Yesterday I saw a patient with short-gut syndrome who underwent a liver transplant about ten years ago. Back then I had identified her impending liver failure and referred her on for transplant. She had previously been under the care of a gastroenterologist who was slow to identify that the situation as dire.
This family makes a point of coming in every year during the week of Thanksgiving. While I thought it was nothing more than a vagary of the schedule, I found out yesterday that their November visit is more than just a coincidence. They credit me with saving their daughter’s life. It’s something of a pilgrimage that makes them remember their sticky situation.
I was moved to learn this. While I sometimes minimize the importance of what I do, it’s moments like these that make me thankful for the capacity to make a difference.