Friends and colleagues of slain physician Sarah Hawley described her as “an adventurer” who frequently reached out to her fellow interns at the University of Utah for hikes and parties to stay “human” during their intense first year of medical residency.
“We love you Sarah,” Hawley’s friend and classmate Sara Walker said tearfully at a vigil for Hawley on Monday night at the university. “We’ll miss you every day.”
“We see who she is, all she has filled her life with,” said University Health chaplain Susan Roberts, standing in front of a slideshow of pictures of Hawley and her friends gardening, rock climbing, cooking, hiking and playing with a Lego hospital.
“But someone chose to interrupt this life,” Roberts said. “Someone chose to take the future from her.”
Hawley was a “wonderful doctor,” who focused on women’s health, pediatric care and wilderness medicine, Walker said. But on Monday night, her peers remembered her even more for how she brought their intern class together in friendship, hosting “Friendsgiving,” coordinating pub quiz nights and recruiting even the least outdoorsy residents for hikes in the Wasatch Mountains.
“She had the pulse of every person in the room,” said Katie Fortenberry, a psychologist who works with the interns.
Many of her fellow physicians stood in awe of Hawley’s energy level and infectious enthusiasm for her patients.
“I can still hear her wild cackle in the work room,” said Jess Petrovich, Hawley’s second-year resident mentor. Petrovich recalled a shift when Hawley became jubilant upon discovering she would be treating “an entire row of badass 90-year-old women.”
“I want to be them some day!” Petrovich recalled Hawley cheering.
“I told her, ‘You will. You’re gonna be them some day,’ and I wish that were true,” Petrovich said, choking back tears.
The U. announced a new fund to collect donations for an annual lectureship in Hawley’s memory. The U. also suggested donations to Planned Parenthood and the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.