Eddie had previously been very healthy. We didn't know what was happening to him; the doctors we saw weren't sure either. After a couple years of being poked and probed, being told it was "all in his head" and eventually being misdiagnosed, Eddie began taking meds for a disease he didn't have. The meds he took for that disease nearly did him in. At our wit's end, we finally checked into the hospital at the University of Michigan, determined to stay there until we got some answers.
Early on during that hospital stay a young resident walked into the room. His name was Joshua Cohen, and he and Eddie were about the same age. The two guys had a lot in common; they hit it off very well. The young Joshua Cohen seemed to make it his mission to give us a proper diagnosis. Over the course of the next three weeks, Joshua, our new friend, worked overtime to help one of his very first patients. The diagnosis was Myasthenia Gravis. With medication, Eddie has lived a full and active life, and it's really because of a young resident who put his nose to the grindstone and didn't give up until he had successfully solved the puzzle.
Fast forward 40 years. Our son Max is in medical school. Soon enough he will be a resident. Like Joshua Cohen. Eddie recently told Max the story about how important it was for him to get a proper diagnosis. How it saved his life. As I heard Eddie and Max discuss it, I realized we had never really had a chance to thank Dr. Cohen. I suggested we do that.
Eddie: There are probably a thousand Dr. Joshua Cohens out there.
Me: I bet we'll recognize him.
Thanks to Google, it took about three minutes to find our unsung hero. Eddie wrote him an email, expressing our gratitude and hoping he'd remember us after all these years. Of course he did. Eddie was one of his firsts. How could he forget?
Dr. Cohen wrote back immediately. During their correspondence, Eddie mentioned that Max was in medical school. Now Max and Joshua are in touch. Eddie was not the only one to express appreciation for Joshua's astute investigative skills, tremendous smarts and unwavering dedication; Max said "thank you," too. As the son of the patient - and as an aspiring physician.
It's a feel-good story. I thought it was worth sharing.
|Dr. Joshua Cohen|
|Eddie and Max|
PS - I'd like to congratulate Max, who found out yesterday that he is the recipient of a 2016-2017 Fulbright. He will use the grant to do research on antibiotic resistance in Colombia, South America, where he will live for the next year. His dad and I are very proud!