Doctor for Life
Dr. Arensman opened his practice when our son, James, was 10. Up until then, James had been made to feel like a walking heart defect by previous medical providers. Dr. Arensman was totally different in his perspective on kids with heart issues. He was the first physician ever to talk directly to James, asking him probing questions about his feelings, wants, and goals. He was the first doc to tell James he could do whatever he wanted with regard to sports!! Up until then, we had been told that our son was too much "at risk" to participate in athletics.
When James required further surgery at the age of 12, Dr. Arensman arranged our visit to the surgeon and even helped work out the kinks in my insurance coverage to guarantee that care would be provided at Kosair, not an "adult" hospital.
Over the years, even when James left Louisville to attend college in New England, Dr. Arensman always told us to call him at any time (even in the middle of the night!) if anything "bugged" us. And he meant it.
James is now a 34-year-old man. He lives a very full life as a high school teacher and graduate student in New York City. He has an adventurous spirit and travels all over the world during his summer breaks. To this day, his New York cardiologist confers with Dr. Arensman regarding James' ongoing care. I doubt that he would have developed his wonderful love for living life to its fullest had he not been mentored as a young boy by "Doctor Fred", as our family affectionately refers to him.
I have been fortunate to have access to wonderful health care professionals for my family, yet I have never before- or since- experienced quite that combination of medical knowledge and "human touch" that Dr. Arensman so passionately offers to his young patients and their families.
I only wish that he could be cloned so that all children with heart challenges would be cared for with such compassion.