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A life-saving friendship

Last Modified: 1/07/2021

guardian angel

Duane Brown was rarely the type to get sick. Proud that his 53-year marriage, nine children and 32 grandchildren contributed to his energetic spirit, he was always on the move. Whether through work or vacationing with his wife, hiking in the mountains, Duane has always been active and considered himself a relatively healthy person.

It was on his 73rd birthday, March 7, 2019, when Duane realized something was wrong. He experienced a case of bronchitis and sought treatment at a walk-in clinic. They informed Duane that his blood pressure was high, which seemed odd because that had never been the case before. He was given a mild prescription and sent home, hoping to recover by the weekend. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Unsure of what to do next, Duane decided to turn to his good friend, Phillip Corbin, MD, PPG – Family Medicine.

Duane and Dr. Corbin have known each other for almost 30 years. Their children attended school together, and Dr. Corbin had been their family physician since 1994.

“We considered him to be a friend as well as our primary care doctor. His competence and genuine concern have been demonstrated many times over the years. The confidence and trust that he has earned from us were proven again in March of 2019,” Duane said.

During his appointment, Dr. Corbin examined Duane and felt there might be an underlying issue at play because bronchitis and high blood pressure weren’t quite adding up. He decided to order additional testing, including a glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a test used to check how well the kidneys are working. Typically, a GFR of 60 or higher is within the normal range, and a GFR of 15 or lower could indicate kidney disease. Duane’s GFR was at a five, revealing he was in renal failure.

After his diagnosis, Duane spent 26 hours in Parkview Regional Medical Center’s emergency department (ED), where he was monitored and had blood work done. Upon further observation, Dr. Corbin discovered Duane had an enlarged prostate and was experiencing hydronephrosis, the swelling of one or both kidneys due to a build-up of urine. Duane’s bladder had backed up into both of his kidneys, leading to a high temperature and viral infection.

Duane underwent aquablation surgery to remove the gallons of backed-up fluid from his kidneys. Eventually, his GFR number returned to normal, alleviating his pain. Duane was exhausted, but he was thankful to be recovering and ready to go home.

To show his gratitude, Duane decided to honor Dr. Corbin by nominating him for the 2020 Guardian Angel program and sharing these words of praise and appreciation: “Because of Dr. Corbin and my healthcare team, I’m happy and healthy. He saved my life! I am alive and leading an active lifestyle with no longā€term health issues, thanks to Dr. Corbin,” Duane said. 

The Guardian Angel program, through the Parkview Foundations, allows you to thank your caregiver while also supporting the idea that generosity heals. By honoring a nurse or physician, you are also providing a gift to the foundation of your choice, which will help a patient, loved one, neighbor or friend receive the best healthcare possible. The nurse or physician you recognize will receive a certificate, custom pin and a personal note from you should you chose to include one. To honor a nurse or physician, please visit Parkview.com/GuardianAngel or call 260-266-7800.

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