Franklin doctor’s death saddens former patient

Published 10:31 am Saturday, October 6, 2012

To the Editor:

My heart is broken.

Dr. Johnson came into my life when he performed a traumatic and life-altering emergency surgery three years ago. He comforted me on so many occasions with his words, and often, without saying a word, simply by the twinkle in his eyes and his reassuring smile.

He took the time to understand my fears and help me figure out how to tame them.

There is no doubt that Dr. J. was a gifted surgeon. I have subsequently had two additional surgeries, and I know that there are many qualified doctors.

Dr. J., however, didn’t treat me as a file number. He treated me as though I was a valuable person.

I am not a member of his family, but he treated me like I was. I am not a personal friend, but he treated me as if I was.

He was available to me for as long as I needed to talk without ever appearing to be in a hurry to rush off to the next patient. His gentle encouragement made an immeasurable difference in my recovery.

He, personally, called me at home on the weekend… even on a holiday to gauge how I was recovering and offer his assistance.

What a special man! We can’t all be surgeons, but we can all learn from Dr. J.

To Dr. J.’s family: Please treasure every moment you had with him and know what a difference he made in so many lives. Thank you for sharing him with us. God bless!

To Dr. J’s friends and co-workers: I cry with you and know that you will sprinkle some of his compassion on every patient you meet.

Dr. J. healed me with his hands… as well as his heart.

Nancy Turner

Editor’s note: Dr. Gregory Johnson lost his battle with cancer on Sept. 25, leaving behind his wife, Mona, and children, Gregory Jr., Mina and Selena. He was a surgeon at Southampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin.