Foreigner drowns after being swept away by wave

An American drowned at 4pm on Friday after being pulled away by the current on Carmen beach, located in Santa Teresa de Cóbano, Puntarenas. The body of the victim, Bryan Sommer, age 50 was discovered floating in the surf and after being declared dead was taken to the Judicial Morgue in San Joaquín de Flores, Heredia.

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36 Responses to Foreigner drowns after being swept away by wave

  1. Randolph Sumner says:

    Just to correct the spelling. This is the sad story of my brother. His name is Brian Sumner, age 51. He was a respected internal medicine physician from New York City who did much work for international missions in Africa, Haiti and South America. He was on vacation when his wife to get a much needed rest when he died. His family here is all devastated.

    • Jack Harris says:

      Randy, I hope you and your family, especially your parents, will accept my sincere sympathy and that of my wife Shields. Jack Harris

    • Mike says:


      Please accept our condolences.

      Dr. Sumner cared for my wife and me as our primary-care doctor since 2003. I looked forward to his becoming physician for our boys.

      His death is devastating.

      Dr. Sumner was a great doctor. He possessed supreme competence and patience. He listened.

      Today I realized efforts to win his approval inspire my tortuous exercise and abstinence. He beamed when I lost weight.

      Friday at my annual physical I was dreading having to explain how I gained five pounds since a visit in July. I'm truly sorry I won't have the opportunity. I will miss him dearly.

      God bless you, your family and Dr. Sumner's soul.

      Mike K.

    • Hilary Zwicky says:

      My husband, Henry, daughter, Alexandra, and I have been patients of Dr Sumner for a long period of time.

      After reading all these lovely posts, I can only add that he was a wonderful doctor and a very caring person. Yes, he listened, he took his time, and made you feel like you were his sole patient. I had an ongoing problem that I told him I could "live with," and he said, "but is that enough for you? Lets try to get to the bottom of it – I want you to feel better." This was the kind of guy he was. It wasn't just about medicine, but life-style – he recommended yoga, acupuncture, was open to anything new, but held firm to the old-fashioned eat your veggies rule as well.

      I miss him, and will continue to miss him.

      I can't imagine what Leslee, Randolph, and all his family and friends are going through. I am happy that I've had a chance to express my feelings, and, if there is a public memorial, I would like very much to attend.
      Thank you
      Hilary Zwicky

    • Dawn says:

      Dear Randolph,
      My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
      Dr. Sumner was my doctor over the last few years. He was a wonderful doctor and a wonderful man.
      He listened, he cared, and he remembered little things. He truly was a special person.

      I will miss him.

      Again, my deepest sympathy.

  2. Viki says:

    Randolph, my sincerest sympathy for the loss of such a great brother.

  3. Fred Scott says:

    I am Brian's and Leslee's neighbor and am completely crushed by this news. My deepest condolences to Leslee and the family.

  4. D. Edwards says:

    Dr Sumner was the DR for my wife and I for over 12 years and I have to say that I would brag truthfully to all my friends that he was the best Dr. we ever had, bedside manners that was to be modeled and he truly cared about his patients and we were shocked to hear the sad news. We will truly miss our DOCTOR!!! Sincere condolence to his wife and family, we grieve with you!!!

  5. Dawn Mistry and Dr Mistry says:

    Dr Sumner was our doctor as well, and we thought only the most amazing things of him. We are very sad and will miss our Doctor.

  6. darryl says:

    Your brother was physician to both myself and my mother.
    We are both very shocked and very sad by such a tragedy. Our most sincere heartfelt condolences to you and the rest of his family.

  7. Randolph Sumner says:

    I am so touched by all of the comments and especially those of his patients. These will be a comfort to his parents and Leslee.

  8. Mary Krensavage says:

    My husband and I are devastated and deeply saddened. Brian was our Dr. since I became pregnant with my first son 10 years ago and began fainting. He was not only the best doctor that my husband and I have had, but he was an excellent human being with great compassion. He cared deeply for my husband and I and motivated us to make day-to-day healthier choices. My husband and I will miss him and send blessings to his wife, family and loved ones and to Dr. Sumner's heart and soul.

  9. Melanie Sumner says:

    Brian was my brother and the godfather to my children. He and his wife Leslee have been enormously important in our lives. We love him and miss him. Thank your for all the comments. I read them to our parents today.

  10. Barrie Huberman says:

    Dear Ralph and Melanie – Brian's office was just across the hall from mine in the old days at Lenox Hill Hospital. We chatted just weeks ago over at the hospital. I am deeply saddened for your loss. Brian was a true gentleman, always kind and thoughtful. Please know and pass along to Leslee that all of us in the dept of medicine at LHH are reflecting on his life and thinking of you. Barrie

  11. Natalie Gutierrez says:

    Randolph, Melanie and Brian's loving family,

    My husband and I are devastated by the loss of your humble serving brother, and our brother in Christ-Brian. My husband and I are members of the Park Avenue Christian Church, where both Brian and Leslee joined a time ago. We also were involved in Couples Ministry together and the couple emanated such radiance and positivity- you felt the goodness in meeting them. I always commented to my husband how Leslee and Brian were like twins- two peas in a pod, an example of a strong union and you felt the goodness in both individually and as a couple. Seeing them in church regularly was always a blessing- they both have that special something that enriches the soul/spirit of others. We are truly devastated about this great loss and there has not been a day that has gone by that we have not thought about Brian and Leslee since. I am just so thankful that God put them in my path, in my spiritual community, and I get to say I knew him, and he will live on through the many lives he's touched with charity and with his loving/healing spirit forever and ever.

  12. Cynthia Cohen says:

    My husband and I are devastated by our doctor's death. He was warm and caring and a fabulous doctor. May his memory be a blessing.

  13. Posting again. Praying and meditating for his soul's journey home and for his family and loved ones healing every day. He is in our thoughts and hearts deeply. Is there a charity Brian was involved in that I can donate to?

  14. Susan Barnes Walker says:

    To All of Dear Dr. Sumner's Family –
    Dr. Sumner has been in my heart and thoughts ever since I received this sad, sad, sad news an hour before an appointment to see him this past Monday morning…I chose him, from the insurance network, to be my primary CARE physician nearly 4 years ago after reading online of the work he and Mrs. Sumner have done for so long with their Bowery Mission Medical Clinic, and from the first moment he came into the examining room he (with his cheerfulness, calm, compassion, sanity, faith, and sense of humor) never, ever ceased to make me feel safe and happy whenever there was an appointment (and he and his wonderful office staff never failed to fit me in on the same days of several emergencies). He also patiently listened to me cry and cry and cry one day over something which had driven me in with chest pains, and then remembered to ask about the situation nearly every other time I saw him…this was a doctor I planned to have till he retired. It has been a bit of a comfort to have found, this week, a video on youtube in which he and beautiful Mrs. Sumner are interviewed and shown working with patients at the Bowery Mission Medical Clinic, but…OH we will miss him so, and can only hope to keep feeling his energy (and have no doubt he is at God's table) and following the example of his good cheer and work, and as he once said, not "fret."

  15. Vinson Valega says:

    To Randolph, Melanie and Brian's family…

    My wife and I have also been utterly devastated by this news as well, which we found out only a few days ago. He has been our doctor for over 10 years and we tried to send as many of our friends to him as he could fit in. Every day since we heard of his passing has been difficult, thinking of him many, many, many times. It's just simply unbelievable that this would happen to such a special soul – such a caring, compassionate, involved, and incredible presence. Life is strange and often sad, but we are so lucky and grateful to have had him in our lives all of these years.

    Rest in Peace, Dr. Sumner. We will all remember you until it is our time to join you.

    Unending condolences to his family.

  16. Dear Randolph, Melanie and all of your family members,

    My husband (Vinson Valega) and I are devastated by the loss of your brother. We loved Brian so very much. He cared for us for 10 years, and we adored him. He was so much more to us than a doctor. He was a dear friend, a person who genuinely cared about caring for people, an activist for contemporary medicine and just such a nice person. We loved our time with him and feel your loss deeply.

    We send to you and the rest of your family our deepest sympathies and are grieving with you. Please let us know if there will be a memorial service open to the public. We would like the opportunity to say good-bye.

    With Love to you all,

    Sharon Louden

  17. Henry Zwicky says:

    To leslee , Randolph , Melanie , and the Sumner family.
    What a great human being ! A wonderful Guy , , he was attentive , he listened and he cared . he became our family Doctor me ,, my wife , and daughter .
    God bless you all , Henry Zwicky

  18. Sal Muoio says:

    Brian had been my doctor for a long number of years. Refered by my sister, he was a terrific doctor who not only really cared, but also had a way to make you feel really cared for. His passing is a very sad development. He will be immensely missed. All condolences to his family, friends and office. Sal M.

  19. Peter JS says:

    Brian had been my doctor for only a short time – two years or so but I cannot express how unusually compassionate he was in his bedside manner. He took his time to understand, listen and explain, and was very encouraging. I even brought my father to him in recent months. My dad is generally averse to annual check-ups and I only found out about Dr. Sumner's death when calling to make an appointment for him for this year. I am in shock. I am so sorry for your family's loss and wish you strength in coping with this devastating loss. He will be truly missed.

  20. James says:

    To the Sumner family,

    My wife and I have seen Dr. Sumner for over 10 years. We would share our experience as his patients with our family who are also doctors and they would be shocked at the lengths he would go to treat his patients. Not only would he spend an enormous amount of time with each patient to understand the presenting symptoms, but he would also commit this time to alleviate anxiety and develop a personal relationship.

    It was thanks to some of these many discussions that I was able to leave the stress of working in a high volume clinic as he expressed concern about the stress I was experiencing. Thanks to his encouragement I began my own practice.

    I was looking to forward to seeing him again in the coming months as I finally agreed during my last physical to a regular exercise routine for the past year and was excited to discuss the changes in my health with him.

    His work with NYC's homeless was admirable and I recently learned of his efforts to provide medical services internationally.

    My family sends our deepest sympathies to your family. He was a special person who really made a difference in my family's lives. Thank you.

    He will be dearly missed.


  21. Diane Wenzler says:

    I did not know Brian as my doctor, but as a brother in Christ and dear person who radiated the love of Jesus.
    I served with him for several years in a mercy ministry at the church he and Leslee attended several years back and can only say that both he and Leslee were grace incarnate. My heart goes out to you, Leslee, his parents, his brother and sister and all who loved him.

  22. Kim W. Wheeler says:

    I graduated from High School with Brian in 1979. We attended Darlington School in Rome, Georgia. Although I haven't seen him in many years, I remember him as a handsome and brilliant classmate. He had so many friends whom I know will miss him dearly. I am so saddened by the news, but I find comfort knowing that he is now with God. May peace be with the entire Sumner family.

  23. Arie van Duijn says:

    To the Sumner family.
    My deepest sympathy to the family for the loss of Brian, a great and compassionate human being.

    He will leave a deep hole in the life of many people. Brian achieved immortality by living on in the hearts of many people and certainly mine. Even though I have only seen him once he was certainly registered as the physician who cares and would be my regular GP.

    Courage to live on with his memory.


  24. Dana Erickson says:

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. I am utterly devastated by the news. I've been a patient of Dr. Sumner's for 10 years and over the past 5 have been lucky enough to get to see him every 3 months. Most people dreaded having to see their dr that often, but I looked forward to my appointments each and every time. Dr. Sumner was so attentive and patient with me. He remembered every little detail about my life and I did my best to introduce him to good music with every visit. He was such a special person, so kind. thoughtful, reassuring and real.

    I had to go to his office today to see another doctor and spent much of the time hugging his nurse. It became clear how well loved he was in that office. I'll miss him so much.

    I hope he's up in heaven and beaming down proud at me that I finally took his advice and started doing yoga… something I had planned on bragging to him about but will never get the chance.


  25. Frank S. Cohen MD says:

    To the family and friends of Brian Sumner, my colleague and personal physician. It is with profound sorrow that I learn of his passing. My condolences to all of his loved ones. He will be sorely missed but may his style of doctoring, his demeanor and capability live on in our hearts and souls, as he was a role model for the best there is! G-d bless to all the family, RIP Brian. I miss you dearly. Frank

  26. Rebecca Geller says:

    I love and miss you Dr. Sumner. You always treated me with respect and never judged me. Just knowing that you believed in me, g0t me through some really tough times. I'm so sad that the sea took you away from me. I will always be thankful for your kindness and love. My heart is aching.



    My deepest sympathies to Brian's entire family. I'm so sorry for your loss and wish I could take your pain away.

    Leslee- I'm sorry that you lost the love of your life.

    Dr. Sumner's staff- All of you have always been so kind to me and I'm deeply sorry for your loss.

  27. Andrei Grun,DDS says:

    He was a kind soul and a great doctor.May he rest in peace

  28. Rita Silverman says:

    Dear Sumner Family,
    My husband, daughter, and I were patients who had been seeing Dr. Sumner for about two years. We had been recommended to him by a friend of ours who is also a physician and who, along with others in her family, had been seeing him as her personal physician for many years. She had raved about what a wonderful doctor and kind human being he was. All of us found this to be true upon our very first visit.
    We will miss him as our doctor, and are truly sorry that the world and your family has lost such a caring man. We send healing wishes to all his family and office staff!
    Rita, Steve, and Arielle

  29. Sara Rahai says:

    I just learned about Dr. Sumner's tragic passing this afternoon when I called his office to make an appointment. I was overcome with great shock and sorrow. My last visit with him was just a few days before Christmas. As always his accommodating staff "squeezed me in" because I was very sick. My condolences to his wife, family, and office staff. He was a wonderful doctor and a special human being. I was his patient for about 12 years and will miss his gentle presence and wisdom immensely.

  30. Julian Klapowitz, MD says:

    Brian and I have covered each other's practice for the past ten years. He was a terrific, caring physician and an even better guy. He was an optimist in a sea of pessimists. I still cannot believe he is gone. My deepest sympathies to the Sumner family.
    Brian….I will miss you.

  31. Clan Davidson says:

    I, just now, was made aware of the passing of Dr. Sumner. I am deeply saddened that such a warm and loving person is no longer with us. Dr. Sumner will be greatly missed. My sympathy goes out to the family.

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