Good Evening Ladies and Germs!

There’s no doubt that as a pediatrician there’s certain families you get to know better than others. Very often it’s when the kids are younger and therefore more prone to getting fevers, ear infections, and other illnesses. They also have more frequent check ups and shots and so are simply in the office more frequently. I’ve taken care of Thomas Carroll since he was born. He’s now 12 years old. Thomas had a lot of ear infections and some asthma problems and therefore was one of those kids that needed frequent office visits. Usually he came in with his mom and, like most toddlers between 12 and 24 months, he would fight and scream every time i tried to examine him. One day, however, Thomas came in accompanied by his father.

I walked into the exam room and Mr. Carroll told me how Thomas was acting up while the medical assistant was trying to weigh him. They ended up getting his weight somehow but Mr. Carroll made it clear that if the office needed Thomas to stand on the scale and be still, then he would see to it that Thomas would stand on that scale and be still. Period. I was impressed. Mr. Carroll was going to do what was best for his son, not what his son wanted. If the doctor’s office needed Thomas, to be still on the scale, then he was going to see to it that his son complied whether he wanted to or not. I think Thomas is very fortunate to have a father that thinks the way that Mr. Carroll does.

Mr. Carroll has served FOUR tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost 5 years total in war-torn countries. I remember seeing him shortly before he was leaving for his 2nd tour. I felt awful. I felt bad for him, his wife, his son, his parents. Thomas was only about a year and a half. Eventually Tamia, a beautiful and healthy daughter, came into the world. If I felt bad, imagine what his wife must have been feeling raising their children by herself while praying every night for her husband’s safety. She was sacrificing too.

I believe the sacrifice that our troops and their families have to endure is beyond comprehension of people that have not been in their shoes. It certainly is for me. When Mr. Carroll got back from his third tour he told me himself he was almost killed on several occasions. I can’t even fathom that. No civilian can. There’s nothing in my life that I can even remotely compare to what Mr. Carroll and thousand of other troops and their families have endured.

Remembering and honoring our troops should occur daily. It might be as simple as a “thank you for your service” to a uniformed troop or a small donation to Wounded Warriors, the Pat Tillman Foundation, or Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. As always, Estrella Pediatrics donated to one of the above causes on Memorial Day. And, as always, my office will forever respect and honor our troops and their families and recognize the extraordinary sacrifice they make for us.

-Dr. B