Dr. Alston provides compassionate care

Published 8:30 am Thursday, May 2, 2013

To the Editor:

As I read the article on the medical lawsuit today, I knew I had to write about Dr. Michael Alston. I was told that his attorney advised that they did not need character witnesses, yet the plaintiff’s lawyers mentioned he had no character witnesses in closing arguments. The fact is if the attorneys representing Dr. Alston had asked there would have been a crowd of witnesses overflowing the courthouse to attest to his character as well as abilities in being an outstanding doctor.

Dr. Alston moved in to our community over 30 years ago.   He has dedicated his life to treating patients in the Roanoke Chowan area. He is our hometown doctor who will come when needed no matter the hour or day of the week. I have personally witnessed his dedication of chronically ill patients. My mother was a juvenile diabetic, had Lupus, as well as other chronic illnesses. I contribute her living a long life to Dr. Alston’s compassion and continued dedication to her.

Dr. Alston is a quiet man who has demonstrated his care for his patients silently throughout the community. He has visited patients in their homes, ministered to dying patients with love and respect, taken the extra mile in getting the best treatment for his patients and so much more.  When called, he has even left his office to see an individual with a sudden illness who was not his patient, but he knew something was terribly wrong.  I am sure his patients could fill this paper up with testimonies of what he has done for them.

I pray when you read the article on this case you realized that the nurse did not call Dr. Alston to advise him that the patient became gravely ill.

In the article it was stated that the plaintiff’s attorney said, “This verdict sends a strong message that healthcare providers cannot play God.” I think the message should be healthcare providers are not God. They have to make the best decisions at the time with the information they have before them. The problem with this case is Dr. Alston was not given the opportunity to treat as he was not CALLED.     In the world of medicine, a doctor should not have to tell a nurse to call if the health of patients declines. It should be understood.

Finally, it is clear I do not know all the details of this lawsuit, but I do know Dr. Alston and am proud to state he is my physician.  We should all thank our doctors for their willingness to go beyond the call of duty to take care of us.

Thank you Dr. Michael Alston.

Deborah B. Edwards