Always smiling ICORD trainee by day, decorated hero by night – that’s Matt Crombeen, M.Sc student with ICORD PI Dr. Tania Lam. On February 6, Matt was awarded the Medal of Bravery by Governor General David Johnston for heroic actions to save the life of a fellow student during a fire at a residence hall at his alma mater Wilfred Laurier University in 2009.
Crombeen, with fellow student Kyle Walker, were responding to calls from a distressed student when they saw smoke coming out from beneath his door. By the time they reached the student, he was covered in flames. Crombeen and Walker put out the fire and led the student, who sustained severe burns, outside to an ambulance.
All of us at ICORD are enormously proud of Matt, and we are looking forward to seeing more of his latest contributions, including his research with the Lam lab on neurorehabilitation of human locomotion.
From the Governor General’s remarks:
Each of you faced some form of danger head on — from others, from the environment, from a circumstance in which you found yourselves. Yet each of you rose to the occasion, showing that even the smallest act of good can overcome the most desperate of situations. It is that innate goodness that has bound together the many and varied recipients of this award throughout its more than 40-year history. And although we mourn the loss of those who could not be saved and those who lost their own lives in the act of saving others, we can take comfort in the knowledge that in the end, they were caring for someone or being cared for. No matter what, they were not alone. In other words, from goodness flowed compassion—a willingness and a need to help others, to think solely of another’s life and how precious that life is to us all.