doctor-randy-yandaA story in the Feb. 28th edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recounts the pivotal role that Dr. Randy Yanda played in helping to save the life of one of his patients, former AJC reporter and editor Doug Monroe. Dr. Yanda was treating Monroe for ulcerative colitis when Monroe’s health spiraled out of control about a year ago.

In a 3,000-word “Personal Journey” feature story, Monroe describes in vivid detail two particular close calls with death and how Dr. Yanda was instrumental, both times, in helping to save Monroe’s life.

Monroe was teaching writing at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville when he made an emergency visit to his primary care physician. He was disoriented and when medical staff attempted to take his vital signs, his blood pressure was so low that it did not register. On Dr. Yanda’s instruction, Monroe was transported immediately to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. Upon Monroe’s arrival, medical staff found that his white blood cell count was extremely high. The ICU staff determined that Monroe was suffering from Clostridium difficile colitis.

Monroe’s situation stabilized and he was released after five days. However, several weeks later, back in Milledgeville, Monroe noticed unusual swelling in his arm. He called Dr. Yanda’s office and a nurse suggested coming in right away. Dr. Yanda diagnosed a potentially life-threatening blood clot and sent Monroe to the emergency room. Once again, Monroe required five days in the hospital before he was released.

Monroe has fought through a number of other debilitating health struggles but he has persevered and is regaining his quality of life.

You can read Monroe’s entire moving story and Dr. Yanda’s contributions to it here.