An Unforgettable Story
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Dr. Wagshul and his wife Joyce spent a lot of time with "Pop"—but what he told them one day during the pandemic was indeed remarkable.
Dr. Wagshul wanted to share it with you.
In late January, 2022...
...my father-in-law, Dr. Jack Kamen, passed away.
Dr. Kamen was a renowned anesthesiologist who opened Indiana's first ICU in the early 1960s. "Pop" —as his kids called him— was also the co-inventor of the "Kamen-Wilkinson Foam-Cuff Endotracheal Tube"—a device that revolutionized anesthesia by using an inflatable foam cuff to keep the rubber tubing used for intubation during surgery away from the airway. This prevented scarring of the airway and dangerous abrasions that could become serious if the esophagus was breached.
Over the years, I would spend hours talking to Pop about medicine. Mostly, I would listen while Pop told me about his early days of medicine, which Pop called "the days of the wild west." He would regale me with unbelievable tales of his days as a general practitioner in a rough, mostly industrial area of northwest Indiana, near Chicago. I could never get enough of talking about medicine with Pop.
Many times, we would discuss the art of patient care, and what was most essential in treating each patient. Pop and I agreed that the most important thing in the world at any given moment was the patient who was in the room. By focusing on that one patient, and devising treatment plans that would benefit the health, well-being and quality of life for that one patient, the Hippocratic Oath to care equally and optimally for each and every patient would be honored.
Soon after Pop's passing, my wife Joyce wrote an article about a momentous conversation she and I had with Pop in the summer of 2020—when the pandemic was raging. During that conversation, it became quite apparent to us both that had Pop—an absolutely brilliant clinician— been calling the shots during the pandemic, COVID would have quickly retreated into the sunset. It's true.
Click HERE for the link to the article. I hope you enjoy reading it.