Surgeon shares sweater, memories
When the elderly patient lifted her arm, pointed to his UCHealth logo-emblazoned red-striped gray fleece sweater and complimented him on it, Dr. Paul Reckard didn’t respond with a simple, customary “thank you.”
Instead, within moments, the general and trauma surgeon who serves as senior medical director for perioperative services at UCHealth Memorial Hospital, truly gave the shirt off his back, peeling the sweater from his shoulders and placing it around hers.
It was, “the right thing to do,” said the veteran surgeon.
Reckard was covering the Intensive Care Unit that mid-November week. He could see the patient’s surgery went well but knew the patient’s other health issues made her condition dire. As the patient’s daughter arrived to be with her mother and Thanksgiving neared, the trio bonded over their mutual connections to the upper Midwest. Reckard attended the University of Minnesota and practiced in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before moving to Colorado Springs in 2013.
Perhaps it was the memories of frigid northern winters that prompted Reckard’s actions. Or maybe it was the realization that he wouldn’t be traveling to see his own mother for Thanksgiving as COVID-19 outbreaks swept through rural communities.
“I really didn’t think much about it,” said Reckard. “It’s all about the patient and doing whatever we can to help them. This was a small action that I was glad to be able to do for her.”