Patient Testimonials

In their own words, our patients tell us how much you care

Letters from our Patients and their Families

BWFH staff and employees often receive heartfelt thank you notes from the patients and families they serve. The letters below are devoted to featuring those special letters from patients and family members who have benefitted from the incredible compassion and expert skill of our superb staff.

Dear Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, 

I wanted to know how to pass on feedback on what a great experience I had with my surgery last week. Unfortunately, due to post-op effects of anesthesia, I cannot remember the names of the nurses. Dr. Kenney was wonderful and I knew exactly what to expect post-op. The night prior to surgery my husband got that nasty GI bug and was vomiting and could not bring me in and be there with me. The nurses were so wonderful. The pre-op nurse was informative and reassuring. As a physician myself it was my first experience being on the other side and being a patient and she was great and totally put me at ease. I did not even feel the IV being placed. The OR nurse came out to see me before and again was reassuring. The anesthesia team as well was great. I had some panic when they got me into the OR and the team was great and I immediate felt calm. Afterwards I was slow to wake up and confused and had to have my best friend pick me up since my husband was sick and vomiting at home and the post-op nurse was great and reassuring and so helpful. I think the team at BWFH really raises the bar in high-quality healthcare. I had the option to go to MGH or Brigham and Women’s Hospital, but if I ever need anything again it will be at BWFH. There are not enough positive things I can say about what a great experience I had there.

Dear Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital,

I was a patient recently and wanted you to know that your team, staff order takers and incredible food we instrumental in my recovery. It was honestly the only thing I had to look forward to everyday. The carefully curated menu did not go unnoticed and I knew things would be different when I saw the edamame salad on the menu. Who would ever expect this at a hospital? I personally don’t prefer them, but couldn’t believe it.

The food was consistently beautifully presented and looked fresh and crisp and appealing. It made you want to eat it. No dead, over-cooked vegetables like the many other hospitals and rehabs I have had. Even the fish was moist and everything was hot! Even the coffee and soups were great! (My personal barometer.) Even the hold music was better than tolerable. Whoever would answer the phone would describe something I wasn’t sure about and check with food prep to see if it had an ingredient I couldn’t tolerate, such as red and green pepper. I wish I had discovered the beet salad sooner and ordered it every day after. The frilled vegetable flatbread with hummus was genius and I have adopted that recipe.

They may not have noted, but I eat very “clean” normally and this was not hard to do working around the menu. I only ordered dessert (chocolate pudding) a couple times and would only suggest some panna cotta that could be flavored simply (easier than custard or bread pudding or pie).

Dear Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital,

I had a (partial) knee replacement at BWFH today. Fantastic experience. Dr. Vivek Shah, who I think you guys got from the Baptist, operated. He called me the night before just to relieve any anxieties. Surgery at 7:30 this morning and discharged at 3:15, using walker and bearing weight on my knee. OK TMI. Just wanted you to know that Dr. Shah is an A+ and all the staff operated at a very high level of competency and responsiveness.

Dear Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital,

I would like to share with you an amazing series of events which happened at BWFH recently and to thank you for what I have realized would not have happened without your administrative leadership and trust in your physicians.

I was admitted to BWFH at 6 am for a right hip revision. My original hip was replaced in early 1990’s. After more than 25 years, the lining of the socket had become badly worn and the ball needed replacement. Dr. Vivek M. Shah pulled together a team which were all focused on a successful surgery and my being able to go home the same day. He orchestrated the necessary departments and personnel and by 4 pm I was successfully discharged! My previous Hip Replacement, I spent nine days in the hospital, for this surgery I spent ten hours.

Right away in pre-op and talking with Dr. Gray, the anesthesiologist, I realized there was a definite plan and focus. He explained we were going to do a general - not our previously discussed epidural. When I asked why, he said he determined that he wanted to use what would exit my system quickly and leave me alert sooner. I agreed!

I was not given any heavy medications before surgery and once I woke up in PACU, I had no nausea or dizziness. Nurse Dawn Griffin was superb. She worked to get my pain level down from six to three and then Dr. Shah’s PA and the other attending physician came to see if I was ready to sit up, then stand, then move to a comfortable chair. I never got back into bed! I have many more observations to share. The care I received in PACU was outstanding.

I also realized how Dr. Shah had set me up for success a month before in his office. He described the surgery and said I would immediately be able to put full weight on my revised joint and barring complications, might be able to be discharged the same day or the next morning. So, when I was asked in PACU if I could stand, I had the confidence of knowing my leg would be fully load bearing and I did not hesitate.

Thank you for supporting Dr. Shah, for trusting his judgement.

Thank you also to Dr. James D. Kang, the chairman of orthopedic surgery, who I surmise obviously added his expertise, encouragement and support.

It was wonderful to be home that night in my own bed, comfortable and feeling I had gotten such great care. My recovery has been very smooth. I was off all pain meds by Monday and am now down to one crutch.

I am extremely grateful to Dr. Vivek Shah for his foresight and expertise, to all the medical professionals who worked in seamless precision, to Dr. Kang and to you and the others in administration who set the stage. You all are encouraging and promoting the field of progressive medicine helping move Brigham Health into the 21st century.

I am certainly the beneficiary of excellence decisions and first class care.

If you have any questions, I would enjoy talking with you and sharing more of my observations and experiences. I am so grateful.

Dear Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital,

I recently had a left knee replacement by Dr. Wolfgang Fitz.

I want to specifically mention the night shift nurse I had on the evenings I was there. I had had problems with the various pain medications that were being tried, as none were alleviating the pain but I was having to wait hours before a different medication could be tried. I was in a terrible place of continuous, unrelieved pain, which is not good for patient or recovery.

Jesse (whose last name, unfortunately, I do not remember) was my night shift nurse. She immediately understood the situation and the difficult pain I was in. She initiated changes that quickly reduced my pain level and established the pain management regime for the rest of my stay. Her compassion, ability to read a troublesome situation, to take charge and to reach a solution were important to the situation and, especially, to this patient.

I congratulate you on multiple aspects of the care and service you provide so well. In this particular situation, I congratulate you on having points of intervention where a nurse can make a bad situation go away.

Dear Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital,

I would like to thank you for the exceptional service my wife received during her stay at your facility. My wife had an appointment with Dr. Carty. When she arrived, she had not been feeling well which Dr. Carty realized very quickly. After taking her vitals, Dr. Carty transferred my wife to the ED for further evaluation. Over the next several hours my wife went through testing in the ED and it was determined that she needed to be admitted. She was transferred to the sixth floor that evening. While all of the staff was very good, RN Laurel Durning-Hammond and Dr. Emily Cetrone were outstanding. During the next day it was determined that my wife’s breast cancer had metastasized to her bones, lungs and liver. As you would expect, this was an extremely difficult time for my wife and I. While several doctors came by to share information, Dr. Cetrone was very caring and supportive. She spent considerable time with my wife and I, and explained the results of the test. She also took the time to support my wife’s emotional needs. Dr. Cetrone followed up often to assure my wife had all the information and medication needed. Her professional and caring nature was very comforting to us.

RN Laurel could not have been more caring, supportive and compassionate. Not only did she take care of my wife’s medical needs, she also spent considerable time sitting with my wife, holding her hand and supporting her emotional needs. My wife is a two time breast cancer survivor and just as we were starting to believe she might be ok, she was hit with the news that the cancer had metastasized.  Laurel checked on my wife frequently and her smiling and supportive style was extremely comforting to us.

Unfortunately, my wife has been hospitalized many times for other medical issues as well. My point being, she has spent too much time, in too many hospitals, as a result we can recognize good care from exceptional care and wanted you to be aware of the exceptional care she received from Dr. Cetrone and RN Laurel.

Thanks again for proving us with such outstanding service.

Dear Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital,

I would like to send a compliment along about one of your employees. I had an appointment recently at Radiology and I was speaking with Cheryl the admin. in the department. She welcomed me with a smile. She talked to me as she was checking me in and I felt very comfortable and welcome! We both laughed about a few things in our discussion. She has wonderful manners and is a sweet woman. You’re lucky to have her on your staff. When I was going into get my x-ray, she wished me a good day and I wished her the same. That is the way people should be treated.

She made my day!


Offering comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services to residents of southwest Boston and the surrounding suburbs.