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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE CLOSURE: UPDATES, RESOURCES, AND CONTEXT

A father remembers the surgeon who helped his son

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Time now for "My Unsung Hero," our series from the team at Hidden Brain. "My Unsung Hero" tells the stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else. Today's story comes from Calvin Lowe. In 2006, Lowe's 4-year-old son, Tyler, needed to have a serious dental surgery. On the day of the operation, Lowe and his wife accompanied Tyler to the hospital.

CALVIN LOWE: As we sat in the waiting room waiting for someone to usher us back to the surgery area, to say there was a lot of trepidation on our hearts was an understatement. The way in which my wife was clinging to her son - it just made the gravity of the situation more and more heavy because we had been told of all the potential complications that could occur with a surgery like this. And when the nurse came out and called us to the back, we were very much concerned about what the outcome might be. And when this young doctor walked into the room and stated that he would be the one performing the surgery and began to talk about what the process would be, I just couldn't help but feel like, what was I going to do if I lost my son?

But he then did something that was very unexpected. He looked us both in the eye, put a hand on each one of our shoulders and said, today (crying) your son is my son. And I will never forget that because that sent a calm through me. To know that someone would say something like that was very helpful and meaningful. And when the surgery was over and the doctor came out and he found us - and he walked up to us and he looked us once again in the eye, and he had a big smile on his face. And he said, our son is just fine, and you could see him here in a few minutes once he comes to.

I can't tell you how grateful we both were for having him there and for what he said to us that day. I'll never forget that individual. And to this day, anytime I have an opportunity to volunteer or donate to Children's Hospital of Denver, I make sure I'm one of the first ones in line. I hope that I have the opportunity of seeing him again someday to thank him for his kind words. But that's my story.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SUMMERS: Calvin Lowe of Denver, Colo. Calvin's son Tyler is now 19 years old and hopes to become a professional photographer. There are lots more stories like this on the "My Unsung Hero" podcast. And to share the story of your unsung hero, visit myunsunghero.org for instructions on how to send a voice memo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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