Editor’s note: This letter was sent to Dr. Steven Schechinger. It is replicated below with permission from the author. This letter has not been modified and is our patient’s own words.

Dear Dr. Schechinger,

As I write you today, with tears in my eyes, I am overwhelmed with appreciation and gratitude to you and your staff.

On October 23, 2017, you performed a total left hip arthroplasty. Your patient: the man I am honored and so beyond proud to call my husband, Kent Johnson.

We met with you for the first time in October, who would have thought that our lives would be forever changed that day, for the better. After a brief consultation and viewing the x-rays, you gave us the news that surgery was the only option. You assured us that Kent would have a good quality of life post op. We believed you. We trusted you. I think it was your confidence that definitively contributed to putting our minds at ease.

Looking back, on the day of surgery, I believe I was more nervous than Kent! Knowing that he had never had surgery of any kind, did provide me with some anxiety. However, after arriving at your building that morning I immediately felt at ease when we were greeted by this extremely friendly and informative young lady at your front desk!

From there on, every nurse we encountered was truly amazing! From the nice nurse that had the task of “grooming” Kent’s surgical area, to the really, really awesome nurse that took care of Kent immediately following the surgery. She really took the time to explain things to me and to guide me on the care that I would be providing for Kent once he was home. Truly thankful for this lady! If we lived closer, she is definitely someone I would love to call my friend.

Now I am to the part of the letter where I am struggling to find the words with regards to you, Dr. Schechinger. How can I find the words to convey to you how truly thankful and grateful I am? YOU HAVE CHANGED OUR LIVES! I honestly feel we have a new life! I have been married to Kent for ten years and have never heard him say “I feel good today” until now.
Looking back, the discomfort and pain started almost that long ago. How he kept such a positive, happy attitude truly amazes me! And now, he’s even happier if that’s possible, and more energetic!! All because of you.

You have been given a special gift, Dr. Schechinger. Take that gift and utilize it to your fullest potential! This is not the gift of improving a patient’s life, but the life of the family as well! For that I am truly thankful. I thank God for bringing you into our lives. I pray that you bless the lives of countless people in your future the way you have honestly blessed mine! You’re awesome!

I have enclosed photos from a recent excursion Kent and I took to Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain, Michigan. The national ski jumps held are there each year in February. Kent wanted to climb the 467 steps (which he has never done) to the top of the hill. The photo of him is him at the top! He said he felt great! The smile says it all! Please keep in mind this was three and a half months post op! Truly amazing!

Sometimes simple words say it best: THANK YOU!

DeAnn and Kent Johnson