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Eternally Grateful
by: Colleen Duval, Source Unknown

As a young girl I remember a very special doctor name Dr. William R. Vincent. I had been to several doctors as a child, but I have a special place in my heart for Dr. Vincent. He was a Pediatric Cardiologist at UCLA back in 1971 who saved my life. I was eight years old at the time with a severe heart problem and I needed heart surgery. My Mom did not have the money to have it done, and without the surgery there was a real good chance I would not live to be thirteen years old. After contacting several organizations Dr. Vincent was able to get financial help for me through United Way, a Crippled Children's Organization.

Dr. Vincent was a handsome man; he was also very gentle and caring. I remember being in the hospital for an Angiogram test, and during the procedure I was crying hysterically, so the medical staff called in Dr. Vincent to calm me down, and he was able to comfort me when no one else could. Then the time came for me to have heart surgery; there was a fifty- percent chance that I would not make it through the surgery because it was experimental. At the time I was only the second or third person to have this procedure done, they reconstructed the main artery by using an artery from my leg. I was absolutely terrified, and again Dr. Vincent reassured me he would see to it that everything would be all right.

I had a lot of confidence and trust in Dr. Vincent; he was the most caring man I had ever known. He came to see me after the surgery, which was extremely painful but very successful, and brought me a stuffed animal. I was so surprised to get this gift from Dr. Vincent; I gave him a hug. I guess Dr. Vincent must of known I was feeling very lonely and scared because that brightened my day. You see, I had no family or friends visit me while I was in the hospital except for my Mom, and I am not sure why. I do know one thing; I had a wonderful doctor who took the time to help a scared little girl who felt all alone. This was twenty eight years ago, so wherever you are Dr. Vincent, I want to thank you for not only saving my life, but you helped me live a normal productive life, and for showing me that you truly cared, for that I will be eternally grateful to you.


Collenn Duvall is a Accounting Clerk from Southern California and work at a private Liberal Arts College in the Student Accounts office. She is a happily married mother of two boys. Her stepson Ryan is fourteen, and her adopted son Eric is two. She started writing poetry in high school and several of my poems have been published in various books by the International Library of Poetry. You may visit her home page here.

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