A hospital story

When Corina died, the mother of one of her patients sent in the following story, which was read by another physician at her standing-room-only funeral.  The tale helps explain to those who didn't know her what kind of person and doctor she was:

       "My name is Christie Smith and my children are just a few out of many of Dr. Carroll's patients. My son Chase is now almost 14 but we have been with Dr. Carroll ever since he was 2 months old...  I could write my own book about her and there are so many stories from the last 14 years that I would love to share, but there is one special little story that I'm very honored to share with you.

        My son Chase was a very sick baby and Dr. Carroll took us in as new patients just out of the blue, so for me she was a Godsend to my family.  My husband and I were very young and he was our first child so you can imagine how scared we were when they started wanting to run all kinds of tests on him.  At that time I didn't know Dr. Carroll very well, but she was so kind and gentle with my son and with us.  She helped me in so many ways to just relax and take a breath until we knew for sure what we were dealing with.  Dr. Carroll always had Chase's best interest at hand first but she also had mine as the mother, so I started to form a very close and trusting relationship with her and I needed her guidance!  As time went on, she never gave up trying to find that one right person that could help us, and we were finally able to give him the proper diagnosis to his affliction and because of that he is still with us today -- and how grateful we are you can only imagine.

         But during this time I was beginning to get so tired and stressed that no one was gonna be able to help my son, but then one day things changed. This one day Chase was very sick and I took him into the office for Dr. Carroll to look at him and she was very concerned and worried with what she found.  Chase's body was covered with huge knots all through his Lymph Nodes and she immediatelly sent me straight over to Children's Hospital.  I was so upset that she knew she had to calm me down before I drove to the hospital, so she took ahold of me and prayed with me and said, "I have to finish my shift but as soon as I'm done and I go check on my kids, I'll be right there."

       That's all it took to calm my nerves a little but I thought she probably wouldn't come to the hospital.  We had been there about 3 hrs and had already gone through several tests but had no results yet, and I was so on edge I could barely sit still. The X-Rays that she took in her office showed the knots so clearly we all could see them, so we were prepared for the worst news. Then I heard this familiar voice coming down the hall and I was in shock to see her walk in our room with a huge smile and a welcome hug both for me and for Chase!  She told me that she went home to make sure her little children were ok and fed, and then she got all of her kids and herself down and had a special prayer for our Chase, and those were her exact words "our Chase"...  I was so touched that a Dr. would care so much for my child and then to go home and have a special prayer with her own family for my little family.  It was right then and there I knew I didn't have a Pediatrician caring for us but a TRUE FRIEND as well!  Just by her being there with us, she gave me such a peace of mind that I was able to calm down and relax (she just had a special way of doing that for us).

       She stayed with us for 6 hrs until all tests were done and ready to be read for final results.  She went down to the radiology department and got the tests results herself, and I heard someone running up the hall so as I stepped out to see what was going on.  It was her, with her arms up, the tests results in one hand and the x-rays in the other and when she got to me she wrapped both arms around my waist, picked me up and spun me around, saying:  "They're gone, they're gone"!!!  As you know, Dr. Carroll is a tiny thing and I'm at least 5'9", but she was so happy she could have lifted the building that day.  People didn't know for sure which was the mother, her or me!  But as she put me down and started to explain, she said let me show you these x-rays and she had the before and after and put them together and it was then that we all witnessed a true miracle together. I asked her what happened and she smiled so big and said, "Prayer, that's what."  She told me "I'm a doctor and I believe in science but this is one time I believe in a higher power."  The doctors all came in to look at everything and everyone was just in shock, they couldn't believe what had just happened because they all really thought that Chase would be going to the cancer floor!

       The sweetest thing that came from all of that was when everyone started to clear out of the room and we were waiting to be released to go home, she told me that she was so happy because she was gonna get to go home and tell her little kids that their sweet little prayers had been answered!!!  And that touched me so much I just started to cry and so did she!  Chase still has a lot of health issues, but he is OUR walking miracle and I'm happy to say Your Dr. Carroll has been a huge part of OUR amazing journey.  My family will never ever forget her and the kind and gentle hand that she gave to us when my family was in crisis and in a very unsettling place."

Dr. Carroll's memory may be honored by tax-deductible donations to the Chattanooga Pediatric Foundation, 910 Blackford Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403.

Known by its initials as the CPF, the Foundation continues honoring Dr. Carroll's memory and pursues its mission of advancing the education of pediatric medicine specialists and subspecialists.  Its services include the Corina Field Carroll Annual Grand Rounds Series at Children's Hospital at Erlanger, an educational presentation given each year by a national thought leader on child abuse and protection topics.

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Pat Metheny Group (Still Life (Talking))