For the past 13 years, it has been my privilege to work alongside Dr. Michael Rees. In my 17 years as a registered nurse, I have never met a better doctor or a better human being ("Doctor loses director title after botched transplant," Aug. 31).
He is a gifted surgeon, but just as important, he is the rare physician who genuinely cares about his patients and their welfare.
He deserves better than the attempted character assassination in your coverage. Dr. Rees has been known to allow a transplant patient's family to stay in his house when they are unable to afford a hotel. Find another doctor who would do that.
I have seen him cry at a patient's bedside. I have seen him sit at bedside, visiting with a patient and the family to get to know them. That is the depth of caring Dr. Rees has for all of the patients under his care.
Nurses will tell you that they have a short list of doctors and surgeons whom they will allow to treat, or operate, on themselves or a family member. Dr. Rees has been, and remains, at the top of my list.
Patient lauds Rees, UTMC
I am a recent kidney transplant recipient. Dr. Rees did the surgery. I have never known a nicer, more caring man. I wish people would not blame him and instead think of all the great things he has done for so many people, including me.
I am grateful to the donor and to Dr. Rees for giving me another chance. I was on dialysis for three years. It was no fun. Now I can enjoy my grandchildren. I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Rees and the University of Toledo Medical Center.
Kidney requires direct attention
A kidney that is intended for transplantation needs the direct attention of the surgical team. A patient who seeks the services of a surgeon expects him to be the captain of the team.
These two principles could have avoided the tragedy of the botched transplant.
Dr. Latif Nimr
Food allergies need attention
As a parent of a child who was born with severe food allergies, I paid close attention to your Aug. 22 article "Life Saver: A call to make EpiPens mandatory at Ohio schools." This is a good idea, but only a start.
Teachers and other caretakers of our children need to be educated about the severity of food allergies. In my early years as a teacher, I had no idea how seriously I should have taken students when they told me they had an allergy. It was not until my own daughter was afflicted that my eyes were opened.
Your article stated that "peanut allergies in children tripled between 1997 and 2008." It also said that "close to 8 percent of children in the United States have food allergies."
With so many children affected with this life-threatening condition, why do we not demand that our schools be peanut-free? If any other substance in our schools could potentially kill 8 percent of our children, wouldn't we remove it?
My daughter is in kindergarten with an EpiPen. I pray she never needs it.
Heart attacks can be predicted
Your Aug. 16 article "Sensitive screening technology quick to diagnose heart attack" begs the question: Why have a heart attack in the first place?
We can predict the population at risk of any form of atherothrombotic disease (ATD), including heart attacks and strokes, with high accuracy using simple tests.
I am a family physician who specializes in the prevention of ATD. Those whose disease we fail to predict are usually old when their event occurs. They usually do not die until their late 80s and early 90s.
Preventive medicine is the only way to go. Smoking cigarettes is a much greater ATD risk factor than eating eggs.
Dr. William Feeman, Jr.
Heart-risk article a poor choice
I was disappointed that you ran an article on Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's risk of a heart attack ("Ryan's family history shows heart disease risk; Odds double for close relative of early victim," Aug. 21).
The article made it seem as though he is a ticking time bomb, despite his efforts to eat right and exercise.
The article made it sound as though he and others with a family history of heart problems should just sit back and wait for "the big one."
This type of article is a distraction from the real issues that face the country.
Most dangerous weapon? The mind
I get infuriated every time someone blames an inanimate object for the actions of the person who wields it ("Assault-weapon ban would help," Readers' Forum, Aug. 6).
The man who shot up a theater in Colorado could have waited until the movie was finished and plowed through the exiting crowd with a pickup truck, killing as many, if not more. Should we ban vehicles?
Millions of weapon owners did not go on a crazed shooting spree that day. The human mind is the most dangerous weapon of all. Should it be banned?
Police, not public, need to stop gangs
Surely Kirk Walters' Aug. 17 editorial cartoon decrying gang violence isn't aimed at the fellow dozing in his recliner. The Toledo Police Department knows where gang violence is, who is involved, and how to deal with the problem.
The real question is: When are the police, not the public, going to, as the cartoon states, "start giving a damn"?
Democrats also follow 11th rule
Kirk Walters' Aug. 23 editorial cartoon depicted Todd Akin being lectured about the Republican 11th Commandment requiring silence about true thinking until after the election. That is strikingly similar to President Obama's open-microphone gaffe in March.
Mr. Obama told the then-president of Russia, Dimitri Medvedev, and unwittingly the whole world, that he would privately negotiate strategic missile defense after the November election.
Evidently, both parties embrace the 11th Commandment.
Central Grove Avenue