As I pondered what I might be writing about this evening, it became evident to me that it would be incumbent upon me to write about the wonderful changes we have witnessed in the last half century or more in the medical field. Our attention has been riveted on the challenges regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic that has caused so much misery and disruption throughout the world stage for about one year now.
Attempts at politicizing the issue across a wide spectrum of the landscape has been disappointing to say the least. The failures on both sides of the aisle will be part of a wider conversation within the history books when it is discussed in the next several decades. It seems that time and time alone is the sole impartial observer that will finally bring a resolution to this shameful example of how we handled this most recent threat to our Republic.
When then President Trump challenged the medical and scientific community to come up with a vaccine capable of giving us the one weapon that might be effective in combatting this invisible enemy, some chose to criticize that action and attempted to stall that bold initiative being carried out by scientists across the spectrum in American and foreign labs across the world.
Miracles being created by those working in modern day medicine cannot be overlooked during this difficult time and should be applauded. Miracles such as the vaccine which helped to stop measles in its tracks in the early 60’s was one such accomplishment.
It was on December 3, 1967, when Dr. Christian Barnard performed the first human heart transplant, opening avenues of hope to so many who had lost theirs.
In the 80’s, we saw the first artificial heart developed, not as a replacement for the real one, but instead, to allow a patient to extend his life until a heart transplant from the appropriate heart donor could be accomplished.
One of the most amazing feats I’ve seen happen in the world of medicine had to revolve around the restoration of sight through the use of retinal prostheses, and research continues to further those results.
I think back to 1965, when my father fell ill during Christmas from the debilitating effects of cancer that had spread from his lungs to his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down at only 44 years of age. He would pass from us just prior to Thanksgiving of 1966. Had the developments in radiation, chemotherapy and other treatments we have today been in place, he may have had a different outcome.
Prosthetic limbs are no longer nonfunctioning, but instead, mimic the actions and movement of limbs lost due to accidents and or sickness.
The quality and effectiveness of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the most useful imaging devices known today. It has improved by leaps and bounds and continues to do so, becoming one of the most valued assets today in medicine.
When we reported on the challenges being faced by Chief Frazzano and Chief Murphy today, we did so not out of the desire to sensationalize the situation, but instead, to turn their situations into a teaching moment. Neither one of these two professionals wanted to create a wave of sympathy for themselves, but instead, they wanted to use their individual situations as an educational experience for all to learn from. Through their personal experiences they hope to drive home the reality that early detection is the key to making an early diagnosis and successfully beating these challenges in our own lives moving forward.
I have nothing but the highest respect and admiration for both of them and their commitment to helping others by telling their stories so our community might benefit from it and overcome its challenges.
We are extremely lucky to live in the great State of Florida, where the medical profession rises to the highest standards. Over the last number of years, I’ve had the occasion to reach out to them and can do nothing more than sing their praises, regardless of the fact they were dealing with a stubborn patient who should have known better, given my background.
You should also remember that when you pick up that phone and dial 911, you’ll be seeing the finest group of First Responders coming to assist you and your family in your time of need. God Bless them all and keep them safe during these trying times.