Thank you, Dr. Jett!
Updated: Jul 16
My kids and I were discussing the Year 2020 in all of its infamous glory, when my 12-year old daughter said something fairly astute. “Mom, for us, COVID was nothing this year. Like, it wasn’t even a big deal with all of the other stuff we went through.” I couldn’t agree more. While the year 2020 will go down in infamy as a very bad year, my kids and I agree that for us, the year 2020 was one of our best years yet. God saved my life, twice! Once from severe heart failure due to constrictive pericarditis, and once from a very unhealthy marriage.
One year ago, I required oxygen, 4 liters and later to the max, 6 liters, 24-7. But on March 25, 2020, a physician by the name of Dr. G. Kimble Jett from Baylor, Scott, & White at Plano, Texas, changed the trajectory of our lives. He performed a robotic pericardiectomy to treat the severe heart failure I was experiencing due to constrictive pericarditis. Within days, no more oxygen required. Within months, I was sprinting with my kids in the backyard. For some miracles, there simply are no words.
How do you say thank you to a guy who saves people’s lives routinely for a living? I knew I needed something pretty special to express the extent of our gratitude. So this week I enlisted the help of my kids with a project. I asked each of them to make a thank you card for Dr. Jett, to mail along with our family’s 2020 Christmas picture card that almost didn’t happen. The excerpts and pictures below are shared with permission.
I was blown away by their creations. My 7-year old drew pictures of me standing next to a Christmas tree, Dr. Jett himself, and a robot (funny, but makes total sense coming from a 7-year old), on her thank you card. Her message was simple but heartfelt, “Thank you for saving my mommy’s life. I hope you have a good Christmas. Love, Addy and Mommy.”
My 10-year old son is not known for flowery language of any kind. So the wonderful message in his card really surprised me. “Thanks much for saving my mom’s life and other nice and loving people. I’ve never met you but from what my mom says you’re as nice as she is. Also, if you didn’t know, Thx means Thanks. Love, Aiden” His words touched me, as he’s not a sharing your feelings kind of guy.
Finally, unsurprisingly, my 12-year old daughter wrote a beautiful and touching letter. “Dear Dr. Jett, Thank you so so very much for saving my Mommy’s life! If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have a mother or a teacher or a best friend. This year, because of COVID, my mom is homeschooling us, so I would not have a teacher if you had not saved her life. My mom is also my best friend, so if you hadn’t saved her life, I would not have a best friend. You are a true answer to prayer and you were used by God to perform a miracle. My mom had been looking all over the US for someone to do a robotic pericardiectomy so that she could live and her heart could stop being suffocated. She gathered up a list of people to call, and then called them all to see which people even offered robotic surgery. Only a few of them did, so she drove or flew to each one of them until she was left with one. One guy in Texas whose name was Dr. Jett. All of the other surgeons up to this point did not want to do surgery on Mommy. But then she visited you, her last hope, and you said you would do it! Thank you so so so very much! I love my mommy so so much and without you, I wouldn’t have her- my Mommy, teacher, and best friend. Because of COVID, I never got to meet you, but I honestly wish I could give you a hug. I heard that you do medical missions trips too, which I want to do when I am older. I could never be a surgeon though. I can barely look at a scar, so I want to be a PT just like my mom. Again I thank you so much for being such a kind and loving guy! Thank you so much! I cannot thank you enough! -Jill Murphy’s daughter, McKenzie Murphy Hold on, there’s something in my eyes...
Next, McKenzie did something quite shocking to her non-artistic Mama. She drew a sketch of Dr. Jett. Mind you, she
has never seen or met Dr. Jett in person due to COVID, but she knocked it out of the park with her drawing based on an on-line picture of the physician. With even a quick glance at her creation, it’s really hard to believe this is a special person she has never even met.
While I asked my kids to make some thank you cards, what they came up with leaves me humbled, honored, and, well, kind of speechless. This experience reminds me that God speaks to us in so many ways, not the least of which is through the eyes of what our kids have experienced. I never anticipated that the kind and loving words they expressed from their hearts as a thank you to Dr. Jett would be such a blessing to me. So as the year 2020 hits the rearview mirror, our family IS looking back, with great fondness, waving our final goodbye with a heart of deep gratitude.
Jill Murphy is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and founder of MotionWorks Physical Therapy and an advocate for patient-centered care. A Christian mom of three, she survived a seven year journey through the broken American healthcare system in search for an answer to a heart arrhythmia that appeared during pregnancy. A stroke, open heart surgery for constrictive pericarditis, and several other surgeries later, Jill is telling her story of unfailing resilience in her upcoming book, Doctor Heal Thyself.
Having grown up on a dairy farm 40 minutes from Lambeau Field, Jill is an avid Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan, and is up for any activity with her three children, including walking, biking, throwing the football around, hiking in scenic locales, gardening, playing piano, singing, and coaching a middle school basketball game or two.