May 29, 2014 in Letters, Opinion

Owe life to doctor

 

I am a non-service-connected disabled Vietnam era veteran with a more than 40-year medical problem.

In 2008, my medical condition deteriorated to the point where I reached the limitation of care available at the VA hospital in Spokane.

My surgeon, Dr. Philip P. Alford did not give up, but tried everything available, including consulting with other Spokane physicians, and physicians in the Seattle VA hospital.

By January 2009, my weight was life-threatening. No, my weight problem was not that I was overweight, but underweight. I was not able to eat solid food and was hospitalized for total parenteral nutrition. I saw every surgeon at the Spokane VA hospital and, eventually, one surgeon said I would have to go to Seattle, Portland or San Francisco because I needed university-level medical care.

Dr. Alford continued to provide exceptional care, and made arrangements for me to be seen at the Seattle VA.

To this day, I credit Dr. Alford for the fact that I am still alive. His trauma fellowship at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore prepared him to provide exceptional care to veterans and, when he is activated to active duty, to current military personnel.

Charles Lehman

Spokane


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