The backward Rick Montz spelled out listic aesthetics in book Health Health & Science
May 20, 2005|By Tom Dunkel | Tom Dunkel,SUN STAFF
She still prays for Rick Montz every day, alike admitting he has been gone two and a bisected years now.
"This was my savior," says Evelyn Slavitt, a above Rockville citizen now active in Florida. "When I was with him I acquainted like I was the alone accommodating he had."
Some 1,500 others accompanying beneath his affliction at Johns Hopkins Hospital allegedly anion the aforementioned thing.
A new, posthumously appear book, A Adviser to Survivorship for Women with Ovarian Cancer, by Dr. Frederick J. "Rick" Montz - ponytailed, cowboy-boots-wearing, motorcycle-riding, third-generation physician with a bandage adornment - is geared against patients and families.
However, the book additionally serves as a affectionate of apprenticeship chiral for his acutely personal, listic-healing philosophy.
Contrary to accepted wisdom, Montz wasn't abashed to abrasion his affection on his scrubs. In fact, he anion it was acute to ache forth with patients, to alive in the medical moment with them, to try to get in accompany with their affecting as able-bodied as concrete needs.
"Caring for dying bodies charge consistently be painful; it can never be routine," he writes. "Every time one of our patients dies ... a baby allotment of us dies as well."
Raised in Bismarck, N.D., Montz was acceptable the aboriginal lath affiliate of the Cowboy Hall of Fame anytime to autrity a captain at Hopkins.
He was additionally a world-cl surgeon and ambador of Hopkins' Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service, its admired ysis program. Montz was additionally actomed for his role in the ABC Account doentary Hopkins: 24/7.
Evelyn Slavitt, 63, came to Hopkins in January 2000 with primary peritoneal cancer, a attenuate ache of the belly bank that behaves abundant like ovarian cancer, Montz's specialty. He operated on her bristles times and igned added than a bisected dozen regimens of chemotherapy.
"He'd appear in at 9 o'clock at night afterwards a day of surgery," says Slavitt. "He'd sit on my bed and eat my bonbon and talk. He consistently had time."
In a aberrant changeabout of fortune, Slavitt survived and Montz suffered a baleful affection advance while jogging abreast his North Baltimore me in November 2002.
He was 47 - one of a leash of acutely advantageous doctors Hopkins absent aural a six-month period. All three died exercising, all three gone in a flash.
Montz's patients were devastated. They'd absent their allegorical light. But the Hopkins' agents ociates w formed carefully with him still feel the loss, too.
"We try to backpack on his legacy, which was to affliction for the accomplished patient," says Sharon Tmpson, his chemotherapy ogous istant for bristles years. "I don't appee to ane about the day that I don't ane about him."
"We will never get over it," says Diane O'Day, bounded ambador for Kelly. "A actual ablaze man w consistently had a absolute atude. He absolutely had a allowance for caring for people."
O'Day apprehend a abstract archetype of A Adviser to Survivorship and keeps a Montz adduce from the beginning taped to her computer: "Life is such a angelic and bound commodity. We charge to amount and admire it."
The accessible saw that ancillary of Montz bristles years ago, back he was featured in the doentary Hopkins: 24/7. In one of the program's best abstraction segments, he had to acquaint one of his patients that it was time to surrender. There was no endlessly the advance of her ovarian cancer.
What does a doctor do afterwards carrying that affectionate of news?
"Try to save somebody else," a chastened Montz replied on camera.
A Adviser to Survivorship was in the works continued afore that doentary fabricated Montz a media ministar.
Dr. Robert Bristow, w formed with him for several years at Hopkins and ultimately succeeded Montz as ambador of the ovarian blight program, says they had affairs to co-autr two projects: Bristow would be advance biographer for a all-important book about blight surgery; Montz would accept that role on a patient-oriented survivor's guide.
Montz's mcript, mostly pecked out on a laptop computer during aeroplane rides, was about 75 percent complete back he died. Bristow did the final polishing.
"It was an emotionally difficult process, but in a way additionally comforting," he says. "In a lot of it I could apprehend him talking. It was an befalling for me to revisit our relationship."
The two met in 1994. Montz was on the adroitness at the UCLA Scol of Anesthetic and interviewed Bristow back he activated for a fellowship. Bristow took actual agenda of the Grateful Dead bandy rug on Montz's appointment floor.
It was a actual Montzian experience. They spent the time talking about life, chatting about sports. "Everything but medicine," Bristow recalls.
Bristow got the acquaintance and anon afterwards catlic to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Montz had helped autrize a blight dispensary there, outfitting it with acclimated medical accessories he'd scrounged at me.
"In the appointment allowance they had a little Rick Montz altar with a UCLA banderole and pictures of his antecedent visits," says Bristow. "You could acquaint he had an astronomic appulse on that community."
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