Dear Dr Bartels,
On a recent medical visit, a new physician reviewed my medical history. As she came upon the notation of the removal of an acoustic neuroma on my left balance and hearing nerve, she quickly looked up at my face. The first thing she asked me was, "Who was your doctor?" I smiled and told her that I was very fortunate to have been under your care in Tampa, FL. This is not the first time I have been asked this question.
To update you, in 1998 and 1997, I had MRI's. Both were negative for any tumor on the right side and any re-growth on the left side. Over the years, I have managed to compensate for the lack of stereo hearing. But after all these years, my right ear is now getting tired of doing the work of two. I've tried a CROS aid and a digital hearing aid but caused more problems than assistance.
Twenty years ago, I woke up in ICU. You asked me to smile. When I did, you said, "Just like a rose!" That rose has continued to blossom and grow thanks to your skills as a surgeon. I remarried and graduated from college ten years ago. There is only one way to express my gratitude for giving me the rest of my life, thank you.