ETMC Post-Transplant Patient fears changing doctors

ETMC Post-Transplant Patient fears changing doctors
Post-transplant patient, Charles Brown (Source: Brown Family)

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Post-transplant patient Charles Brown said he sees East Texas Medical Center's Transplant Surgeon, Dr. Steven Potter, once every four months. Dr. Potter monitors his medicine, labs, and the overall health of his kidney.

"I mean it's a shocker because I depend on them; I mean [they] are so well coordinated in what they do," Brown said. "I mean it's not just about the transplant."

It has been four years since his surgery, but Brown said he doesn't know what he will do without the program and his doctor. ETMC officials said typically a patient only sees the transplant surgeon for follow-up care for one year after surgery. But that won't do for Brown.

"I got to juggle and figure out what's best for me and I'm sure there's thousands of doctors that I can choose from in America and pick the best one but [...] I don't have that much time to make that adjustment," he said.

Brown moved to Tyler in 2013 for his transplant surgery after years of traveling back and forth between his hometown in Wichita Falls and Dallas.

"It was really hard because I had to choose between all my grandkids all my family there, everything and try to venture here during the process of post-transplant because it doesn't just end when you get a transplant," he said.

With the program suspended Brown said he is unsure if he can keep seeing Dr. Potter. ETMC officials say at this time all they know is Dr. Potter is seeing patients through May and is helping them find a new provider.

"When you don't know yeah there's some fear sitting in; I can tell you that right now because I [...] put my life in the hands of that program in Tyler," he said.

Brown said other doctors he's dealt with in the past were unfamiliar with some of the medication he takes. He fears switching doctors may cause a problem in getting the medicine he needs.

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