Compassionate Care Stories

"We have a doctor who supports us and is in our corner."

Scott & Gerri W,
Parents Of Two HSHS Medical Group Patients
Integrated medicine offers additional options for treating the rare disease that affects our children. Thankfully, we have a doctor who helps us explore the possibilities.

On The Challenges Their Children Face

Gerri: “I had two children who were born seemingly perfectly normal. My young son began to regress with his development and his health. A similar thing happened with my daughter when she was in preschool. We knew there was something wrong. We went to the Cleveland Clinic and our children were both diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder. This condition is considered terminal and our children’s life expectancy was early childhood at best – we could not just sit back and do nothing.”

On Finding An Advocate For Their Children’s Care

Scott: “After searching throughout the nation for treatment options, we found Dr. Catherine Crabtree and told her, ‘We need someone who can be in our corner, who can be an advocate for us. And who will be there whether you agree with us or not.’ She goes above and beyond what she is required to do – and she is extraordinary! Together, we have explored integrated care options.”

On Their Partnership With Their Physician

Scott: “The openness that Catherine approaches us with has been invaluable. She has sat down and cried with us and has celebrated with us when things go well. She is a partner in helping us explore treatments and every possibility. We work together, unlike many physicians who think they may be above the patient’s level – Dr. Crabtree is not like this. She LISTENS to us and has just been amazing.”

Gerri:“Dr. Crabtree is not afraid to say she doesn’t know. But she will relentlessly search for the answer or send us in the right direction for help. She is more than willing to go above and beyond the expected to help us receive great care. When you find a doctor like her, hang on tight and don’t let go. Her nurses are just as caring. When you take expertise and you throw in Christian faith, you really have something! She’s more than just a doctor – she is a caring human being who is making a positive difference in our children’s lives.”

"I would trust my physician’s assistant with my life – in fact, I literally have."

Eva Dimmitt,
We’ve been through so much together. She’s not just a physician’s assistant – she’s my friend, angel, and hero!

On How Her Physician’s Assistant Helped To Save Her Life

“After experiencing severe abdominal pain and visiting an Emergency Room twice on a Thursday night with unsuccessful results, I called Gretchen early Friday morning and discussed my symptoms with her. Gretchen immediately knew what was wrong and arranged for me to be immediately admitted to the hospital, where a surgeon and medical personnel waiting for me when I arrived. I had emergency surgery for a perforated bowel and the surgeon told my family that I would have not made it much longer and was lucky to be alive. To me, it wasn’t luck – it was the quick thinking and actions of Gretchen.”

On Compassionate Care

“I have been a patient of Gretchen’s for many years and she is just like a member of my family. She always goes above and beyond for me, not because it’s her job, but because she truly cares. For instance, when I lost my insurance coverage through unfortunate circumstances, Gretchen took immediate action, making contacts for me and filling out mountains of paperwork to ensure I continued to receive my medications at little or no charge. I know her title is Physician’s Assistant, but I prefer to call her my angel.”

On An Award-Winning Relationship

“I found out about an award that honored health care professionals who make a difference in their patients’ lives and immediately nominated Gretchen. After all, it was the least I could do after all she has done for me. I am proud to say that she won the award and although she is very humble, she deserve all of the positive attention and recognition she receives.”

On Advice For Prospective Patients

“Gretchen is my personal favorite, but everyone I have dealt with within HSHS Medical Group have been very caring and attentive to my health care needs. I can’t recommend them highly enough and I wish everyone could have a Gretchen they could depend on for care.”