Because of having a few inept pediatric doctors miss or late diagnose signs & symptoms of illness, in Nicholas’s early life, I was fortunate to have a few wonderful pediatric doctors, after his disability was permanent.
One particular Doctor that I have deep respect & admiration for is Dr. Robert Ward, pediatric ENT, then at New York Hospital, now at NYU Hospital.
I have known Bob since the early 1980’s when he was a pediatric resident & I was a young NICU nurse. Even then he was the outstanding young doctor who everyone just knew was the gifted one. His intelligence was superior, without being arrogant & his empathy was genuine.
I then got to reknow Bob when Nicholas was barely two years old & had been diagnosed with a sinus infection that wasn’t responding to treatment. Bob correctly & immediately treated him without doing surgery.
Then as Nicholas’s journey continued, in the most unconventional way, Bob then went on to put in seven sets of tubes in his ears, over the next fourteen years, always around Memorial Day weekend. A record number at that time, for even someone with Bob’s experience.
He even did surgery on my daughter, Rachel & treated me a couple of times. We would laugh that we were on a family plan. He only got to know my youngest son, Jackson, as accompanying us on appointments, but is too healthy to need his expertise.
After Nicholas received his Canine Companion for Independence (CCI) dog, Feathers, Bob would encourage me to bring Feathers to Nicholas’s appointments, since he wasn’t able to attend the graduation ceremony, due to his volunteering for Doctors Without Borders, at the time.
I always emotionally dealt with these surgeries, easily, since typical kids had this surgery routinely. Strangely, it was the something that I felt Nicholas did just like his peers.
I would walk into the O.R. with Nicholas & knew the pediatric anesthesiologist too, Dr. Miles Dinner. Miles & Bob did their residency at the same time & he is an equal to Bob’s attributes.
During these brief presurgery minutes before Nicholas went to sleep, were minutes of reminiscing & catching up on our families lives. Nicholas was then out of of the O.R. & into the recovery room, before I barely had my scrubs off.
It is amazing how having an atypical life with a special needs child, can sometimes feel like it is a very natural thing.