In 2008 I interned on a TV program called The Main, which was hosted by a young and energetic chef named Anthony Sedlak. We were filming the third and fourth seasons of his cooking show in Toronto. In the four months that I spent there, I became close to several members of the crew – including Tony. I made him his lemon tea almost every morning and otherwise assisted him when needed. My fellow intern Erin and I watched him pull (harmless) pranks on a couple of the guys in the office. We watched them hide his blackberry in the ceiling. All in all it was a fantastic experience and one that I will remember for the rest of my life.
On July 9, 2012, media outlets everywhere reported that Anthony had passed away a few days earlier. Apparently he had succumbed to an undiagnosed medical condition. The news was a genuine shock to everyone, or at least everyone I spoke to. Although I hadn’t kept in touch with him since I saw him in 2009, I was upset by the news. The death of any young person is a tragedy… and those feelings of sadness are only amplified if you have spent any amount of time with them.
I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that this young man, who had so much potential and opportunity ahead of him, is gone forever. I can only hope that he is in a better place now. My condolences to his friends and family.
EDIT: 6/05/2013: Media outlets are reporting today that Anthony’s death was the result of suicide. I’m saddened to hear this. It’s Mental Health Week here in Canada, so hopefully the timing of this news will help people become more aware of severity of this issue.