Menachem Benzaquen had just come from working two 28-hour shifts as a resident physician at Toronto General Hospital this past weekend when he discovered his bike had been stolen.
As a resident in anesthesiology, Benzaquen said he is often at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the fact that he is responsible for performing intubations. And when he is on call, as he was this past Friday and Sunday, he works for more than 24 hours (from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.) with virtually no breaks.
In other words, Benzaquen routinely risks his life and works unimanigably hard to take care of others, making the discovery of his stolen bike all the more disappointing.
“You are half-delirious and want nothing more than to go home and collapse in bed to sleep into the afternoon and sometimes through the evening,” he said, describing the feeling of leaving the hospital with the intention of biking home after his shift on Sunday.
“You spend the whole night running giving yourself to others with little regard for yourself and then someone does this to you.”
The theft of Benzaquen’s bike was caught on video thanks to security footage from the cage where it had been locked up, and he posted the clip on YouTube Monday.
Watching the video back, Benzaquen said he felt angry and violated, but he said he also felt sorry for the person who was in such a desperate situation that they felt the need to steal.
“He did this during the day which is so brazen but strangely I felt pity for the person who is doing this,” he said. “They are in a position that brought them to steal from someone else. Is this to feed an addiction? It has to come from desperation.”
Benzaquen filed a police report following the theft, but he was told it would take roughly five days before an officer got back to him — leaving him feeling discouraged.
“Where is the bike now… I keep on wondering. Everyday that goes by without someone looking into makes it less likely I will get it back,” he said
“I have been so down. I was planning on doing indoor training in my apartment through the winter, but I am very discouraged now. Maybe with some time I will get another one. They are just so expensive.”
Update: A friend of Benzaquen has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to replace his bike.