A routine cardiac case earlier this month became personal for Dr. George Pierson, after the Kansas cardiologist realized his patient was his former mentor.
Pierson, a cardiologist at Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Overland Park, Kansas, told ABC News affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo., he was shocked after hearing that his patient was his former instructor, cardiologist Dr. Glenn Hodges.
“My response was, ‘Not Dr. Hodges!” Pierson said.
Hodges was in dire condition and the medical team was attempting to revive him after he had slipped into cardiac arrest.
Pierson said it was nerve-wracking to treat the doctor who taught him so much.
“When it’s somebody you know and respect and has a wonderful mind, you feel this incredible burden to try and bring him back to be intact for his family,” Pierson told KMBC-TV. “So I felt a great deal of personal burden.”
To save his mentor, Pierson and his team used a defibrillator to encourage Hodge’s heart to start working again. After three defibrillator shocks, Hodges started to stabilize.
Now just a few weeks later, Hodges was able to sit with his former trainee and talked about waking up to see his former student Pierson.
“Well, the first time he came into see me after I woke up and it was kind of a big surprise,” recalled Hodges. “Like, ‘OK, did I do a good job?’”
While Hodges may have started directing his medical care after waking up, his former trainee didn’t mind.
“I’m always glad to hear good advice,” Pierson told KMBC-TV.