[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The storyteller incorrectly referred to Sarah Scholl as a physician. That is incorrect. Ms. Scholl is a physician's assistant.]
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
It is a Friday morning, which is when we hear from our project StoryCorps. And this morning we have a story from Andrew DeVries. Seven years ago, he was struck by a car while riding his motorcycle - needed a whole team of doctors to help with his injuries. The doctor who helped to lead that care - sometimes called a hospitalist - made all the difference in his recovery.
Mr. ANDREW DEVRIES: I had been told that I had a broken leg. What I didn't realize was that leg was not broken, it was shattered. After a number of surgeries, it became apparent that I would not be able to keep the leg. And as everybody was making plans for my life without a leg, a young hospitalist came up to me and said, Andy, what kind of golf ball do you play?
As I'm thinking about life without a leg - and it would be removed mid-thigh -talking about golf balls seemed almost idiotic. But I did respond that the kind of golf ball I play was a Titleist Pro V1. I woke up in the morning and there were flowers around my room, and right in the middle of all those flowers was a yellow 12-pack of Titleist Pro V1s.
That hospitalist, Sarah, had purchased those for me. And Sarah brought hope. She had helped me stop thinking about how sorry I should feel for myself, and she brought a glimmer of hope that there would be something after loss of leg.
I woke up in recovery and I had ten toes. There was a little bit of blood flow and they decided not to take the leg. And when I was to be released, Sarah came in that day to wheel me from my room to the ambulance. She and I had developed a very, very close patient-doctor relationship.
And Sarah shared with me that she had lost her father and she asked me to do her a favor. She said, I'd like you to walk me down the aisle. And I said, Sarah, you don't have a boyfriend. She said, someday I will. I started to think: I'm going to this next hospital knowing that I might not get out of a wheelchair and she asked me to walk her down the aisle.
Now, this accident took place seven years ago in September of '02, and this summer I got an email from her saying, I have a boyfriend; will you come? And I had the privilege of walking, rather than wheelchairing, of walking Sarah down the aisle.
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INSKEEP: Andrew DeVries. That's StoryCorps in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
His story and all the others will be archived at the Library of Congress, and you can sign up the Podcast at NPR.org.
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INSKEEP: This is NPR News.