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Doctor’s gesture restores mother’s faith in people

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POSTED December 31, 2011 2:17 a.m.

To say that the last few months have been tough for Sabrina Murphy would be an understatement.

More than two months ago she took a leave of absence from her job in Oregon to come down to Manteca and take care of her ailing father – a five-time cancer survivor with only one lung. He suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. Just days before Christmas he would end up hospitalized for the fourth time since she’s been by his side.

When her 16-year-old son Brock broke his hand when wrestling with his brothers and she found out that the emergency room doesn’t take his Oregon health insurance. That created the added burden of finding a doctor that would work with her on the financial aspect of the visit. It nearly put her over the edge.

“I don’t have any money – I’ve been out of work for more than two months now and when they said that they didn’t take his insurance I didn’t know what else to do,” said an emotional Murphy. “He’s the star quarterback at his high school back in Oregon and it was something that we needed to get taken care of.

“I called an orthopedic surgeon here in town and they were in the process of moving, so they gave me a pager number of a new doctor in town. I paged him, and he immediately called me back.”

That was the first time that she talked to Dr. Bliss Clark.

After meeting with her son and hearing the family’s story, Clark treated Murphy’s son free of charge – casting his hand, providing X-rays that showed a break in the fifth metacarpal bone and resetting the break to make sure it healed properly.

The entire process took two office visits. Murphy said it reaffirmed her belief that there are still people in this world that are willing to do good deeds and help others.

“I was so thankful when he said that he was willing to do that – it truly restored my faith in the human race,” she said. “The fact that somebody was willing to give such a great gift completely blew me away, and I don’t honestly know how I can thank him enough for what he did for us.

“That could have ended up being a bill for over $1,000 that I couldn’t pay. The first time that we saw him was the Friday before Christmas, and he told us both ‘Merry Christmas’ after the visit. He’s a great man and we’re lucky to have met him.”

While her father ended up having to spend the holiday in the hospital, the combination of Dr. Clark’s willingness to help and the fact that all of her kids were together for Christmas did make things special for her this year.

According to the doctor, Brock’s cast will be able to come off in four weeks. Even though the break is on his throwing hand he should completely heal without any lingering effects.

A pair of concussions sidelined him for the majority of this last season, but all indications now, Murphy said, are that he’ll slide right into the starting varsity quarterback role when he returns home.

“All of the boys were wrestling and his hand ended up getting stepped on. He was so worried about how it would affect football,” she said. “That’s something that I don’t have to worry about now thanks to that wonderful doctor. I’ll forever be grateful.”

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