Memorable Moments-Drs. Chambers, Sweet and Vollenweider
We asked several doctors who appear on the Best and Top Doctors lists to share a memorable day or experience in their medical careers.
Dr. Danelle Chambers
General Surgeon, The Surgical Group of Orlando
Several years ago I had the privilege of helping a patient recover after complications from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. I was recently asked to see him while he was back in the hospital. Upon my entrance into the room he declared, “Here is one of the doctors who saved my life.” I was taken aback by the sentiment, for I thought I had just repaired a fistula and a hernia. He then went on to ask about my children by name and how they were doing in school as well as in their respective sports. He asked if my husband had finally bought that dream car we had talked about. I was amazed by the impact that I had on his life that he would remember such details of previous conversations. It was truly a reminder of why I do what I do every day.
Dr. Jon Sweet
Medical Director, Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, Florida Hospital Altamonte
I’ve been practicing as an OB-GYN for more than 20 years, and in this time I have been fortunate to share the joyous moments of pregnancy and birth with new mothers. But I have also shared the heartache and despair of complications and miscarriages. Many of the women who suffer miscarriages continue to try to get pregnant and are finally able to experience the elation of having a baby. I had one patient who had five miscarriages, but kept trying to conceive and was finally able to carry her baby full-term. I was blessed to be there with her every step of the way. I shared the heartache of her miscarriages, but in the end, I shared the overwhelming sense of joy and ecstasy of her new baby.
Dr. Mark A. Vollenweider
Pulmonologist and Critical Care Specialist, Orlando Health Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Specialists
One of my first patients changed my perspective as a doctor. For three years I watched her fight against lymphoma, a tumor that obstructed her airway, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She showed courage and hope and was able to visit Hawaii, spend time with her children, and see grandchildren graduate from high school—goals on her bucket list. Unfortunately the tumor came back and she passed away. Her family kept in touch. They were grateful for the time spent together. I later learned the patient’s husband died. Even though they have passed away, I still have their numbers in my phone. Caring for her and her family solidified my belief that patients are people with a disease—and not just a disease, or a cancer, or a procedure to be done. Families share in the cycle of emotions patients face during an illness and end of life. I am not only taking care of patients; caring for their families is just as important.