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Dr. Gernerís work lives on, literally


Dr. Gernerís work lives on, literally

And a toast to others who have departed
By Tom Boyd

October 11, 2007 —  About 15 years ago my dad was kayaking in Gore Creek, flipped over, and smashed his face into a water pipe which had fallen into the river. He was knocked unconscious, but was saved by the friends and fellow kayakers who pulled him to the bank and called an ambulance.

Looking at him today youíd never know he was once lying by the side of the creek with a perfect gash running from the bottom of his chin up to his nose. Youíd never know it because Dr. Robert Gerner sewed him up perfectly. Not a smidgeon of a scar remains.

Dr. Gerner is gone now. He passed away Oct. 5 in a Denver hospital. Yet he was a surgeon, one who operated on my father and myself (ever had a pilonidal syst?), and therefore I can say that his work lives on Ė literally.

And since we are taking time to talk of the dearly departed (which is not typically the domain of, my heart and spirit goes out to Celine Krueger and the Krueger family. If any of you are reading this, Iíd just like to say that the cabin you built in the woods near my house (and near the old Krueger house) is still there, albeit a bit more mossy than it was in the days when it was my childhood stronghold. I have fond memories of that time in my life and I remember Celine, vividly, helping me through my first communion.

My condolences as well to David Viele and the whole Viele family, who recently lost another whom I remember shepharding me through childhood: Kathy Viele.

As this town approaches its 45th year, itís inevitable that we must bear the passing of some who were a part of the founding generation. For many generations my relatives have embraced such partings with toasts full of strong emotion, tears, and hearty laughter as we remember old times. To everyone who has suffered a recent loss I have poured a cup here in my hands as I write this and, I raise it, so to speak Ö in a toast to all of you.



Comment on article  2 Comments on "Dr. Gernerís work lives on, literally"


karen casey — December 31, 2009

Hello, I came across your article when trying to track down some old medical records including some from Dr. Gerner. He saved my life. I had been sick for a year and test after test proved nothing. Finally I was sent to his office. He took one look at me and said: "You belong in the hospital, something is wrong." It took two days and more tests and what was wrong was found out almost by accident, but I was severely hypoxic, with blood oxygen saturation levels in the low 70s. (I should have been unconsious not walking around and talking). Well that led to the right tests and while I have a small amount of brain damage, I can only think what it might have been if Dr. Gerner had not used his old fashioned common sense and "looked" at the patient. He called me several times later and I enjoyed many conversations with him. When I think about what makes a terrific physician, I think of him. I know this is two years late, but if he has any family please pass this on with my sympathy. I gave him a gift of fossilized dinosaur dung, which looked like a mineral specimin. It was very hard and had been polished. To my surprise he almost guessed what it was. What an interesting man he was.
Karen Casey


jam — April 14, 2010

@karen casey's first sentence is my direct quote, and he was a GREAT help to me, too!

I'm finding myself quite affected by the news of Dr Gerner's death ~ I'd had no idea.

I came to Dr Gerner by way of an auto accident while out delivering newspapers in the dark, early hours of morning (my truck had skidded on wet pavement and I'd ended up down by the river off of Highways 6 & 24 heading from Minturn into Eagle-Vail).

He was so knowledgeable as to let all the swelling go down before he stitched up my laid-open nose and lip on the left side; they're matched up perfectly, with barely a mark (no one who doesn't know what happened has ever noticed ~ bless his dear heart, I didn't fully appreciate his skill until I ended up with almost-identical wounds on the RIGHT side of my face years later, in a fall down a flight of stairs in the dark. I call the immediate sewing-up I received that time as My Botch Job ~ misaligned lip-line and an extra knot of raised flesh under my nose).

While I recovered at my parents' home in the Denver area, he even drove down to see me at the house and check on my progress! What a wonderful man he was.

My loved ones and I are just learning of the mild brain injury I must have from a car accident when I was five years old, added to the two already mentioned (though not yet confirmed in my case, what science is only recently finding out about old head traumas answers many, many questions that I and those who know me have had for many, many years about my worsening memory, my lack of motivation to carry through with Ė well, almost everything {which has led to marginal success in life}, troubles with mood and much more).

I'm so sorry he's gone. The world is surely a measure 'less' without his brains, his caring and the obvious effect he's had on those who were fortunate enough to encounter him in their times of need. Approaching two and a HALF years late, I raise my cup in response to your toast, Tom: back at you and your Dad, to you, Karen ~ and to the others, whoever they may be.




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