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August 21, 2018

Portia H.

My dear Dr. Den Hartog,

As I said in my note to Chris, this is horrifically late, but that by no means dilutes the heartfelt message. I would also be verbally flagellated by one of my contemporaries for typing versus hand penning, but I really want to express the point and be assured you can read it versus seeking volumes to help decipher hieroglyphics! As I said to Chris, and reiterate here, I have been accused of being a physician.

Let this begin with an enormous apology for being somewhat surly and contentious on our first meeting. You stepped in on a moment’s notice to correct a rare aberration, and were met with the humor of an asp. Before I continue, I hope that you accept my very humble apology. I was still reeling over the X-ray that Larry showed, and the resultant powerful emotions or grief, anger, and resolution can sometimes create a noxious and somewhat venomous reaction.

The reconstruction that you did with such delicate artistry was not the only rebuild, and though it was the predominate goal, the concomitant result was even greater. Having to be nearly inactive for three weeks was inconceivable, and that created a collision of thoughts that had to be ameliorated into some sort of positivity. I will be forever grateful for the repair, but I am nearly at a loss to explain the enormous transformation of the mind, spirit, and soul. This entire experience presented one of the greatest offerings of life’s pedagogy that I have ever encountered.

Now that I have expostulated on the more serious matter, let me add that your precocious emanation of sheer joy is exorbitantly contagious! Though you stated that I wouldn’t recall our post-surgery dialogue, I not only remember all that was said, but more so still grin at the very clear vision in my mind’s recall: Every person there bubbling with laughter in response to your highly effervescent presence.

We all have memories of being with the occasional wonderful person, but there are few who receive the unexpected elation of having been sliced and diced by such a “euphoric!”

With all that said, you did not just put my ankle back together. You also reconstructed my fractured intensity, and my very shattered belief in myself. I hope you fully comprehend what an enormous life-changing journey this has been, and strangely enough, will continue to be.

Many blessings much gratitude, and as always, a HUGE amount of humor, Portia H.