As the days pass since the mass shooting at Saint Francis, many of us are still processing the devastating loss of life. Many in our community were patients of the victims and find ourselves needing a place to share, as telling our stories creates a pathway to heal. Dorothy Checotah shared her story with us.
Just recently, I lost a significant person in my life. Even though we were not related, nor were we very close friends, he was no less consequential in my life. On June 1st in Tulsa, Oklahoma we lost a brilliant and excellent surgeon in the person of Dr. Preston Phillips.
This doctor came to know me in a personal way when on Dec. 4th 2014, he performed a 7 hours surgery on my spine. Dr. Phillips was an overpowering figure of a man with massive hands, that performed the most delicate surgery, alleviating the chronic back pain that troubled me for years. My life was forever changed and I now proudly wear a scar that run mid-way my back all the way down to my tailbone, the scar is hardly even noticeable these days and I have no back pain. Thank you Dr. Phillips for a life dedicated to helping so many, including me.
Dr. Stephanie Husen saw me for knee issues and after she determined the injections would not help me, she referred me to a surgeon on their team. They both were determined to give me the best care possible. With them being gone I feel like a void has been left in the universe. When I heard about this awful incident, it reminded me to take every opportunity to reach out to family and others in love, because you never know when your life can change in the next moment.
Dorothy Checotah has been a member of All Souls since 2008 and has served the Board of Trustees, Newcomers Board/Greeters, Intercultural Bridging Team, Pastoral Care Team, Shadz (formerly Mosaic) and Worship Associates. Dorothy is a native Tulsan and a graduate from Booker T. Washington.