In the past, I have blogged about patients of mine who have made the news. This past week, while I was reading the newspaper before going to work, my eye was caught by an article in the Sports section about a man with a familiar name.
(Note: All personal information in this post is also seen in the article in the Washington Post, so there is no violation of confidentiality. Also, some links will require a subscription to washingtonpost.com to see.)
The article was about the head football coach at the University of Richmond, Michael London. The article spoke about Mr. London in glowing terms, talking about how he grew up in Richmond, played defensive back for the University of Richmond, and eventually became a detective in the Richmond Police Department’s street crimes unit.
See the video here.
Eventually Mr. London left the police department and became a football coach. I met Michael London when he was the linebackers coach for the University of Virginia’s football team. At this point his daughter had been diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. The London family investigated several cancer centers, and settled on Johns Hopkins.
The Washington Post article related the story of Ticynn’s transplant, and how Mike felt about being the donor. Reading about a transplant I had directed, but from the father’s perspective, was very moving. We doctors rarely truly know how our patients perceive what they are going through. We usually only know what they tell us. This time, I got to read how a patient’s family dealt with a transplant without the filter that accompanies talking with a doctor.
I remember Mike, and I remember Ticynn. It was an honor to take care of the London family, and I’m thrilled Ticynn did so well (and continues to do well). Reading an article like this, and seeing how our medical encounter fits into the arc of Mike London’s life was a fabulous experience. I only wish I could see all of my patients’ lives in this way.