Tag Archives: the Bronx

John Cahill, a bronx hero

13 Mar

Looking at my chart the attending said,

Your GP is John Cahill. He’s in the hospital tonight. Let me get him.

Bushy eyebrows, quietly smart, insightful, I knew Cahill for eight years. He cared. He worked in an underserved area in NYC and he cared for the little people, the bus drivers, the mothers and the immigrant. He came to the emergency room and he performed a rectal. He found nothing.

But he wanted to get a colleague to examine me. I can’t remember that doctor’s name today. The pain had stopped though and I was getting ready to go home. The pain had stopped because my appendicitis had brust. I was dying. But I felt good. I only stayed because Cahill asked me to stay.

His colleague came in; I braced myself for another rectal; this MD touched my side with two fingers and said,

You are in Acute Appendicitis attack. We’re operating.

I asked for three minutes to move my orange volkswagen to the correct side of the street; but I really wanted to see the night sky one more time in case I died. I called my church home group and asked them to pray.

They operated. John Cahill saved my life because he cared enough to realise he did not know enough to let me go. He was humble enough to get someone smarter than he, or more skilled.

Cahill retired last year. He was about 80 years. Only multiple heart attacks stopped him from his practice. Thin, Irish and a great reader. Father of three daughters. He cared. Deeply. My hero.

A hero