Dr. Rory David McGrady, GCRC MD (1 May 3249-1 November 3274), was a Terran spacer physician, surgeon, medical researcher, and health educator who was best known for his work with Dr. Seilon to end the Unthor pandemic in September 3274. He had previously gained fame on Earth as a doctor and for his humanitarian work with impoverished clients. Specializing in craniotraumatic surgery, he became employed at the Northmont Hospital of New York and split time between work in the city and travelling across the globe to educate people in remote areas on the latest techniques in surgery for traumatic head injuries. He was also a scion of the politically active McGrady family.
While mainly working and educating within his speciality, he was certified in internal medicine, infectious disease treatment, and displayed able handling of some of the most complicated forms of surgical treatment including cybernetic surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, and surgical oncology. Such a reputation for skill in many different fields of medicine led to him being referred to as "the finest medical polymath of our times" by New Health Journal.
McGrady committed suicide on 1 November, 3274, and remains the only one of Shannon McGrady's children to die. He died on the surface of Earth's moon, by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. For his efforts in curing the Unthor viral haemorrhagic fever, he was posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Rory David McGrady was born on May 1st, 3249 in the space habitat Wallerstein, to Shannon McGrady, the matriarch of the McGrady political family, and her husband Patrick David McGrady (nee Drake). He was born the fraternal twin of Hillary McGrady, his sister being older by four minutes. While in the maternity ward, David was exposed to a viral infection and fell ill with fever. The infection nearly killed him, and ravaged his immune system. While he survived the ordeal, doctors determined that his immune system was not and would never again be fully functional.
David lived the first four years of his life in a "bubble boy" confinement suit that prevented him from coming into contact with contaminants, first in the Andrew McGrady Memorial Hospital, and then in the McGrady family estate. Despite the confinement, his father came to see him often and doted on him, teaching his young son how to read, write, do basic maths, and play the piano. David learned quickly, and was able to play piano adeptly by the time he was four. His father also engendered in his a sense of empathy and humility, and a love of the sciences, as well as a love of spiritual contemplation. His mother was rarely able to come and see him, as she was running for office and then serving in the Imperial Parliament as an MP on the National Humanist slate during David's childhood.
At age four, David received a cybernetic graft that would change his life. His mother insisted on an experimental device that would pump immunostimulants into his body as a constant rate, generating a culture of stimulant enzymes on its own from within the body, effectively acting as an artificial organ. After a period of testing to ensure that it worked, David was allowed exposure to the outside.
After being removed from confinement, McGrady began his studies. After briefly considering a career as a Catholic priest, he turned towards an interest in biology and medicine, and between private tutors and Catholic academies began his education for the medical field. He was privately educated for the first two years outside of the hospital by a tutor of the Wallerstein Montessori Association. He was allowed into the St. Luke Catholic Academy at age 6, when most other students were between the ages of 11 and 16. The St. Luke Academy is well-known on Wallerstein as a prestigious trade school for prospective nursing and medical students, educating them in the context and discipline of a Catholic school, with focus on the humanities and faith as well as on health science. McGrady matriculated from the academy's lower tier on 31 April 3260 and began attending the upper-tier classes, equivalent to a High School, in early September of that year. From age 11 to 13, he attended both the St. Luke upper class and summer school at the St. Brigid Health Ministries School, a private Catholic school focusing on caregiving, spiritual health, and other non-technical aspects of health education. He attended college-preparatory seminar courses during the entirety his secondary education, typically during the break-month of August. He was also certified for college credit due to his taking of advanced course material during his secondary education.
His instructors have consistently remarked on his precocious maturity and knowledge with the subject matter, extending beyond the core material of health science and medicine. He offered profound observations and provoking essays in courses on the humanities, pedagogy, anthropology, and theology. He was knowledgeable and competent in chemistry, geoscience, theoretical mathematics, and history. He scored top of his class in all grades during his time in the upper tier of the St. Luke Academy, with a 5.98-point grade average overall. The only subject in which he did not score in the upper one percentile was a two-part finance maths course. At the St. Brigid School, he graduated top of his class with a 6.0-point grade average overall, and was given special commendation by his instructors for his insights into health education and outreach.
David graduated valedictorian from the St. Luke Academy on 10 May 3262 and graduated valedictorian from the St. Brigid School on July 30 3262. He was accepted to attend the highly selective Choate School on Wallingford, Connecticut on Earth. He departed Wallerstein on 3 August 3262 via jumpship, being received by his mother two weeks later at the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport in Accomack, Virginia by way of a private shuttle. He attended a winter period of college-preparatory education from September to December of 3262. He matriculated from Choate on 20 December 3262 and began his search for an undergraduate education. After many acceptance letters and a wide selection to choose from, he eventually decided to attend Magdalen College of the University of Oxford in Great Britain, moving to England on 26 December 3262. He attended undergraduate studies at Oxford from 14 January 3263 to September 3264, completing a Bachelor of Medicine degree in just under two years and graduating with first-class honours.
He travelled to the Massachusetts Province in North America to attended initial clinical studies at the Harvard School of Medicine in late 3264. During this time, enhanced with online coursework, he attended undergraduate-level studies at Harvard University health education, religious studies, and social sciences and graduated summa cum laude as a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities in December 3266. He attended graduate studies and earned a degree as a Master of Public Health in May 3267. He applied to transfer to the Martian College of Medicine for more advanced clinical studies, and shipped off to Mars the day after he turned eighteen.
He pursued clinical internship at the Martian College of Medicine in Ultor, Mars. He was educated under the tutelage of Dr. David Winters, a renowned health educator and medical practitioner. Winters was born on Mars and worked primarily on Earth, but had nonetheless become famed across the Terran Empire for a successful series of holographic seminars on public health and medical techniques provided for free to impoverished and underdeveloped colony worlds. McGrady remarked in a 3272 press statement that Winters' tutelage "...above all other things in my education, instilled me with humility and grace," and credited Winters for pushing him towards humanitarian work. He attended doctoral and clinical studies on Mars from May 3267 to June 3269, through an accelerated program under Winters' direct supervision. He specialised in surgical procedures on traumatic injuries to the head, and spent time in internship rotations to focus his studies on this. However, during his residency at the teaching hospital, he demonstrated competence in an array of cranial surgery methods and practices, including brain surgery, eye surgery, and cybernetic surgery relating to the brain and head. McGrady completed his studies and received his doctoral degree on 6 June 3269, just barely twenty years old. He secured his license as a general practitioner and a surgeon, and pursued private hospital work rather than employment with the Ministry of Health.
McGrady departed Mars for Earth, being hired on at the prestigious Northmont Hospital of New York in New York City in August 3269. Despite his youth, his reputation was already renowned in medical circles. His professionalism and candour while interning at the Mars Educational Medical Centre gave him a reputation as a gentle and effective medical practitioner even before he had acquired his doctorate. The Northmont Hospital was well-known across Earth as a collective of the most skilled medical minds in North America, and McGrady was equally as eager to attach himself to this organisation as they were to his name.
While receiving patients as a general practitioner, he continued to enhance his reputation for kindness and affability in the office. In the surgical room, he was remarked for his ability to intuitively respond to emerging problems in surgery and saving hundreds of lives during very difficult cranial and trauma surgeries. He worked long hours during his initial residency at Northmont, but successfully earned numerous grants for research projects and humanitarian work. He continued his tutor's educational mission, and his faith's social teaching, of spreading the latest techniques of medical science to distant areas and aiding the poor. His lifelong dedication to his faith is also credited for his pursuit of research in regeneration technology. Some of his critics at the hospital have derided him as "obsessed" with the idea of "preserving all people until Judgement Day comes", but McGrady publicly rebuffed the criticism as "[having taken] my flair for dramatic wordplay out of context".
McGrady worked for the Northmont Hospital from 3269 until his death in 3274, though he took an extended leave of absence in his final year from August to November to work with the Imperial government in resolving a public health crisis. However, after 3271, only around half of his time was logged as a surgical or medical practitioner at the hospital campus. The rest was consumed by his humanitarian and educational work in public health in connection to the hospital's outreach program, and by his medical research. However, during his time as an active surgeon and medical practitioner, he participated in hundreds of surgical procedures from varying disciplines beyond his specialisation.
McGrady travelled around Earth starting in June 3271 on behalf of the hospital as a representative from its Educational Outreach program. The program enabled McGrady to travel across the globe to remote and exotic locations of human habitation, and provide education and demonstration of the latest techniques in craniotraumatic surgery and other disciplines related to his speciality. In these remote parts of the world, far from the advanced transportation and medical network of Earth's major metropolitan zones, there was limited access to modern health services. Basic health technology and services were available, such as stocks of basic medicines, medfoam, and automated nursing machines, as well as sterile facilities. But more advanced materials and techniques had difficulty reaching rural areas. McGrady's stated mission was to bring modern medicine and surgery to Earth's most remote corners.
In his December 3272 press conference, McGrady stated that "What Dr. Winters had done for the urbanized colony worlds, I wanted to do with the rural parts of humanity's cradle. I wanted to show that even the littlest men and women are not beyond saving." Some have remarked that McGrady, a spacer from a highly urbanized orbital habitat, displayed a bourgeois paternalist attitude towards rural Terrans of an agricultural or pastoral lifestyle. He later clarified his remarks that he meant "no disrespect or judgement" towards rural Terrans and that he "only meant that these people and their needs were ignored by popular media and most of society." His published works hold up his defence, with extended passages relating to social justice and his opposition to discrimination of any ethnic or economic group. His work is credited with the dramatic decrease in the rate of death by accidental injury in many remote parts of the Earth during the early 3270s. He worked most extensively with pastoralists in Kenya, Patagonia, Borneo, Sumatra, Siberia, Antarctica, and Lapland.
In late August of 3274, McGrady was requested by the Terran Imperial government to assist in a disease control crisis. Along with fellow Northmont physician Dr. Joseph Seilon, McGrady was contracted to travel to the planet Unthor in the Cassiopeian Occupied Territories and investigate the outbreak of a viral haemorrhagic fever. Under the protection and supervision of State Security officers and with the assistance of a technology expert, the two doctors began work collecting samples, performing scientific experiments, and researching a cure while encamped at a Terran colonial outpost in the planet's arctic belt. Many details of the operation are still classified under the National Secrets Act, but enough details have been declassified to reconstruct the following events: Seilon, while collecting samples in the forest, was attacked by a wild animal infected with the virus. He subsequently fell ill and was hospitalized, while working on a formula that would temporarily stave off the worst of the disease, before having to be evacuated to a cryostasis facility to save his life. The team leads determined that the disease had been crafted deliberately by cassiopeian saboteurs, and decided to pursue them via satellite tracking. McGrady departed with the rest of the team, alongside a State Security guard section, to explore past the woods into the frozen wastes. Over a gruelling few days, they trekked into the wilderness and laid waste to a major guerilla encampment. McGrady took no part in the combat, and provided medical care to both the human soldiers and the cassiopeian guerillas. He joined them in a second battle, an assault on the guerrilla stronghold.
Upon the team's return, McGrady had collected copious samples and the team had retrieved cassiopeian data on the disease. These were put to use with Seilon's research to synthesize a cure for the disease. Within a month, the cure had been mass-produced and distributed.
For the following two months, David McGrady's whereabouts went unrecorded and are still unknown by his biographers. Rumours abound as to his activities during this period; it is speculated that he was still performing classified work relating to the Unthor crisis. What is known is that he reappeared in late October on Earth, then travelled to Luna.
David McGrady died as a result of suicide on November 1st, 3274 in the Lunar wilderness at the age of 25. His body was found by security patrol personnel in the Lunar wilderness. The cause of death was determined to be a single fatal gunshot wound to the head, as released by the initial coroner's report two days later. He was found with a high-powered semi-automatic pistol nearby his body, along with the spent shell casing of the projectile that caused the injury. A later report included statements by those had been associating with him recently, as well as family members and co-workers, that McGrady had been suffering from severe depression. His father would later clarify that David had been diagnosed with depression and struggled with it his whole life, but his reclusive public personality meant that it was not widely known.
News of McGrady's death spread quickly across Terran space. Friends, family, admirers, and supporters responded to his sudden death via social media on the holonet with an outpouring of grief. His father stated soon after the news broke, "I have lost my favourite son--and I'm not ashamed to admit he was. He was truly the best of us. And now my world is a little less bright and wondrous." His mother and siblings issued similar statements of grief, lionising David's memory. He was widely mourned in the medical community, with his mentor Dr. Winters honouring him in his keynote address to the Mars University graduating class of 3275.
The Emperor publicly offered his personal condolences to Speaker Shannon McGrady, saying, "Your youngest son's loss is a loss to the whole of humanity. I had the privilege of meeting him once, and I could perceive immediately the vastness of his magnanimity and faith. His moral greatness was such that our littleness was not readily understood, and yet he did not hold himself apart from us all. And it is this greatness that made him 'the man that would heal the world'."
The Swedish Academy posthumously awarded Dr. McGrady the Nobel Prize in Medicine "for the eradication of a viral pandemic in its cradle, and the rapid discovery of its cure." The award was shared by his living colleague, Dr. Joseph Seilon. Seilon made a speech honouring McGrady's memory, and accepted the other medal on his behalf. McGrady's award medal was delivered to his father, and the award money was donated to the McGrady Foundation, a philanthropic organization operated by his elder sister Anne-Marie McGrady. The foundation used the money directly to fund the construction and initial operation of the Rory David McGrady Memorial Hospital in their home colony Wallerstein.
In 3276, the Central Galactic government approved the construction of a statue of Dr. David McGrady in the capital city Constance. A bust of him was sculpted and placed in the Hall of Heroes in the capital as well. The Ministry of Human Services acquired funding for the "David Project" a continuation of McGrady's research into life-extension. Other government agencies have utilised research data from the David Project, which has led to the development of new regenerative medical technologies.
In the years after his death, a small New Religious Movement developed in some remote colony worlds as well as in some rural areas of Earth itself. This movement, described by scholars as "Davidian", believes that David McGrady was a sort of prophet, sage, or messiah. The movement has developed varying theologies to explain David's semi-divine status and to what degree he is important, and to reconcile their messianic view of him with McGrady's deeply pious Catholicism. The most radical and social-anarchistic Davidians believe that he was a new messiah sent to follow up on Jesus of Nazareth's ministry, hybridizing their religion with the Christian gospels. They further believe that he was persecuted by the government, who flung him into dangerous situations hoping he would die, and that he committed suicide as a willing sacrificial act to absolve humans and aliens alike of their wrongdoings. Davidian expression of faith is largely monastic, with members abstaining from sex, consumption of meat, and the use of firearms. Davidianity is, however, a very small religion even by the standards of NRMs, and is remarkable more for its appropriation of a recent public figure than for its size.
Several biographies of him have been written, but most have attracted criticism from various sources. The official, authorized biography, written by Zenzi Rothschild, was published in 3279.
David McGrady was the youngest son and child of Shannon and Patrick McGrady. He was the fraternal twin of Hillary Alice McGrady. He had three older brothers and four older sisters, not counting his slightly older twin: John Patrick McGrady, Genevieve Patricia McGrady, William Jakodi McGrady, Anne-Marie Brigid McGrady, Cynthia Shannon McGrady, Fiona Fachtna McGrady, and Peadar Petyr McGrady. All of his siblings, with the exception of his eldest brother, went on to excel in some area of expertise or service.
McGrady was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder at age 12, and struggled to cope with severe depression through most of his life. It is rumoured that he had attempted suicide several times throughout his life, and constantly had suicidal ideations prior to his death in 3274. He made few close friendships during his lifetime, and rarely socialized with his peers, attributed by biographers to his depression. He was, however, reportedly very close to his father Patrick and to his sister Anne-Marie, and has been referred to in public as his father's "favourite son". The statement attracted some criticism.
McGrady was a devout Catholic throughout his life, and regularly attended mass both at churches and digitally through the holonet. His tender and deep piety is seen by some as the root source of his outward compassion and humility, though some psychologists contend that these were tertiary symptoms of his depression. The church he attended most during his employment at Northmont was the old and revered St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, New York City. In addition, he also attended Anglican, Lutheran, Islamic, Hellenic, and Jewish religious services in the city. He peers describe him as having a deep respect for other religions and faiths as well as a devotion to his own.