A retired law enforcement officer recounts how Modern Vascular gave his friend hope.
Dr. Dale Tunnell is a psychologist, army veteran, and 41-year law enforcement professional from the Phoenix area. When his Marine buddy of 10 years, Thomas,* was facing extreme medical challenges, Dale stepped up to the plate. “My friend was going through a lot and needed to be driven to many medical appointments and wanted me to be there for moral support.”
Thomas, age 79, had been going to a local Vascular Surgeon for his peripheral artery disease treatment (PAD), but even after surgery and a stent had been placed, he was still experiencing swollen legs, open sores, and wounds, and gangrenous toes. The disease had just been progressing for too long. The Vascular Surgeon suggested bypass surgery and said amputation of the leg would be the most likely result.
Luckily, during a post-surgery follow-up appointment, Thomas’ podiatrist suggested that Thomas visit Dr. Scott Brannan, Modern Vascular’s Chief of Endovascular Surgery, at Modern Vascular’s Mesa clinic. Dale says that the first visit to Modern Vascular was a turning point. “They moved mountains to get him into the facility quickly.” The pace of care had changed; there was a sense of urgency now. Three accomplished doctors, Dr. Brannan, Dr. Correa, and Dr. Jean-Baptiste, all collaborated on the case overtime to make sure Thomas had the best possible PAD treatment. The doctors at Modern Vascular were seeing the same feet and legs that the Vascular Surgeon saw, but now through the eyes of hope. They might not be able to save all the toes, but they owed it to the patient to try.
“The Care for the Patient was Extraordinary”
From the moment Dale, Thomas, and Thomas’s wife entered the clinic, they felt the difference. The environment was kind and congenial. Dale even used the word “fun”. Dale never felt anxiety about being the advocate for his friend; he was included in all conversations. He met all three doctors as well as Denisse Martinez, one of the Modern Vascular staff members who he said, “Took care of my friend, like he was her father… and still does.” Denisse and Dr. Brannan have gone the extra mile to follow up with Thomas, even visiting his home. Dale said Thomas can’t help but cry when he speaks about Modern Vascular and tells Dale, “I love them all,” as he had never before in his life received that level of care.
Thomas is now recovering slowly. His condition was dire but is now stabilizing. Dale stresses, “If the vascular surgeon had performed an intervention more quickly, we would never have been in this place.” But for now, Thomas and his wife are focusing on the progress they are making: “The swelling is down. Both legs look a lot better.” Thomas still ended up needing to have the toes of his right foot amputated, but both Thomas and his wife know things could have been a lot worse. Dale feels nothing but gratitude for the care Dr. Brannan and his staff in Mesa provided to his friend. “I would recommend Modern Vascular for anyone who has PAD. All the staff at the clinic were empathetic and when Thomas was hurt, they all hurt. It was truly a team effort. They do extraordinary work and show a level of professionalism that you just don’t see anymore. [Thomas], his wife, and I are forever grateful.”
* Thomas is a fictitious name used to protect the patient.
Blog is written and published with the consent, collaboration, and approval of Dr. Dale Tunnell.