Grateful patient letter: ‘By simply noticing that we needed help and providing guidance … you calmed my anxiety’

Arnold Menezes, MD

The following letter is just one of many examples of notes from grateful patients or family members that UI Hospitals & Clinics receives every month—this one thanking Arnold Menezes, MD, neurosurgery, for showing empathy and stopping to help a family find their way.

Dr. Menezes –

I want to recognize and thank you for your kindness and help this past weekend. My husband and I were at the hospital to determine the best, most efficient parking and hospital walking routes for the following week. On that day, I would be driving my parents—both in their eighties—over an hour to Iowa City in the early morning. My dad had a tumor and was to have a follow-up MRI and appointment. My parents are in generally good health, but they have difficulty walking longer distances, and they were very anxious about the visit. My husband and I were simply trying to make the whole experience easier for them by planning everything out in advance of the appointments.

While trying to find a convenient path from the Otolaryngology Clinic to Valet Parking, we inadvertently got locked out of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion. We came across the street into the main hospital to try to figure out how to get back into Pomerantz on the main floor. You were on your way out of the hospital when you noticed that we were confused and a little bit lost. You stopped and asked if you could help us. We told you about our predicament and you very thoroughly and patiently explained how to handle it. You walked with us to the street to make sure we got where we needed to go. You even asked about my dad’s upcoming visit and offered suggestions to make the visit less challenging.

I know you are a very busy man. What you do really matters. You were working on a Sunday morning. Despite all these things, you had the compassion to recognize that we needed assistance and make sure we received it. This incident may have been only a blip in your day, but I can assure you that it meant a great deal to me. Normally, UI Hospitals & Clinics is intimidating and pretty scary to people. It’s big, it’s hectic, and people are there because they or a loved one have a major health concern. That’s terrifying and overwhelming. By simply noticing that we needed help and then providing guidance and assurance, you calmed my anxiety and changed my whole mindset. Thanks in no small part to you, our visit went very smoothly, and we got the wonderful news that there has been no growth of my dad’s tumor!

I really wish I could give you an award, but please know that you have my sincere gratitude. I know that the clinical work you do as a physician changes lives, but I can assure you that your extraordinary kindness changed mine. You are an amazing ambassador for UI Hospitals & Clinics.

Thank you!

—A grateful family member


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