When the doctor becomes the patient

Pediatrician finds himself needing heart care, shares gratitude for saving his life

Gerald F. Sturgeon, M.D., has been a pediatrician in the Louisville community for 50 years and with Norton Children’s Medical Associates – Dupont since 2011. He recently found himself on the receiving end of patient care and wanted to share his experience. He conveyed his gratitude in a letter to Andrew N. Strausbaugh, chief administrative officer, Norton Brownsboro Hospital.

“In June 2018 I woke early one morning experiencing severe back and chest pain. Realizing this might be serious, I woke my wife and we went to Norton Brownsboro Hospital’s emergency department.”

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Not long after arriving, Dr. Sturgeon was diagnosed with a cardiac incident and introduced to Vipul R. Panchal, M.D., interventional cardiologist with Norton Heart Specialists.

Dr. Panchal recommended that Dr. Sturgeon undergo a cardiac catheterization.

“The praise I want to give to your hospital and staff is not only for how rapid and efficient I was seen, evaluated and treated, but more importantly, how everyone that my wife and I came in contact with was kind, courteous, caring and efficient. This included everyone — the physicians, the nurses, their aides and assistants, the lab people, the respiratory therapist, all of the attendants in the cath lab, the food service and environmental services team.

“I did not write down all their names nor can I remember them, but they know who they were and I sincerely hope they understand what a great job they did. All in all, in spite of my personal situation, it was a wonderful experience.

“My wife and I wish you to pass this on to all the people involved in my care and thank them.”

“I was not surprised by Dr. Sturgeon’s letter because Dr. Panchal and the cath lab staff have created an exceptional cardiac program with excellent quality data as well as a meaningful patient experience,” Andrew said.

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