June 13 – Happy Birthday Dr. Benjamin Button

buttonIt was a scary day. Our first born Michela had been fighting a cold and all of a sudden her fever spiked and she went into a seizure. It was winter time and freezing outside so we bundled our little girl up in a snow suit got her in the car and flew to the old St. Mary’s Hospital emergency room. I remember holding her in my arms and running through the door and down the ramp yelling help. And the first person we ran into was Dr. Benjamin Button.

He was wearing his standard blue operating scrubs and he grabbed my daughter out of my arms carried her into an examining room and started taking off her snow suit and pajamas to cool her body down. Within seconds her terrifying shaking stopped and her eyes regained their focus and I remember she started crying and Dr. Button, while rubbing her little belly to calm her down, explained to the two of us that it was the high fever that threw her into a convulsion and the best thing to do should it ever happen again is to cool her down not warm her up. From that day forward, I became a fan of Doc Button, though fortunately, because he was a surgeon no one in my family ever had to see him as patients again.

Benjamin Button was born on his family’s farm in the town of Canajoharie on July 13, 1933. He graduated from Sharon Springs High School, SUNY Albany and SUNY Medical School in Syracuse. He then spent five years at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, where he did his surgical residency and in July of 1963, he opened his practice in Amsterdam as an orthopedic surgeon. For the next 27 years he was the Rug City’s go to guy for any kind of…

You can read the rest of my story about this former Amsterdam physician in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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