Gabriel Whiting Shanok of Martha’s Vineyard, age 38, died as a result of cardiac arrest on November 28, 2010, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was the loving son of Susan and William Shanok of Chilmark and New York city, the beloved brother of Sarah and Tovah Shanok of New York and Victoria Shanok Dolan, brother‑in‑law of William Dolan, and uncle of Emma, Kate, and Will Dolan, all of Hingham.
During his brief life he had many friends from all walks of life whom he loved and protected with granite grace. He was always caring, loving, and helping others. When they made him, they broke the mold.
Originally, Gabriel collapsed at home on Martha’s Vineyard, on September 2, 2010, suffering cardiac arrest, and was resuscitated by the EMTs. He was then transported to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and then air-lifted to the Massachusetts General Hospital. Shortly thereafter, he experienced a second cardiac arrest and was again resuscitated. For the next 88 days, he put up a valiant fight for life, with his loving family surrounding him. But as weeks, then months, passed all of his organs were so compromised that he began to lose the battle.
He died peacefully, knowing he was much loved. We are left with our memories, but also with the spirit being triumphant in the body’s fall, and how we must learn to recognize the absence of the body and praise the presence of what is left behind.
Life must pass through difficulty in order to achieve any modicum of beauty. Gabriel’s brain was donated to the Tourette Syndrome Association for research. His body was cremated and a memorial service celebrating his life will be held at a later date.
The Shanok and Dolan families greatly appreciate and value the services of the Oak Bluffs EMTs, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and the Massachusetts General Hospital, where his care in every way was outstanding. All involved in his care went above and beyond all expectations.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Tourette Syndrome Association, 42‑40 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361‑2820, or Oak Bluffs Ambulance at P.0. Box 1327, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, or to your local EMT organization or town fire department.