Will a superhero come to the rescue and save our cave mom and cave baby? Luckily, that superhero exists and is known then and now as good old Mother Nature.
Author: Daniel G. Heller
1ST FLAP COPY Several years ago, while I was rounding at one of the Brigham and Women's Hospital nurseries, a new father shared a funny story with me. Early the previous morning, this new father went to the hospital lobby in search of coffee and bagels. While waiting in line at the coffee shop, the father noticed a man enter the lobby. He was struck by the odd appearance of this man. In the midst of a brutally cold New England winter, this man was dressed in a bicycle racing shirt, shorts, ski socks pulled up to his knobby knees, ankle weights, a hos- pital ID badge around his neck, and a propeller att- ached to the top of his bicycle helmet. When he returned to his wife's hospital room, he told her about his experience. This new dad worked in the human services field and was very impressed that the hospital was so progressive as to hire such an obviously mentally challenged person. About ten minutes passed when the new parents heard a loud knock on the hospital room door. To their surprise, shock, astonishment and horror, the same man walked into the room-complete with the propeller helmet, shorts, ski socks, ankle weights. Now the man had a stethoscope around his neck and was pushing a portable crib with their new baby! Greeting the shocked and befuddled new parents, the man proudly announced his arrival. "Hi, I'm Dr. Heller. I'm your pediatrician and am here to exam- ine your baby." Dr. Dan was, without a doubt, the most unique, charismatic and outgoing individual who one will ever meet. As one mother remarked to me, 'You will always remember the first time you met Dr. Dan." Bruce Bunnell, MD, Dr. Heller's partner of 15 years at Centre Pediatrics, told this story at a memorial sevice for Dr. Heller in 2005. 2nd FLAP: "Having Dr. Heller for a doctor was like having Mary Poppins for a nanny." -Parent, Sara B. "Dr. Dan was an original-that's the only way I know how to put it. He is such a huge part of our family history that memories keep flooding in. For example, when our daughter finally slept through the night after months of disturbing our sleep, my husband and I were not only shocked: as new parents, we were also worried that her brand new sleep pattern might signal a serious medical problem. Dr. Dan was on when I called, and I will never forget how he questioned me closely about symp- toms and listened very carefully to all I said. Then, as I hung on to every word of diagnosis he could provide for me, he slowly explained, 'That, Mrs. L, is what we in the medical profession refer to as ...a blessing!'" -Parent, Susan L.