen to be one of them,” Long said.
The now-retired firefighter’s friendship with Lee — as well as Lorich’s role in their recoveries — was covered by the Daily News in 2015.
“There’s no prouder thing, other than my wife giving birth,” Lorich said at the time.
“This is a present for all of us.”
Lorich volunteered in Haiti for 2010 earthquake victims.
“It’s devastating news. Dean was a friend and a tremendous doctor,” said Dr. Soumi Eachempati, who traveled with Lorich to the devastated country. “The medical community will have an extremely large void without him.”