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Sunday, February 25, 2007

He probably saved my life: A patient advocate

Retired Probate Court Judge Sumner Kaplan was hospitalized for life-threatening colon cancer. A long-time retiree friend—a former physician named Jonathan Fine—visited and even stayed with him in the hospital, sleeping on the floor. Dr. Fine (yes, that’s his real name) clarified the explanations of Sumner’s doctors, fetched ice water, helped Sumner walk the halls, eased his anxieties about dying, and pressed for a CT scan that uncovered an internal bleed (hemorrhage) that could have killed Sumner.

“He probably saved my life…He gave me not only a feeling of comfort, but of hope,” judged Kaplan.

Advice: Get an advocate for your hospital stay.

Read another story of an advocate friend, or read the article by Alice Dembner in today’s Boston Globe.

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