Blair Tolar, MD, was busy caring for patients at Baptist Health Paducah when he felt a sharp pain in his chest. The pain subsided after a few minutes, but the longtime OBGYN didn’t feel well the rest of the day.
Eventually Dr. Tolar headed to the Emergency Department, where it was determined he had suffered a tear in the heart’s main artery, and immediate surgery was required. Quick, cutting-edge, compassionate care saved his life — and for that he is grateful.
“I am incredibly grateful for the entire team at Baptist,” he says — from the emergency room staff to the surgeons, from ICU nurses to physical therapists, and every other caregiver he encountered along the way. “Quite simply, I want them to know how truly grateful I am. They all participated in their own ways to save my life.”
The long list of Baptist Health caregivers for whom he’s thankful includes cardiothoracic surgeon Austin Ward, MD, who performed a life-saving surgery, as well as physical therapist assistant JoAnne Pellarin, who encouraged him to overcome challenges early on in his recovery.
“I will not forget when I told JoAnn that I did not feel like walking. She stayed there and would not let me sit,” says Dr. Tolar, adding that she was not intimated or deterred by the fact that he was a physician and chief of surgery at the hospital. “I was grateful that JoAnn did not let me stay in bed. She made me walk, and I am grateful for that.”
Saying ‘thanks’ is one thing. But sharing gratitude can change people.