How I practiced neurosurgery for a quarter century is illustrated in the following letters that I've culled from the records of the 5726 civilian patients for whom I cared during that time.
In these notes I have changed all given names and replaced all surnames with an arbitrary single letter and I've also redacted dates and addresses. The texts are otherwise unedited and any idiosyncratic spellings or grammatical oversights are recorded as originally written.

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thank you so much for all you did in trying to make Ron feel more comfortable.  It was greatfully [sic] appreciated. 
Although he was quite sickly the last month I have some consolation in the fact that he could no longer feel the pain which caused him so much misery.
He was a great man and we will miss him but God knows what is best for us.
I talked with your secretary concerning the enclosed papers.  Thank you for your time.
Margaret S."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
Just a little note to say thank you, for saving my husband's life, also to thank God for guiding your wonderful hands. The children and I can never thank you enough for giving Christopher back to us.
Again we want to say thank you. And may God bless you in the wonderful work you are doing for humanity.
You really helped me when the chips were down. Chris is doing great.
Sincerely yours,
Mr. & Mrs. B. & Family"

"With grateful thanks for your sympathetic care. Improvement seems to be continuing but at a micro-rate.
Rick F."

"Dear Dr. Helfant
My family and I would like to express our deepest thanks for the care you gave me and for your kindness and thoughtfulness while I was in the hospital.
Thank you again.
Kent M."

"Dear Dr. Helfant -
This note is belated - but none the less sincere - and it brings to you my humble thanks for all that you have done for me.
You are not only a skilled surgeon but also a patient, understanding, concerned, and cooperative gentleman. I thank God that you were willing to accept me and that you brought me through a very difficult period in my life.
Now that I am at home, I am trying to do all the things you wanted me to do in the hospital. Every day I get dressed; I have been going out when I have been invited; and I have even been driving - but not alone. You see, I want you to be satisfied when I come to your office in March.
Did you manage to do some skiing? You are no doubt expert at that too! And you must have enjoyed a change of scenery.
Again, Dr. Helfant, please accept my thanks, and be assured of a remembrance in my prayers.
Peg S."

"Dear Doctor Helfant:
For some time it has been my intention to write you concerning my mother, Mary ---, who passed away at Framingham Union Hospital on -- -- --, as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident the night of -- -- --. I know you did everything in your power to save her and to alleviate her suffering, and for that I am ever grateful. The compassion you displayed in informing me of her death helped ease the shock. I am unable to express properly what I felt then and feel now, but I think you have some idea."
Rich L."

"Dear Doctor Helfant;
Steven passed away on Thursday, -- -- --, at 5 AM. I cannot let time go by without saying how I feel. Thank you for the wonderful care and attention you gave to my husband. I will never forget the help and understanding you extended to me. You are an honor to your profession as a doctor, but I will always remember you as a man of great compassion for his patient and his family.
God bless you always,
Beth L. & family"

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
Enclosed please find (3) checks covering your fee for my son's operation. Please excuse my delay in getting the checks to you.
There are of course no words that I can say or write to tell you grateful we are to you - however, please accept our humble and sincere thanks for everything you did to save our son.
Your letter to President Nixon was read by my wife and I [sic] - truly a touching letter and one that could only be written by a sincere and sensitive man, such as your-self. Needless to say, our feelings and hopes coincide 100% with your's [sic] - may all our prayers be answered.
Paul D."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Many thanks for your kind care of my mother, Mrs. Ann O. She is recovering from her recent surgery and trying to regain her strength with firm determination.
For your kindness to her our family is deeply appreciative.
Mrs. Molly E."

"Dr. Helfant:
Although we never met we spoke once on the telephone. I am the sister of one of your recent patients, Mrs. Bridget R.
My parents, Mr. & Mrs. Kevin H. and I wish to express our sincere appreciation for the care and treatment you gave my sister while she was your patient.
Our prayers go with you always.
Thank you,
Mrs. Nicolas M."

"Dr. Murray H. Helfant
Dear Sir,
You may note in my writing my hand don't [sic] shake to [sic] badly. I take medicine regularly & feel very good, have a bad day once in a while but suppose that to be expected at 76 yrs. Surely am grateful that I am able to work some, drive my car, & look after myself. Rec'd your statement & thought I could sell more equipment & be able to pay the Bal. $166 sooner, but I find running expenses have kept me short of funds.
However if I have a bit of luck eventually I will make it.
I want to thank you again for being so kind to me, as well as for the skill in handling my sickness.
May God bless you,
With best regards,
Jeffrey K."

" Dear Dr. Helfant,
We are truly grateful for all you have done for our son Tom. Our best to you in the coming year.
Anita & Jay Y."

"Hi favorite Doctor and secretary,
All well here at present. Finally got an appointment for ---'s E.E.G. on -- -- -- - expect you'll hear from them -
Our best to you both.
The A's"

"Thank you for giving us the very best holidays the P. family have ever had. The very best to you and your family in 1972.
Arthur P."

'Hi - Feeling Fine -
Thank you again -
Have a nice day.
Joy N."

"Dr. Helfant,
I want to wish you and your family the happiest of holidays.
I also want to thank you for all your help. I realize you are just doing your job, but you did your job so well.
Thanks again,
Ashley P."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
I would appreciate it very much if you would fill out the enclosed form and return it directly to the address below.
This form is for my mothers' additional insurance and they requested that I mail it to you for information.
She, at the present time, is feeling absolutely wonderful and has taken over the responsibility of caring for our father in a big way. She has gained almost all of her speech and seems to also be able to function quite well with the right hand. He, by the way, is improving every day.
Thank you again for all your support in these difficult times. We needed your advice and help and did appreciate it all very much.
Sincerely yours,
Carol F."

"And to thank you for putting the finishing touches on the renovation of this body. It's so great to stand and walk straight and without pain, and I'm truly grateful. Please extend my greeting and thanks to Claire and Gene - they were very helpful.
Eric Q."

"Dr. Helfant.
We'd like to thank you for your precautionary care and gentle manner with Jim.
With thanks,
Mr. & Mrs. Henry S."

"Dr. Helfant,
Although it isn't your Xmas now we wanted to share ours with you now by sending you this card. You will always have a special place in our hearts and prayers. We feel honored to have met a man like you in our lifetime. You are one in a million. God bless you and your family.
Janet, John, Paul K."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I am fine and back in Hawaii but will be back in Boston around March or April, I hope. My family and everyone were happy to see me and it was good to see all of them. I want to say Mahalo Nui Loa (thank you very much) for everything you did for me and I hope this card finds you in good health and everything is O.K. Take care and I will drop you a little Note soon.
Love & Aloha,

"Thank you so much for helping me and doing the work you did which resulted in allowing me to be able to live a normal live again.
Thanks so much,
John T."

Please fill out these two applications so I may begin tutoring Jack B., my brother.
The please forward them to Mr. Y., principal of the --- School in ---, ---.
Thank you,
Anthony B.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the care and help you have given us in saving my brother. God Bless You!"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thank you so much for your May 3 letter and its contents.  I'm glad that some mothers bring up their sons to be honest.
Thank you for giving me back my 'marbles.'
Wanda A."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
A short letter - to accomplish two details: First - again thank you for your extremely good, valuable, rewarding service to me. I continue to feel greater and greater each month, week, & day as time passes. Your work to me was unparalleled and I will always be grateful. Mind you: this is not a passing opinion - you are a friend of mine FOREVER - because of the wonderful services you have performed.
I also wish to thank you for the surgery on Susan - unfortunately this did not work out as hoped - but there were difficulties which could not be overcome - your services were again most great.
The second detail is to thank you for the professional letter & details sent me - I will seek the help of Dr. C in the near future as you suggested. However, my eyesight continues to improve - and as long as this proceeds I will not request Dr. C's help immediately.
Now finally - a wonderful wish for your family and your "change" during the coming time.
George L."

"Dear Murray,
Enclosed is check covering our last 3 visits. I shall always be indebted to you for your superior care of me a year ago. Thanks to your great efforts I am in fine shape. I spent a week early in August in the Adirondacks climbing some 14 of the 4000 foot mountains in that superb area. Hope to see you again socially.

"Dear Doctor Helfant,
Just dropping a note to thank you for the letter you wrote in regards to disabilities incurred as a result of my car accident.
Your letter was indeed a contributing factor, which has enabled me to rent a decent home for my son, Donald, and myself.
I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and understanding to do this for us.
Mostly I would like to say thank you for saving my life and putting everything back together so well. Especially for being a fine doctor.
Sincerely yours,
Elizabeth A."

"Dear Dr. Helfant - Murray,
First of all forgive my messy writing and bad spelling, my head isn't back to normal yet! I want to tell you from all my heart that you have been the best doctor I've ever had to care for me. You were concerned, considerate and always around when I needed you, from the first moment I arrived here at Framingham Hospital. (In the future will you please be my doctor?!)
Thank you for being you.
I love ya!

"Just a reminder that I shall be forever grateful to you -
Mindy C."

"Hi - Feeling Fine -
Thank your for giving us the very best holidays the H. family has ever had. The very best to you and your family in ----.
Thank you again -
Have a nice day.
Jennifer H."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Our family is so grateful to you for your care of Eric. I so appreciated your kindness to me.
Enclosed is another compensation form. Please complete and return in the enclosed envelope.
Eric stood the trip well on Sunday. I got him settled with the --- in ---. Had a little trouble getting the prescriptions filled in so small a town.
Thank you again.
Sincerely yours,
Claire N."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I felt I could express in writing what I did not feel I could express in words, and that is how very very grateful I am for the marvelous skill you performed and the confindence [sic] you inabled [sic] me to develop in my full recovery. I thank God that Doctor M. helped me to find you. I will forever be thankful to you, and you shall always be in my thoughts and prayers for your continued success and good health.
Thank you and God Bless
Sincerely yours,
Kathleen L."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
It is difficult to express in words the sincere appreciation we have in our hearts for the "miracle" you performed in saving Wendy and giving her the opportunity to live a normal life. As a parent yourself, we know how difficult it must have been for you to remain as emotionally detached as possible. We saw in your eyes the same unwillingness we felt in our hearts to accept what, at various points, seemed the inevitable. We just thank God that on that particular day the right man was in the right place.
We particularly appreciated your frank and straight-forward replys [sic] and your willingness to spend as much time as you did answering our questions. It meant a lot to us to know the truth and your calm manner did much to keep our slim treads [sic] of hope together.
Thank you again on behalf of Wendy and our family. We hope the future holds the very best for you and your family.
Anita and Jay P."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Once again let me repeat that I owe you my life for the marvelous recovery I enjoyed in
---- after you rescued me from my experience! We seldom enjoy any social meetings - except when I visit you - then it's professional. But nevertheless you are my true friend forever.
Again let me express my gratitude for our last visit. Whenever I have discussed with you any problem or potential problem with you, your advice is genuine and truthful and very appreciated.

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
I have just spent an enjoyable weekend camping at the North Pole Region of the Adirondack Mts. with my little granddaughter, Liz B.
I just had to write to let you know how grateful I am to you for making this possible, and also, to thank you for this miracle - my granddaughter's life.
Please express my thanks to all the staff members of Framingham Union Hospital, who over-extended themselves during that trying time.
Thank you again and God Bless.
Gratefully yours,
Victoria B."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I'm writing this note to express my gratitude to you for your efforts to save my husband's life on June -- and --. I know you did everything in your power to help him. I feel it was God's will to take Henry, rather have him live and not have control of his mind or body.
I want to thank you for being truthful with me, right from the start, about Henry's chances for recovery. It helped prepare me for the possibility of his death, and made the actuality that much easier to accept.
Thank you again for your efforts.
Mrs. Henry C."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
One week ago today you operated on our son Brad who was brought into the emergency ward after a motorcycle accident. We met you on Friday morning and my wife and I and Brad's young wife were impressed by your honesty and straight forwardness in regard to the seriousness of Brad's injuries.
I don't know how often you are thanked, especially by complete strangers, for all of your efforts in caring for those who need it. We know that you did all that was humanly possible for Brad, but we realize that modern medicine and surgery has its limits. When you have done all that can be done then it is entirely in God's hand. It was not God's will that Brad recover and we accept his will. We have a deep abiding faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ and He has sustained us during our time of sorrow.
We all want to thank you for your untiring efforts and for not withholding anything from us.
John I."

"A note of thanks and appreciation for your support last Friday in the E.R.
Dr. S. released me on Sunday morning and here I am back at work on Monday - no one the wiser.
I do intend to 'see' him - a few times anyway, he suggested.
- So goes the continuing saga of your friend, Cheryl M.
Thanks again, you are very kind.
p.s. You can put his in your personal file! Good reference, huh?"

"Dear Doctor Helfant:
I'd like at this time to express my appreciation for your interest & concerns at the time of Sean's illness.
There must have been times when things looked hopeless but you never gave up hope.
We were very lucky to have a man of your skill in Framingham at a time such as this.
Again let me say thinks for everything you did & wanted to do.
Brian O."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
No words can express the deep gratitude we all feel for you in saving our son-in-law, Alvin B.'s, life. We almost lost him but, thanks to your skill and knowledge he is with us to-day [sic]. In those trying weeks it was nice to know that we could get in touch with you at anytime and put our minds at ease.
Thank you again.
Mrs. Robert N."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just want to thank you and your staff for their thoughtfulness and for the support both emotional and physical that was given me during my last surgery. Never before in all the 9 admissions for surgery have I been taken & prepared for surgery on time as I was this time. It means a lot to the pt. as to whether they go to surgery calm or upset due to on call meds being given too late. The pt is then not relaxed and it makes it more difficult in taking anesthesia , this was the smoothest also I sensed the lack of tension in the OR while I was lying on the table, this too helped me to relax. (Believe me I was scared this time;;).
An interesting side effect of the arthritis has shown up in the lack of tears OU. I went to Dr. P. for what I thought was an eye infection. He did the tear test with litmus paper. It showed a depressing of tears. (Dr. P. didn't know I have arthritis). He told me this is seen in women of my age who have arthritis (of course he knows now) artificial tears work well. I like the UltraTears put out by Alcon. They are fairly heavy and I use them b.i.d.
The results of the surgery are beginning to show up. Yesterday I went out with the pruning shears to cut some scrub brush that obscured our driveway. Also I picked beans and did a large hand wash. By this time, my 'steam' ran out. I was tired. This is more than I have been able to do with my arms for more than a year. Also, I can make a bed. Lifting the mattress was almost impossible before surgery.
The only discomfort is my left arm that still hurts in the shoulder down the arm to the elbow when I use it. I mentioned it on the last office visit. I still question a bursa. Otherwise things are going well. Thanks again for your kindness in caring for me.
Grace O.
p.s. We have a mourning cloak butterfly in our door yard."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just a short note from two most grateful patients and one happy & active little boy named Jeffrey. He seems just fine and is back to his old tricks, into everything & always on the move. Both Joan & I wanted you to know how grateful we are to you for your concern & care to both our baby & even more so to his mother. I know that I behaved badly, but under the circumstances, I just couldn't help myself. I know that you understood. We'll always be eternally grateful for all you did for all of us. Hope I won't be seeing you too soon again. Don't take it personally! We both knew you were an excellent Doctor, but you're also a wonderful & caring person.
Peter, Joan & Jeffrey T."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I sincerely appreciated all your kindness for making my beloved husband as comfortable as possible.
Fondest Regards,
Mrs. David C."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thank you for doing the operation. I feel better now. I appreciated all you did for me and all the time you spent coming in to make sure I was O.K.
I will stop by to see you in June.
Thank you.
Erika M."

"Your kindness in my time of need will long be remembered.
Dick B."

"This may be inappropriate but you did so much for me and my children. I must thank you with all of our other friends.
Lillian D."

"Thanks for helping me get thru another year
June "

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I would like to take a moment of your time to thank you for taking such good care of me. I really appreciated it very much. I am sorry that you had to be call [sic] in to the hospital at such an hour.
I promise you that next time I play football, it will be in the morning and it won't be for at least a week or two.
Thank you again,
Carole P."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
You won't believe what happened to me today! Because of your letter about my living accommodations and with a bit of 'corn' by yours truly I received permission to move into a room in Sylvan area - alone! I have been living with a dynamite chick in the mean time but I just couldn't handle a roomie - not after so long. Sylvan is like the most extreme residential area on campus from Southwest.
We live in suites of four rooms. 2 rooms are made for 2 people to share and the others are singles. I get to move to a double by myself and am guaranteed no roommate.
I had to thank you for your help - you really blew me away when you took the time out to see me & do the letter. You're a wonderful person - I'm glad we met. I'll let you know how school at the zoo is going occasionally. I'm going to do it this time. I know it. With a little help from my friends.
You are a friend.
Have a great year (too),
Melinda S."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
My family and I wanted to sincerely thank you for all you did nor my father, Mr. Thomas Y.
Your understanding and compassion for my family during that difficult time will not be forgotten.
We appreciate your efforts and thank you for sharing our burden.
Mrs. Adriana K."

"Dear Doctor Helfant:
On behalf of the members of our family, may I express our sincere thanks for your devoted care and attention to my late brother - Larry F.
Your special dedication deeply touched us. We especially appreciated your keeping us so well informed. This made it all the easier for us to accept our brother's death.
Kevin F."

For all your kindnesses and for caring so deeply.
The H. family
And especially from Ellen"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I wish I could find different words to express our gratitude to you for saving Scott's life but I couldn't, so thank you most sincerely and may you continue future success in all you do.
The L. family thanks you for all you did.
Jason L."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I know that this letter must seem rather unusual, but I felt that I must write and thank you for all you've done for me.
The operation was a complete success! I no longer feel any pain at all in my back. I'm still not 100% up to par but I figure I'll conquer the world next week!
Thank you again for the fantastic job. I appreciate what you've done more than I can show.
Maureen P."

"Sr. - --- in religion,
Formerly --- --- ---
Dear Doctor Helfant,
A promise from your former Marlboro "mile-o-gram???" patient and "little sister" was anxiously waiting to be fulfilled: but, first let me express my joy on coming to say a very grateful Hello and Thanks to you, Doctor. I felt so relaxed and so confident when I placed my tiny hand in yours, and looked up in those smiling eyes and kind face which seem to say, 'I'm here, don't be afraid, little one.'
The test was a success: how could it have been otherwise in such able hands!
The itching which I suppose, resulted from the preceding infections has almost all disappeared. A little detail which would probably be of interest to you, Doctor: the days after the "mile o gram?" intervention I had painful moments with a stiff neck. It came and went at irregular intervals, but I didn't ask any relief thinking it had to be so… But on arriving home 3 or 4 days after, my first "stiff neck" period took me again accompanied by a strong headache. So, thought I, let's go back to my friendly anacins. I took two, and in 7 or 8 minutes, headache and stiff neck vanished, never to come again.
Back home, since April 4, I still have my leg pains, but Dr. --- got me a good bottle of mild pain pills which help me sleep decently at night and relax during the day.
I remain in the sun all I can, and our good friend, Dr. --- had the courage and kindness to keep me as a patient. So this coming Monday, I'll visit him at his office. I feel so hopeful in his able hands and so sure of recovery in spite of long days to wait if the Lord wills it sol
It was a privilege for me to get your help, gentle Dr. Helfant, and just to know you, was, for me, and proof that we still have here, at home, the best of medical specialists and devoted men who still care a lot for poor ailing humanity.
I know your great faith in God, our common Father, and this faith makes you appreciate the power of prayer and so, dear Doctor, your name will be inserted in my list of friends and benefactors whom I ask Heaven to bless abundantly.
Your tiny sister who appreciates, and who admires your wonderful personality.
Sr. - ----, in Religion,
Formerly --- --- ----".

"Dear Dr. Helfant & Lisa,
I thank you both so very much for caring for me and my family during the time of my illness. You both were more than medical advisers. I find that very few words can describe how I appreciate your attentiveness. My family also feels the same. Of course, my mom and Aaron are appreciative of the assistance you provided them. You are beautiful people and may God bless you throughout your careers.
Sylvia Z."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thinking of you all those especially important to you during the holidays always brings you to my mind - I just want to say hello and wish you a happy and soon-upcoming New Year. I hope all is well with you.
I'm really doing fine. I have been working for a small software quality assurance company which is contracted by the Navy. It's hard to believe but it has been over a year that I'm here already. I really like the Newport area, too!
Well, take good care of yourself - I promise to do the same!
Monica C,"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I am grateful and appreciative for the concern you conveyed to me during my visit with you last month.
Quite often, because of the ever-increasing number of patients and the limited time a physician is able to spend with each, patients are unintentionally jossled [sic] about serving only to reinforce their fears and anxieties.
I am confident that a correct diagnosis has now been made and appropriate treatment initiated, and I believe that your concern and guidance was [sic] helpful in locating this program.
Again, thank you for your help.
Laurence M."

"Dear Dr. Helfant and Special Care group,
Your kindness and patience and care for Jack B. and me, too, are felt in my heart. I will always think with love of your efforts in his - and my - behalf.
Margaret H."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
We, the immediate family of Mrs. Marion F., would like to acknowledge, with our warmest personal thanks, your recent medical efforts on Mrs. F.'s behalf.
Back in early November, Marion's fate rested in your surgically skilled hands. Your kindness in responding to concerned members of the family was truly appreciated.
Marion has returned to work and seems to be doing fine.
It is, therefore, with a special gratitude that we salute you, Dr. Helfant, as a gifted surgeon and wonderful person.
Sincere best wishes for continued success in your profession.
Gratefully yours,
John F.
Mary F.
Larry K.
Gretchen K"

"A special thanks to a special friend.

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
We are truly grateful for all you have done for our son Tommy. Our best to you in the coming year.
Lou & Mary S."

"Dear Doctor,
Thank you so much for your kindness to me.
I feel so relieved. I do believe, I've been trying to do too much - so that I don't buy alcohol, wash, iron, cook, knit, etc - your secretary was so nice - and I made the bus home.
June V."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I realize it may have been a clerical error at your office responsible for my not being billed for two visits to you in October. If so, I expect I shall hear from your office and we will correct that.
The 30 minute and 45 minute visits to you were extremely important to me and so helpful. They gave me the courage to wait a month with less anxiety and see a new neurologist with an open mind.
It was like a small miracle (maybe not so small) that you were in your office and had thirty minutes for me then; and three days later spent 45 minutes "hearing me out" and trying to comfort me.
If, above all that, you chose to not charge me, I at least want you to accept my thanks and appreciation.
Dr. S. says I do not have to worry about M.S. any more: nothing wrong neurologically. I can use all my muscles. So I asked "Santa" for a heavy-duty electric mixer. He brought it early. Hope you enjoy some of the first bread from it. I baked all day!
Next summer I'll pick more berries and make more jam!
Thank you and Happy New Year.
Josephine D."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
At this time of year when we are going through a splendid season and now the start of a New Year, I feel that I, assuredly, owe you a friendly contact. I will never forget the human debt I owe you for your dedicated, superior care of me some 41/2 years ago. It was the kind of professional care that could not be duplicated - and as a direct result I feel superbly well, enjoy life, and still climb mountains, ride a bicycle daily, went skiing (downhill) Saturday, cross country on my lunch hour today. For all this enjoyment of the outdoors, and our beautiful snow - I thank you for your great service.
As for you, I hope you are enjoying this touch of winter. I regret to see snow in heavily populated regions because of the difficulties it causes - but since it's here - let's enjoy it. I am not one to shun snow and head south - no - I love cold weather and wintry conditions - when I retire in a couple of years or so I intend to move NORTH!
Best regards to you,

"Dear Dr. Helfant
I would like to start the New Year off by letting you know that you did a wonderful operation on my back last May. It hasn't felt this good for years.
I also want you to know I sure appreciate what you did in my bill accepting the Blue Shield payment. It all meant a great deal to me as the whole month was a big blow to me as bills coming from everywhere.
Thanking you again,
Sincerely yours,
Faith Q."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
I have been writing this letter for sometime, but the days pass so quickly.
I can't express fully into words what I would like to say - but somehow I just felt the need to tell you how very grateful we are to you.
Dr. Helfant, even though at one time you were my physician, and I saw the compassion you felt toward all patients - my heart was moved when I saw you with my son, Patrick. He was a very frightened child, and through your warmth and understanding, you still his fears.
He speaks of you often, and feels as we do, that you are truly a beautiful person. I think he will always hold the memory of 'His Dr. Helfant' as a kind and warm individual.
Having met you Dr. Helfant, I feel we are richer by far.
I do hope this letter does not embarrass you, but I felt that so often when we are displeased by others we do not hesitate to make it known. Therefore, I felt impelled to let you know how we all feel, especially Patrick.
Always in our hearts and thoughts, and may you enjoy the fruits of a Healthy and Happy New Year.
Mrs. Katherine C."

"I don't know how to thank you for the laminectomy you "gave" me in June, but thank you anyway!
Robin B."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
I apologize for not sending the form to you prior to this, but I have been suspended in a purgatorial state since Jack expired on June 15th. I guess I was not prepared for it because I had visited him a long time the day before and really was not aware that death was just hours away.
So now I'm flying like a butterfly with one wing who keeps falling to the ground and wanting so much to return to the warm cocoon. The children and I are doing okay. I keep us all very busy. I know in time we will accept the loss of this beautiful man and start new beginnings.
Thank you so much for being the type of person who is so dedicated as well as a truly feeling human being who does care about people. Thank you for your so many kind acts and patience with me.
Also, please express my humble appreciation to your assistant Lisa, a gem who was so kind to me & so concerned.
In Appreciation & Friendship,
I remain,
Agnes N."

"Dr. Helfant,
Still holding my own. It's hard to realize 3 yrs. have passed since I first consulted you, and still I persist, thanks to your true professionalism and empathy.
Andrew P."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just a short note to "Thank You" very much for your concern and support. You are a Great doctor and I'm really glad that Dr. W. told me about you. I have a lot of faith in him; But, a thousand times more in you!
The main reason I called you Monday (Jan. 31) was because my Mother was worried about my right leg still feeling "asleep" and about going up and down stairs. She thought it was too much for me to be doing. But, I guess, you must know how Mothers are!??!!
If I ever, and I hope I don't, have a back problem again, I know where I'll go. And I'd be the first to recommend you to anyone who needed your talent.
Thanks again,
Jeanne E."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Yesterday while I was in your office I neglected to thank you for being so good to me at the hospital. I really am very grateful for all you did for me. I do have a nagging feeling that you didn't believe me when I said the pain in my leg was gone. It really is! There was no other reason (physical) for the pain and the operation had to be a success. I'm not wishing this backache away.
Say hello to Lisa and thank her for me. I hope professionally I don't need your services, but at least if anyone in my family does I know where I can get the best.
Cindy S."

"Dear Murray,
Hello! Happy Holidays!
Hope things are going well for you Murray.
A man of your compassion, understanding & skill should be blessed with all the good things in life.
Say Hello to Lisa for me. She's dynamite people too.
Kevin A."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
In reference to our conversations in Framingham Union Hospital on -- -- -- and -- -- --, would you please send me a letter stating in effect. My husband Frederick B., along with his failing vision is not always competent or lucid enough to put his signature on formal or legal forms required by the State disability retirement board.
A brief statement giving the reason for this permanent disability would be helpful where the State is concerned.
Thank you for all you've done for my husband, my family & myself.
Louise M."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I just want to thank you for making my Christmas a merry one this year and to tell you you're the greatest doctor I know, thank you so much for everything you did to help me.
Tim E. & Family"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just want to thank you for everything you did when I was in the hospital. Also for filling out my medical report for college.
Hopefully I won't ever be in a hospital again, except some day to have babies! I don't think I'll offend you by saying, 'I hope I'll never have to go to you again.'
Sincerely yours,
Alice H."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Now that I am home again, with time to reflect on the events of the last few weeks, I want you to know of my appreciation for your efforts to return my mother to good health.
You expressed it is such a kindly way one morning when you said if the good Lord was willing - and it was between Him and her.
I didn't have a chance to see you after her death but want you to know my gratitude for your successful operation, as well as your honesty with me throughout.
Most sincerely,
Lorraine V."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
Thanks for seeing Billy the night of his accident. We all appreciated your kindness - it's a peaceful & wonderful feeling having a friend like you.
Thank again,

"Dr. Helfant,
Your [sic] not only the greatest surgeon in the world, your [sic] also a very warm and thoughtful person.
I love you and thank you with all my heart, and I'll never forget what you did for me.
Thank you,
Laura C."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
First of all, I want to thank you for all the time and patience while I was in the hospital under your direct care.
It was a very reassuring feeling to know that someone who cared as deeply as yourself about his patients' well-being was so close at hand as yourself.
Once again, thank you very much.
Many personal Regards,
Hank A.
P.S. I hope you had a very Happy Birthday and for your sake try to spend a little time on yourself."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Your secretary informed me this morning that it won't be necessary for Jason to come in and see you. So, I want to thank you for all you've done for us. You've been more than 'just a doctor.' You've been a friend and a source of hope and support. The past 1˝ years have been such an agonizing experience for us and in your way you helped ease the pain and the worry. I just wanted to know that we both think you're a terrific person, and I wanted one more chance to say 'thank you.' Hope to see you again, though not under the same circumstances!
Luke & Nancy T."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:-
Just a little note with a "BIG THANKS" for taking time off your busy schedule to examine me. Many thanks for your advice and counseling. I'm very appreciative!
Your Friend,
Adam S."

"Dr. Helfant,
Thanks so much for being such a great doctor!!
Thanks again,
Bob P."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
Thank you so much for all you did in trying to make Edward feel more comfortable. It was greatfully [sic] appreciated.
Although he was quite sickly the last month I have some consolation in the fact that he could no longer feel the pain which caused him so much misery.
He was a great man & we will miss him but God knows what is best for us.
I talked with your secretary concerning the enclosed papers. Thank you for your time.
Margaret F."

"Thank you from each of us for your kind manner of keeping us informed of my mother's condition during her brief period of care at Framingham Union Hospital. Your concern for her and us was gratefully appreciated.
The Family of Gertrude S."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I wish to thank you for your professionalism during my recent stay at FUH. It has meant a lot to me to have the support and friendship of those associated with my case.
Tina B."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thanking you for all your care, attendance and knowledge in helping along my recovery. Your sensitivity and warmth has, and is, a real comfort.
With Warm regards,
Linda R."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just a note to try to express my thanks for the wonderful care and concern you gave Ned during his illness.
We are deeply indebted to you for the concern you had for him as a man as well as a patient.
We realize how terribly demanding your job is and how difficult when a patient does not recover.
Perhaps this little prayer will be a comfort to you when you are discouraged. It was a great help to us. God bless you in your work.
Jennifer S. & children"

"Hello Doctor,
Just a short note to let you know I'm feeling much better.
Enclosed is a check for 80% of your bill. This is all the coverage I have with my insurance through my work. If the balance is not paid by the other insurance company I will send you my own check.
Thank you again for your wonderful job & I'm still waiting for you to drop in for a visit.
Best Regards,
Roger C."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
A promise is a promise - however long it takes one to fulfill it! If you can read the embroidery-printing on the back of the quilt you will know why it came to be. If you decide to hang it instead of using it to just toast your knees, have Lisa call me and I'll give her instructions.
Tommy sends his regards and best wishes. Once again, thank you so very much for preserving and improving our lives.
Margaret B."

"Just a reminder that I shall be forever grateful to you -
Dan R."

"'Gratitude is the Memory of the Heart'
-St. Mary Euphrasia
Dear Dr. Helfant,
You have done so much for me, Doctor, no wonder I feel glad and - I thank you!
I had complete trust and confidence in your skill as a surgeon, but more so because you radiated that you really care for your patients as persons, not just faceless patients……Your gentleness, kindness, compassion, and Christ-likeness comes through strongly and reflects that of the Divine Physician Himself. Since I'm not being successful in trying to really express how grateful I am to you, Doctor, I pray God to communicate my feelings and appreciation to you.
I assure you of my prayers for your intentions, and for the continued success of your beautiful work of healing and curing people. What a great reward must be waiting for you in heaven, for the Lord takes all done to others - even a cup of cold water given in His Name - as done to Himself! May all your days bring you into he warmth of the love of God.
Sister Josephine, S.C.
P.S. - I'm so happy you appreciate Japanese culture - we have that in common, don't we?"

Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just a note to tell you of my gratitude for your kindness in checking off the balance payment of my hand-surgery. Thank-you, Doctor Helfant, and God bless you.
My hand does not pain me as it used to, before surgery. I am able to sew and perform other duties, thanks to your skill! It still stiffens up very much at night, and times I'm not using the hand, but I don't worry about it. Exercising it awhile, bending the fingers, gets it closing again. I knew it took years to hard study and discipline to be as qualified and proficient as you are, Doctor, but think of all the people whom you help to relieve their pain! It could be said of you, as it was of Christ: 'He went about doing good.'
If you ever would like to come to --- --- and see the work of the Sisters of the --- --- with the girls, you are welcome, Doctor, it can be arranged. There are various different _Programs here.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.
- Sincerely,
- Sister Josephine, S.C."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
The excellent care you provided for my husband, and the spirit of cooperation and understanding which you showed to all of us concerned, will never be forgotten.
Thank you,
Mrs. Dorothea L. & Alex"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just a few lines to express my gratitude for your caring and concern not only for my niece Kathleen B. but also her family during those long ten weeks. I truly appreciate all you did.
I pray the warmth and compassion expressed by you on the might of December 8th to my brother -Larry and his wife Susan will remain with you throughout your career.
In gratitude,
Donna R."

"Dear Dr. Helfant -
There are so many feelings we are living with since Suzanne was hurt - and a great part includes you and what the concern you gave to Suzanne and us as people has meant.
What was so important and appreciated was your availability when we felt a need - and willingness to listen - hear us - and absorb a lot of grief in circumstances which were sad for us all.
You have our continuing gratitude for the skill and caring you brought to Suzanne and for the sensitivity you offered and shared with us when we were aching.
Elizabeth and Dennis A. "

"It seems inadequate to thank you for being there to care for Jim. You must know how much it meant to my mother. She has a deep respect and love for you. Jim also respected and admired you and your beliefs during the war. Your profession is a difficult one. I often wonder how you must feel. I am grateful for your knowledge, compassion and love.
Cathy M."

"Hi Dr. Helfant,
Well, I made it to England. So far I have been really blessed with the ministry. The Lord has been really good to me and I am truly thankful that the Lord used you as an instrument for my healing, and that I can be alive to serve Him in this ministry.
Julie O."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
I would like to personally thank you for the patient care I received while under your skilled hands as a surgeon, in June of 1972 and again in August of 1973 resulting from a car accident. I honestly feel that without you I would not be alive today.
I was hoping to stop in and thank you personally, but with the busy schedule that you must have, and myself working full time, I am sending this note in lieu of a personal visit, otherwise it might take another year and after 8 years I feel you have shown extreme patience and understanding.
Once again thank you for everything!
Penny G."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
We THANK you most sincerely for being so kind, (talking to us) and for the wonderful life saving work you did on Bill.
We don't know about such things - nut feel you did perfectly - and certainly it was beautiful work judging by how nicely his head has healed up.
Thank you most sincerely - and God Bless you.
Sandra and Lloyd T."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I would like to thank you personally for your love and interest in my daughter Wendy.
Our hearts are broken, but you made it so much easier for us - by explaining and telling us exactly what to expect.
We are very confident that everything that could be done was done. We thank you and the I.C.U of Framingham Union for all of your efforts.
Your are such beautiful people - and we love you because you are so human.
If ever you are in Florida it would be our pleasure to have you visit us - we are only 29 ˝ miles from Disney World.
We can supply you with all of the orange juice you can drink.
Thank you so much,
Eleanor S. (Mother of Wendy C.)"

"Dear Doctor
Thank you for helping me get well.
Mia C."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Please let me express my deep gratitude for your kindness in coming to visit my husband at our apartment. Your thoughtfulness in offering to make a 'house call' on a patient you had never seen has done much to restore my faith in the Framingham Medical Community.
It was such a pleasure to meet you and I do appreciate your generosity in refusing any payment for the visit although I honestly believe you certainly were entitled to be recompensed for the time and effort you put in on my husband's behalf.
I imagine it was as painful for you to give us your opinion as it was for us to hear it. We shall do our best to cope with the conditions.
Once again, please accept our heartfelt thanks for being such a caring person and best wishes.
Mrs. Elizabeth P."

"Dear Dr. Helfant -
Hello! We all feel very warm toward all of you at Framingham Union who were kind to us and provided thoughtful care to Louis and all the patients we saw during his stay.
We realize every day how fortunate we were that his injuries were comparatively slight and that he is well enough to have been given the go-ahead to go skiing with us in Italy next week. Didn't seem possible in December.
God bless all of you!
Rita & Tony A."

"Dear Mrs. Y.,
Enclosed please find a check for consultation visit.
Also, give my best regards to the good Doctor. I am 90% better and the big pains have disappeared.
I am so very thankful to Dr. Helfant and to his staff.
God bless him!
Jack T."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
This letter is being sent to you to tell you how very grateful I am for all you have done for my daughter, Pam L. I give thanks to God for answering my prayers for her to find the right doctor. In the Book of Sirach we are reminded to 'Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was who established his profession. From God the doctor has his wisdom and the king provides for his sustenance.'
Dr. Helfant, you have shown great concern and compassion for Pam, and you have shown her also that you are interested in the total person. This is a great gift!
It is my prayer that God will continue to bless you with even greater wisdom and knowledge for His greater glory. God Love you!
Janice S."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I am sorry I was unable to write sooner, but this quarter has to have been the hardest or at least the most time consuming of my four years of college. I just wanted to personally let you know that I was accepted to the University of Mass. Medical School. I imagine you may have already caught wind of this. I am grateful for all the advice you have given me during my application process and also for the letter of recommendation.
But, the latter represent only two of the many contributions on your part. I refer to the medical care I received at the Framingham Union Hospital under your care. I only hope that someday I will be able to repay those deeds by yourself and many others, by utilizing this opportunity I have been given to benefit others. I again extend my thanks and hope to see you sometime in the near future.
Thank you,
Brian D."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I am living proof that all the 'Crazies' aren't in institutions.
Thank you for seeing me today and relieving my mind.
Jackie H."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
As the parents & family of Steve F., we want to express our sincerest gratitude to you in your attempt to save him and for the kindness & compassion you extended to all of us on that night.
Too often in times of trial the doctors do not receive the thanks they deserve for their effort.
Our prayers for you shall always be that the Good Lord will continue to bless you in your vocation as a doctor.
We also appreciate very much your honesty with us and to remain with our dear son until his passing.
Once more our sincerest thanks and love to you!
Take Care & God Bless,
The F. Family"

"Dear Dr. Helfant
This is Tony C. I want to thank you for the good job you did on my spine. I would like you to fill out the two forms I am sending also would like two copies of each. I am sending a self addressed stamped envelope.
Thank you,
Tony C.

"Dear Lisa and Dr. Helfant -
I thank you so much for asking how I am -
I so greatly appreciate your kindness.
I had been working in my (most cluttered) study - rephrasing words on reams of paper - while my thoughts centered on other things, - causing discouragement.
Your thoughtfulness made me and gave me the impetus I needed that set things right and am back on course.
Thank you again -
Sincerely -
Janet M."

"Hello Doctor -
Just a couple of lines to let you know I have not forgotten you & to thank you again for the wonderful job you did for me. Many nights you are remembered in my prayers & I thank God for all the talented people that were there when I was in need.
May God bless you
Gratefully yours
Robert E."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I want to sincerely thank you for the consideration given to me concerning the fee that I owed you for my sons [sic] operation. During the past 2 weeks I was unable to get down to the lawyers [sic] office, because my youngest son had an accident & there was no car available for me to get down town. I did get there tonite [sic]& gave the check to Atty. F. My apologies for being late.
The last 3 years have been very difficult for me. I had to fight every insurance co [sic]. The boy only had $5,000, and my expenses were over that for hosp. [sic] funeral, cemetery & for his gravestone.
My husband took ill 3 mos. later & for 1 ˝ years he suffered dearly with lymphoma - I still find it hard to believe they are both gone - so close together.
I also thank you for trying to save young Vinny's life. I know it must be difficult for you to have to face mothers & fathers who are losing their children. Yours is a very difficult vocation. You know Dr. - I pleaded with my son. I didn't want him to have a motorcycle as I always had a feeling I would lose him. I talked him out of it at age 20 & 21 - But at 23 - with all his friends having one, I was not successful - He only had the bike for 2 months -
Again - Thank You -
God Bless You.
Mrs. Alan D."

"Dr. Helfant -
We'd like to thank you for your precautionary care and gentle manner with ---.
With thanks,
Mr. & Mrs. Edward F."

"Dr. Helfant and Lisa,
We would like to express our deep appreciation to you both for all your support and care for us during the past year. Despite all the difficulties your help has made a difference as how we are handling matters. Your unique Rx of compassion and a bit of humor along the way has been especially appreciated. Thanks,
Roland, Betty, et. al."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
I am writing this in an attempt to express my appreciation and that of the family for your skillful and caring treatment of Barbara. From the day of your first meeting with her, you have been more than considerate, kind both to her and to us for which we thank you.
Moving her rapidly through the difficult problems of surgical scheduling is deeply appreciated with the holidays so near at hand. Certainly her problem required the treatment which you gave her and certain it is the likelihood of her having a good result is greatly enhanced by this treatment.
Finally I thank you once more and hope that you will have a happy holiday.
Joseph D., M.D."

"Dear Murray,
I know you are only a simple neurosurgeon and not necessarily familiar with reading 'explanation of benefits' statements like this; however, it seems to me possible that you are short a few bucks for your job on Susan. You did such a good job on her I'd hate to see you short changed.
In any case, this gives me a chance to thank you for all you did for Susan. As promised, she is a little shorter but certainly able to stand up; even sits down now a little also. We had taken her off the drugs almost as soon as she arrived in France and put her on the wine. That's what did the trick. She still is very slow moving at meal preparation times and, of course, gets dizzy just thinking about house work so I've decided we can just let most things pile up for a few months until she'll really be feeling better. Actually, she never was much interested in real work like that so I've done the inevitable and hired a cleaning person. Now Susan can spend her growing strength and energy in more useful things like shopping in Paris, going to art exhibits and studying French.
We are very happy that we have our Susan back, and almost back to normal. I haven't taken to calling her Shorty as yet for fear she will hurt herself trying to kick me.
We are looking forward to meeting your friends in the near future and know that they will be super folks. Please let me us know if you will ever be in the Paris area as I would want to personally meet you and thank you 'face a face' for all you have done for us.
Very best regards,

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I just want to thank you for your concern and obvious dedication. And also for putting up daily with all of us and our questions.
I'm not always the best at expressing my feelings verbally - and this may be a weak substitute, but I appreciate everything you've done and all you do every day.
Enjoy the holiday season!
Miles F."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I'm sending a note to thank you sincerely for the excellent care you are giving to Peter.
I have peace inside because I know he is getting the best attention available.
Thank you sincerely and are very grateful Peter has you for a doctor.
In appreciation,
Pam R. and family"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thanks so much for your note and copies of all my 'files.' But where is your bill, silly person? Please send it and we'll get it off to the Ins. Co. so you'll get paid! (You still have the form? Or do you need another?)
My trip back was fine with the help of the Percocet, 2 1st class seats made into a bed (I tried to make them let my friend in 'steerage,' as Gregg calls Economy, come up - 1st class, for heaven's sake was only 25% full, but no deal).
Any way, it seems my children, who I never thought could get along without me, did just fine, along with Gregg's help; and have continued to make my recovery proceed nicely (maybe all mothers should have an operation just once when their children are 10, 12 and 13!!)
My first week back I almost called you 10 times (it poured rain almost every day and my legs ached. I had no appetite & I 'came off' the Percocet completely). But by Saturday I started drinking the wonderful French wines and it's been uphill (downhill? - anyway good) ever since!
I go out to Montmartre with my little wagon or a meeting, etc. once each day, then come home and stay on my back for a while. But truly I can't believe the difference.
I THANK YOU so very much for doing everything you did from the first day you came to my parent's house (does anybody else ever do that anymore?) all the testing, operating, kindness and most of all your wonderful sense of humor that you shared with me.
Perhaps we'll see each other in Paris next time you're here - Gregg would like to thank you too.
Bon Chance!
p.s. I have everyone in Paris doing back exercises!"

"Hi, Dr. Helfant,
Well, I made it to England. So far I have been really blessed with the ministry. The Lord has been really good to me and I am truly thankful that the Lord used you as an instrument for my healing, and that can be alive to serve Him in this ministry,
Joanne V."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I want to thank you for the time you gave me in your office to talk over matters concerning my health. I do appreciate your accommodating me in your busy schedule and expressing continued concern over me.
Maintaining my self-esteem over all these past months has been an important need of mine, and I am grateful for your patiently allowing me to be my curious self. Your explanations and interpretations of what has been happening to me have helped considerably, and I look forward to keeping you informed of my progress in the coming months.
Cynthia L."

"Doctor Helfant:
I want to thank you for your calm reassurance concerning Roxanne's difficulties.
We needed to hear that she would be all right. It is very difficult to hear otherwise.
I'm happy to say that you were right. The hematomas are gone, she has excellent movement of her right arm & hand, and she is wide-eyed & alert.
She's an absolute joy.
Thanks again for your kindness and your expertise.
Larry & Abby D."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Two years ago today, John was discharged from the ICU to the 4th floor. Two days ago he received a letter of acceptance for the University of ---. As we remain grateful - beyond any ability of words to express - for the wisdom, compassion., and skill of your treatment of both John and his family, we thought you'd like to hear such good news.
John and his father join me in sending their warmest regards to you, and to Elaine as well.
Dorothy C."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I'm sorry I missed you before we left. I didn't realize you were going on vacation. I didn't get a chance to express my gratitude for everything you've done, and the way you treated all of us. Funny. Everyone tells me that it's 'natural' to feel anger towards the doctor when there are no immediate positive results. Well, in all honesty, I have never felt anger at you, Elaine, or anyone in F.U.H. I have the greatest respect and admiration for you - I simply cannot imagine anyone being a better all-around physician. (I wish I were saying this in person!)
And now: I hope you will come to a party I'm having Sat. March 13th for everyone at F.U.H. who worked with Doreen. (Certain nurses assured me you try not to miss parties!) Meanwhile, I will talk to you about the program down here when I learn and see more.
Again, my thanks!

"God has chosen you to be a neurosurgeon and He has given you much wisdom. We thank you for your dedication, your attitude, your sense of humor and your caring.
You're attuned to all personalities & needs - and that is so far-reaching.
Thank you for suggesting our reading of Anatomy of an Illness - it's been special that you did that - Kate's dad is constantly in pain w/ arthritis (also emphysema & an enlarged heart) - this book has helped him & many others.
We're confident that you'll help us through the rest of the way.
Thanks so much!
Very sincerely,
Robert and Cathy L."

"Dear Murray,
Your courteous and thoughtful letter returning my check was received today, and I gratefully acknowledge same and express my profound appreciation for the philosophy to which you practice medicine. There was never any doubt in my mind from the first moment I met you that you were ethical and caring. The most recent article in the Middlesex News written to the editor obviously expresses the views of many of us who have had the privilege of dealing with you.
May I belatedly express my thanks to you for your wise suggestions to me during my recovery. Your caution, your concern, and your wise advice have allowed me almost complete recuperation from my back problems.
My family and I are most indebted to you, and we are very blessed that you have become a part of our lives. Thanks for everything, and I hope that those less fortunate than I are progressing rapidly under your special care and talents.
Best Regards,
Nelson R."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
It is my hope that this gift can express my gratitude for the help you have given me the past year. It is refreshing to be in the hands of a physician who not only is competent but sensitive to the needs of his patients. I know I speak for others in thanking you for this important compassionate interest you show to all your patients.
Thank you for encouraging me to continue seeking medical help for more answers concerning my medical problems. Fortunately I am now finding other skilled physicians who are showing the same caring attitude you have shown to me.
Most appreciatively,
Sarah E."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
I'm home and I'm so glad to be here. I know your [sic] not my Dr. but - just a brief note to thank you and the rest of the wonderful "operating room" staff for your kindness to me while I was a patient at Framingham Union.
Things are going OK. I see Dr. W. in a few weeks. I'm sure he'll be pleased with my progress. Thank you again.
Penny E."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
What can I say to the man that saved my life? Thank you just doesn't seem adequate to express my sincere gratitude. You are a brilliant man and without your expertise I wouldn't be here today.
Let me give you an update on my progress. Since you last saw me I went to --- -------- Hospital in ------ because the therapy I was receiving at home wasn't enough to make me independent. When I was discharged the therapists didn't give me much chance of ever walking again, which was quite difficult to accept. My parents and I refused to believe it and remained stubborn like mules. Now because of this attitude I am walking short distances with a walker.
I am doing this at --- ----- Hospital in ---- because that is the hospital where most of the doctors connected with me are affiliated. Dr. A., who was my physiologist at --- -------- is one of the doctors on the consulting staff and Dr. W. who is my neurologist is also on the staff at -- -----.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. the therapist puts me through an intensive amount of therapy. She has done a super job!!! - tells me that I never seize [sic] to amaze her. She makes me feel good about myself, she's good for the igo (sic).
Well, I don't know what else to say other than thank you again.
Sincerely yours,
Lorraine Y.
P.S. I hope you don't mind the fact that this is typed because my handwriting is still in need of improvement."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thank you so much for your May 3 letter and its contents. I'm glad that some mothers bring up their sons to be honest.
Thank you, too, for giving me back my "marbles."
Hope F."

"Dr. Helfant:
Would you please send me a receipt reflecting this office visit so I can bill BC/BS @ 80% -
You did a real good job on my back and am feeling better all the time.
Can't thank you enough.
Leo G."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thank you for all that you have done for our mother. Your care and concern at such a distressing time helped to lighten the burden. We will miss Mom very much but we know she is at peace with God.
God bless you,
Peggy N."

"Dear Murray,
Thank you for everything, but most of all thank you for caring.
Andy & Theresa J."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thank you for restoring my ability to knit, crochet and embroider. Everything (including my penmanship) is improving.
Elizabeth W."

"Dr. Helfant,
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it's apparent that my wife's recent experience was not as critical, in a relative sense, as that of other patients. One need only look around the hospital corridors to see that. Nevertheless, for her, it was unquestionably traumatic. Her pain and fear were real.
We thank you for your accurate diagnosis, your prompt action and your skilled surgery. As a doctor you accomplished your technical objective, as I'm sure you've done many times before. Mildred will be good as new with only a battle scar as her memento, discretely covered by her hair.
The principles of medicine are thoroughly taught and well practiced by select individuals. A patient can expect a proper resolution of his/her problem. But one isn't always fortunate enough to have a doctor with humanity and genuine compassion as well. One with patience, who is reassuring yet frank, who inspires confidence in a frightening situation. These elements are innate. They cannot be taught.
- The nurses made some very positive comments about you when Mildred was admitted on Friday morning beyond the expected 'he's a good man type statements.'
- You laid out the facts about the need for surgery and its urgency straight out on Friday afternoon.
- You were available!! - That your answering service gave me your home phone on Friday night was totally unexpected.
- You were up front with our questions and reassuring on Saturday morning… flexible, with references for second opinions and yet prepared to operate as you felt was required.
Mildred's discomfort after the myelogram and the surgery was remarkably minimal, thanks partly to thoughtful medication.
- Your frequent visits indicated caring and good-natured professionalism inspired confidence.
- And you spoke with Mildred, not at her, in terms which she could understand
In sum you not only provided physical relief, but emotional relief as well. So we are thankful for your skills, which relieved pain and corrected a problem. And we are grateful for your humanity - which made a basically unpleasant situation far more endurable than it might otherwise have been.
Ronald P."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
We wanted to express our thanks to you for the care you took of our mother, Kathleen M.. Her loss has been extremely painful to us and there is such a large emptiness without her, but it is a great comfort that she had the best care available to us today. An added comfort to us was your kindness, caring and support in a situation which, post-operatively, had clearly turned into a medical situation. Your condolence call the day after her passing was also very much appreciated.
Again, our very sincere thanks to a fine person and surgeon.
The M. Family"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Just a brief note to thank you so much for seeing my aunt when we were in desperate need of an expert opinion. She has had her radiation and is having less pain.
Also, just a brief thanks to you personally for always being pleasant, accommodating and expert. You do more than justice to the profession.
Dr. June A."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
Thank you ever so much for the excellent care you gave to Heidi. She misses you so much. We'll never forget you. She'll never meet another doctor like you.
Mr. & Mrs. Ronald W."

"Dear Murray:
As we agreed at my last visit in early January, the following is my status:
I feel great! No severe neck pain at all! One thousand percent better than I was. In the morning I tend to remain a bit stiff but a hot shower seems to work it right out.
Overall, I feel 90% fixed (cured?). I have been off traction for three to four weeks. I suppose continued traction would bring me up to 100%. If so, I should go back to it.
Thanks so much for your help! Don't hesitate to write this up in the Journal of Medicine as a minor miracle of modern medicine. Seriously though, if any of your patients with my problem need a morale boost, don't hesitate to have them call me.
Yours truly,
Martin B.
cc: Herbert L., M.D."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I wish to thank you for your kindness and for your professionalism during my recent stay at FUH. It has meant a lot to me to have the support and friendship of those associated with my case.
Lorie M."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
The other morning when I was in to see you, you seemed very down. As you said, 'We all have bad days.' Some days 'Murphy's Law prevails.'
I just wanted to write a note to let you know that you are a very caring Dr. I'm not the only one who thinks so either, others in the hospital said the same thing.
It isn't often enough that people say the nice things so I hope it will lift your spirits a little to hear that others appreciate you.
Faith A."

"Dear Dr. Helfant.
Bill and I are slowly learning to accept Larry's death. After your second phone call we realized that Larry stood very little chance, short of a miracle, of ever awakening - and that if he did awaken, he would never be even close to normal again. Your call made it easier to accept word of his death which came later that day.
We would like you to know that we appreciate all that you and your staff did for Larry. We thank you also for your consideration in phoning us. Please know that Larry's death in no way diminishes our gratitude to you or our great respect for you and your ability as a doctor. We hope you understand what we are trying to say; words still come only with much difficulty.
Thank you, doctor,
Bill & Maude S."

"Dr. Helfant,
Our few encounters in Ernie's room were brief but your soft spoken and polite words left me with a good feeling.
I was told you were one of the best Dr.'s on the staff but I had sensed that from your mannerism.
This is to say thank you for all your efforts to do what was humanly possible for Ernie.
Mortimer T."

"Dear Doctor Helfant,
We thank you for taking such excellent care of Teddy; there is no way we could ask for better care for him or your consideration for us. We are grateful.
God bless you,
Alex & Betsy S."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
We greatly appreciated your care of Eric, especially the relationship you maintained with him throughout his hospitalization. Your understanding in difficult circumstances greatly eased our concern and his. Thank you for everything.
Donna & Ralph A."

"Dear Dr. Helfant:
You are not only a fine surgeon but a generous person. Thank you for "paying me up." I am touched.
I will be pleased to send you a nice bunch of motorcycle cards but I can't remember which one I sent you, so I've enclosed copies of each one I've done. Just tell me which one or more you wanted and I send them.
Your friend,
Drew D."

"Hi Dr. Helfant,
I just wanted to thank you for taking such good care of me while I have been ill. Isn't it funny how crazy accidents happen? The squirrel survived, my little Chevette survived, but I didn't quite get away! I wish I could trust all doctors the way that I trust you with my care. I'm a tough one and I always bounce back in time and hopefully my crazy back will be back to normal soon.
Again I just want to thank you for all of your quality care and help.
Irene F.
p.s. I like your motorcycle!"

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
This is just a note to let you know how grateful I am for the excellent care you took of my father.
I realize he was a difficult patient to have to deal with for the majority of his stay in the hospital. I also realize & deeply appreciate your spending time listening & assisting myself & my family.
The whole experience of having a loved one come close to death is reality for many people. This was the first major illness any one in our family has ever gone through, & I want to apologize if we added any to your already overwhelming burden.
I have always had a high opinion of your abilities & your compassion was demonstrated to me in the past with patients of yours such as Scott M., Margie E., & yes, believe it or not Harry P. (He did too talk to us, whenever you weren't around).
I hope the fact that my Dad "miracle of miracles" is now considered by society to be fine, is a source of pride for you.
I also hope that you will be able to think about your experiences with a man that you once described as "crazy & completely out of his gourd," with a few moments of pleasure. Because on reflection his particular type of delusions, were for the most part a trifle humorous.
That's the opinion of the crazy man's daughter - anyway!
Thank you again sincerely,
Mary H."

"Dear Dr. Helfant,
I want to tell you how much I appreciate all that you did for my brother and am sorry he was not able to make a more positive response for us.  Also I was very much impressed by the dedication and expertise of the nurses.
With my gratitude and the season's greetings -
Sincerely yours,

"Thanks to a man that saved my life.
Mel and Karen L."