Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Title: Every Day Medical Miracles

Category: Lagniappe - a little extra

I was impressed recently with the cover of US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT. It displayed a smiling 7 year old child with bandages around his head. He had undergone neurosurgery for a recurrent brain tumor one week prior to the picture. His surgery was done by
Dr. Ben Carson, a black pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. The story chronicled how Matthew was struggling to get his surgery paid for because of living in the State of Michigan. His insurance carrier did not want to pay for
him to see a physician in another state. The neurosurgeons in Michigan did not even want to do surgery and felt that his case was hopeless. Fortunately his parents were persistent and finally got approval for Dr. Carson to do the surgery. The result was at least
for now a success and a hopeless case was turned around. I would call this an everyday miracle which occurs around the world in the field of medicine. It reminds me to never give up hope on any patient and also to pray like hell for all patients.

Dr. Ben Carson is one of the most inspirational physicians I have ever read about. He grew up in inner city Baltimore and has seemingly had all the strikes against him. His mother worked as a maid and barely had enough money to provide for he and his brother.
His dad who had been a preacher, abandoned the family when he was a young child. Ben and his brother were doing poorly in school and getting into lots of trouble. Fortunately his mom chose to raise him with strict and loving discipline. She limited he and his brother's exposure to gangs, which were all around the
neighborhood. She would not let them watch TV until they had done their homework. She got a few neighbors to help her supervise the kids until she got home from her long day's work. By the time Ben graduated from School, he was gifted both academically and in music. He set his goal to become a pediatric neurosurgeon and has practically rewritten the book in the field. He has been the chairman of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins for the past ten years, even though he is only 43 years old. He does over 500 neurosurgeries a year which is an unbelievably large quantity considering each surgery takes several hours. Dr. Ben Carson, experiences medical miracles every day. He has gifted hands and a very deep Christian faith.

When I started practice in 1981, I remember feeling somewhat hopeless as many patients with chronic diseases came in to the office. I didn't want to discourage them but at the same time I hated to give them false hope. I decided that the best thing to do
was to take it one day at a time and to pray for them and consult the best help I could get for them. Through the years I have been amazed time after time at how patients with seemingly fatal diseases push death back for a month or even a year or more and settle family and personal affairs. I have seen children that I never believed would pull through survive and go on to lead complete lives. Talking to other physicians I have heard the same
stories shared by them as well. All this reminds me of what a wonderful privilege it is to be in the medical field and to witness these special everyday miracles. Like Matthew's family, the child in the U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT article, we should all be aggressively assertive for our children's health and never give up
hope. There may just be another miracle around the corner. We certainly should pray for them.