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“I’m back…”

I got a call the other day from my best friend since 3rd grade telling me that she is alive and getting well in New York.

“I’ve been gone for ten days, but I’m back,” she said. “Do you know where I am?”

I was overjoyed to hear her voice and to realize that she had dialed my number herself. She had been “gone” for ten days because she had lapsed into a coma in a New York hospital.  But she had awakened.

I hear of critical health situations rather frequently because folks in our community call our office to ask how they can contact a Johns Hopkins doctor, often to address urgent and serious medical conditions. But it has been years since someone so close to me was in a critical situation. My friend’s call made me feel the way those who contact me must be feeling.

Because of my job at Johns Hopkins, I am keenly aware of the “miracles” that our medical institution performs on a daily basis through the astounding research and clinical expertise practiced here. No, this is not an advertisement for Hopkins Medicine, but a comment based on personal experience. I have been told, on many occasions, that Hopkins has saved the life of someone’s family member or friend. I’m always thrilled and proud to get this feedback, especially when I’ve been part of the referral chain. And now, with Suburban Hospital part of the Johns Hopkins system — and the approval of the master plan that will allow Hopkins to plan for the next 30 years in Shady Grove — I am hopeful that the research for which we serve as a catalyst will reduce suffering and save the lives of many people we know and love.

I am very grateful for the wisdom of our elected leaders who saw fit to look into the future and face it with vision and energy.

And I feel certain that Johns Hopkins and the other research institutions in our Shady Grove science center will be the source of many new jobs, new opportunities and new phone calls that bring the message, “I’m back!”

CATEGORY: Meeting of the Minds