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A wise man once said: “don’t burn the bridges that you cross”

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We recently celebrated Father’s Day at our clinic. This included giving free eye tests to fathers who showed up on that day. We had lots of fun and we served them non-alcoholic wine and cupcakes. It was very well received and one father pulled me aside to talk to me. What he told me is something that I will never forget.{{more}}

He said: “Doctor, you may not remember me, but 20 years ago I visited your clinic with my daughter. At that time there were not many eye surgeons in the country and we made the decision to see a doctor in Barbados. After several visits to the doctor in Barbados, we realized that it was becoming too costly to visit back and forth and that is why we decided to come to you.

“On examining my daughter, you seemed to get upset and I got the impression that in assessing our situation you said something to the effect that we only came to see you because we had no other choice.”

I don’t remember my exact words to him, but obviously it was important enough for him to mention this to me after so many years. I am happy he spoke to me; some people will only keep it in their minds and never say a word. He still thanked me for the service and said that his daughter is doing very well and her eyes have improved.

I was overwhelmed by what he had to say. He added that there were no hard feelings, but that sometimes we say certain things and don’t realize what kind of impact it will have on the person on the receiving end. Now this happened 20 years ago and I do not recall the incident, but as a young effusive and exuberant doctor, it is possible that I might have reacted instead of responding.

I apologized to him. It reminds me of the great Maya Angelou when she said:

“I’ve realized that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

So, my good friend, once again my apologies. I am now older and wiser and remain passionate about helping people see well.

Have a great week.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]
Tel: 784 456-1210

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