My father’s hospital gave care to the French train attack hero

If I looked at the world as a pessimist I would see that humans, even in the imperfect connotations of what the word means, are flawed when you think of the amount of pain we inflict on one another.

But I don’t look at the world that way — not because I’m not pessimistic, but because the heroes of humanity have given me a reason to reckon the idea that we as a race can’t pursue a great and kind legacy.

Heroes like U.S. Airman Spencer Stone, who recently helped thwart a terrorist attack on a train in France, and my dad, Dr. James Douglas Kirk, who is the chief medical officer of UC Davis Medical Center, whose level one trauma center Stone was admitted to after he suffered multiple stab wounds in Sacramento.

It’s easy to see why Stone is a national hero, considering he helped save the lives of everyone on that train, and I hope and pray that the full recovery his doctors expect comes to fruition.

But to instill confidence in the rest of the world who is concerned for his well-being (and in some ways putting unnecessary pressure on his family and doctors to release information), I thought I would share some of my own experience with the incredible care and consideration one receives when they are a patient at UC Davis Medical Center.

When I was about 8 years old, my younger brother accidentally threw a rock at my face while we were working in the backyard. The rock made a hole in my bottom left lip big enough for a pen to fit through.

While I screamed bloody murder, my father examined my lip on the kitchen counter and then drove me to his hospital. I calmed down a bit on the ride there, and thanks to his serene attitude as we went into the emergency room, I remember feeling as if it was a field trip. I was finally seeing my dad at work.

I was effortlessly stitched up, and I think I laughed more in the hospital than I had cried on the way there. In my dad’s care and under the care of his physicians I felt safe and considered, as if they cared about my feelings in the situation.

I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for doctors to just sedate all their patients and ignore them during treatment, and it could even prevent complications that arise when patients argue or fight.

But my dad and his team ensure every time I’ve had to be in his hospital that my feelings and awareness of what’s happening matter, in addition to providing me with the best care — something I realized the second time I was treated at his hospital.

In Aug. of 2013, about a week before I would be flying across the country to begin school at  UK, I was in a Jet Ski collision that broke my leg and had a risk of infection.

I remember being in the emergency room near Tahoe, Calif. waiting for my parents to come when the doctors said they would be taking me into surgery. But before they could my dad came at the last second and scheduled to have me taken to his hospital.

I don’t doubt that there was anything wrong with the hospital in Tahoe, but if I know anything about my dad it’s that he believes in the abilities of his surgeons and nurses, and trusts them to give the best care to any patient that comes into their medical center.

When my dad was growing up in Catlettsburg, Ky., I bet he never imagined that he would one day go to UK, move across the country for a residency that would give him the chance to be the head of an emergency room, and one day run the hospital.

But it panned out that way, and I’m glad it did, because I can’t think of a person who respects the lives of his patients and the profession of healing people more than my dad.

In light of the press that circulated his hospital, I hope the public who they serve and wish to inform understand that my dad and his staff work incredibly hard, and want what is best for the patient and his family. While I know people are concerned and want to know the details of Stone’s care, there are matters that he has a right to keep private, and by disclosing that information, you disrespect him and his family, and hinder his doctors’ ability to do their job.

All we can do is pray and hope and wait for his recovery. Until then, hopefully understanding the credo of his doctors will help the public to remain patient, as I’m sure his family is, as we hope for the recovery of our hero.