Hero Story

Published: April 1, 2020

By Jim Lichtman
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Heroes come in all forms: fire, police, paramedics, even everyday citizens. During this worldwide pandemic afflicting millions, we need heroes more than ever.

As the top expert on infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been praised as the most trusted man in the country due to his straight talk about the spread of the coronavirus which has now infected more than 185,000, with more than 3,800 deaths in the U.S. alone.

“It’s really tough,” Fauci says, “because you have to be honest with the American public and you don’t want to scare the hell out of them.”

The vital ingredient Fauci and others bring to the current crisis is the truth… the whole truth and nothing but.

Not everyone in the country has access to first-rate health care. I’m lucky to have an extraordinary internist.

In 2002, I went for a regular check-up. During the appointment, I mentioned that I felt a little tightness in my chest during a workout. His eyes grew large as he immediately picked-up the phone and called a cardiologist across the street. A couple of days later, tests showed that 4 arteries surrounding my heart were 85-90 percent blocked.

While my return to normal took several months, this was just one example of how the expertise and medical wisdom of Dr. Richard Danson came to my rescue.

In times of critical care, internists, surgeons, medical specialists of all kinds not only dedicate themselves to patients with their skill and judgment but utilize that other vital tool: the truth.

When it was explained to me that I would require open-heart surgery, my first reaction was disbelief. I never smoked or drank anything other than a little wine and had regularly exercised. However, listening to the truth from both my cardiologist and Dr. Danson, who first raised concern, was critically important and aided in my eventual recovery.

When a routine CT scan showed a small spot on my lung two years ago, it was Dr. Danson, again who immediately scheduled an appointment with a pulmonologist, and ultimately recommended a surgeon to remove an early stage, rare cancer.

In late February, Danson first raised the alarm about the coronavirus and cautioned his patients to stay home. He was set to retire on April 1st and turn his time and attention to other medical work in the field until this deadly virus attacked the world. Without hesitation, he jumped back in and got to work doing what he’s always done, treating the sick.

Dr. Richard Danson and the more than one million doctors, nurses, surgeons, specialists and other health care providers are humanity’s frontline warriors whose experience, judgment, compassion and dedication are vitally important to us now, more than ever.

Oh, and thank you, Dr. D for saving my life… twice!


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