Buffalo Grove High alum who died in Grand Canyon was on verge of attaining dream
A colleague at Highland Park Hospital remembered 24-year-old Andrey Privin, who died Tuesday after a 500-foot fall at the Grand Canyon, as a young man with an infectious personality who was on the verge of a brilliant career as a nurse.
Martha Sussman, a registered nurse at the hospital, said the 2012 Buffalo Grove High School graduate had been working as a patient care technician at the hospital but "had just passed his boards, so he was now a nurse."
In fact, she said, the hospital had hired him as a staff nurse -- he was supposed to start his orientation on Monday.
"We offered him a position because he was just so good at his job," she said.
Although Privin had many talents -- among other things, distinguishing himself as a member of the high school forensics team -- his goal was to become a nurse.
"He was very good with his patients, very dedicated. A very intelligent young man," Sussman said. "We were very lucky that he had decided to stay on with us after he graduated" from Loyola University in Chicago.
"This was a shock on many levels for us. He would have been a wonderful nurse," Sussman said. "He was a wonderful friend. He was a good person, and it's a huge loss."
According to a report in The Daily Courier in Prescott, Arizona, Privin's fall occurred at Mather Point, a Grand Canyon viewpoint located along the South Rim of the canyon.
The trip was supposed to be a welcome respite before beginning his new duties at the hospital. Sussman said Privin had not taken a vacation in at least two years because he was working and going to school.
A gofundme account has been established with the goal of raising $10,000 to help pay for Privin's funeral and transporting his remains back to Illinois. By midday Saturday, $5,200 had been raised.
"Andrey had a special ability to connect with almost everyone he knew. His kindness was unparalleled," wrote Trina Sircar, who knew Privin from attending Loyola and donated to the fund. "I can only hope to embody the compassion and kindness for my patients as Andrey had for his patients and everyone else he encountered."
Funeral service information was not immediately available Saturday.
• Daily Herald staff writer Harry Hitzeman contributed to this report.