Going the Distance in Patient Care

Going the Distance in Patient Care

Sometimes tragedy is the catalyst for a special bond. That’s what happened when vascular surgeon Lawrence Sampson, MD, and avid runner Jeremiah Serfas met in the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital trauma center in 2011.

Serfas had been badly injured in a motorcycle accident, which eventually required his lower left leg to be amputated. “He went through multiple surgeries, including the amputation…I wanted to make sure that the care we gave was focused on getting this young man back to his fullest physical capacity,” Dr. Sampson says. Dr. Sampson projected that Serfas would be running a race in 18 months from time of injury. “Of course, I thought that would be a 3-mile race,” he says.

You may recall seeing Jeremiah in our campaign video Jack’s Story

“Eighteen months and four days after the accident, Jeremiah was running the 26.2-mile Disney Marathon with his posse, of which I was honored to be a part.” Serfas’ motto is to live life with no limits. That fortitude is inspiring to Dr. Sampson. “Over my career, I have witnessed patients face extreme life challenges with grace and courage. Patients have become great examples for me in terms of grace, determination, and willpower.

Jeremiah exhibits all three and then some,” Dr. Sampson says. Since that race, Serfas has run several more marathons. He also climbs mountains, wrestles, and puts no limits on what he enjoys doing – just as Dr. Sampson had once predicted. “I am very proud of Jeremiah,” Dr. Sampson says. “He may not know it, but he is a role model for me.”