My mother received high recommendations for this young doctor, which prompted her to meet with him before I was born. Little did they know I would become his first spina bifida patient.
I’ve always shared a special relationship with my pediatrician, Ronnie Kent. He was a young doctor, right out of medical school when I was born. My mother received high recommendations for this young doctor, which prompted her to meet with him before I was born. Little did they know I would become his first spina bifida patient. Caring for me presented many challenges which encouraged him to reach beyond his available knowledge to give me the best care humanly possible.
My story begins when I wrote a poem for him. The poem just came to me out of the blue one day. I wrote it down, never intending to do anything else with it. I showed it to several members of my family. The response was always the same, they all said I should show it to Dr. Kent.
After giving some thought to the matter, I decided to give Dr. Kent a copy of the poem. I bought a frame and put a printed copy inside. I never would have dreamed something which seemed so simple to me, could evoke such a powerful reaction. As long as I live, that is day I will never forget.
I dropped by his office, poem in hand. Since he was seeing patients, I didn’t expect to get to see him. The receptionist took the poem and read it, then told me to "go back and give it to him". At first, I stood there, in shock. I made my way to the back and waited to catch Dr. Kent between patients. I heard his voice in a nearby room and it wasn’t long before he emerged.
After exchanging greetings, I handed him the framed poem. As he began reading, he asked "you wrote this" and when he finished he added "for me?". I was surprised by the powerful reaction I received. Nothing is more rewarding for a writer than seeing their work have a profound effect on intended subject. In the beginning, I was nervous about sharing the poem face to face. Looking back, I am glad things worked out as they did.
I thought things couldn’t get better. Dr. Kent co-published a book and I attended a signing held in a local bookstore. I went expecting to be treated politely but as just another person in the crowd. I waited my turn in line and had my book signed by his co-author first then he passed the book to Dr. Kent. He signed my book and didn’t look up until he was finished. I could not have done better had I been trying to surprise him. In the process of standing to shake my hand, he nearly turned his chair over. He then proceeded to tell the other author I was the person who had written the poem for him. On that day, I felt like a million bucks.
A few months later, my first book was published and released. I called to tell Dr. Kent about it but was not able to speak to him. The receptionist left a message for him to call me back. Weeks went by and I assumed he was not going to call me back. One day, the phone rang. I nearly dropped the phone when I realized Dr. Kent was on the other end. He congratulated me on my book and we talked a few minutes more.
Over the years, Dr. Kent has been a constant part of my life. Although, I am no longer his patient, I try to keep in touch. I’m glad I was able to write something which had a profound effect. In a small way, it was my way of saying thank you for everything he has done for me through out my years. I was fortunate to have his exceptional support and care going up. Without him, I would not have many of the abilities I enjoy today.