On Easter Sunday, 1908, Dr. Wilfred Grenfell was summoned to
treat a boy with osteomyelitis who had been operated on two weeks earlier. The
young man needed immediate attention to save not only his leg but his life. so
the doctor set out from St. Anthony, Newfoundland, with his komatik and his
eight best dogs.
To save a few miles, Dr. Grenfell took a shortcut across a
bay, but the ice broke up beneath him, his komatik sank, and one dog drowned.
He and the other dogs climbed out of the water onto an ice pan, which drifted
out to sea in an offshore wind. In the cold and solitude of a day ad a night on
the ice, the doctor was now in peril. Frostbitten and snow-blind, he turned to
his remaining dogs and performed one final, desperate act in an attempt to save
Adrift on the Ice Pan is the best known of the
autobiographical accounts of Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell, the famous Labrador
doctor. Originally published in 1909, it has sparked much discussion over Dr.
Grenfell’s character: his legendary ingenuity, evangelical faith, and love of