In honour of Dr. Paul Fleiss–A mother’s sincere, rambling, heartfelt tribute
I asked for some thoughts from people who knew this kindest of all doctors.
Hello Dr. Gordon,
Weary eyed in the middle of the night I wrote on Dr. Paul Fleiss’s passing on the infamous mothers support group Boobybrigade. I misspelled things and left out words, nursing my youngest daughter and comforting my oldest as she jumped into bed. I looked at The time – 2 am. Same time we first called fleiss 3 1/2 years ago and he answered right away.
Just now I checked my emails and found that so many other woman had commented on my post and shared the same feelings. One I didn’t share though was in which I felt the obit did little justice to the greatness of this man. This mother sent me the link to your email, explaining that you’d like to hear more commemorations.
I was in love with this man/doctor/humanitarian.
This is what I shared with them and now with you :
” >> Hi mamas, I just woke at 2 am to find my older daughter climbing into bed with us , the ceiling fan starting mysteriously on its own and as I checked the time on my phone I found a text from a girlfriend with a link to an obituary, her text said ” did you know? I am so sad”. I did not. I just strangely gave a recommendation the other night for “you” said Mama, who was looking for a new ped, then right after finding the original post I thought, ” gosh, could this woman be speaking of our doctor? I should call the office”. Which I didn’t. Now this.
I knew he was 80 and he had just suffered and was healing from a neck fracture after a bicycle accident. He’d had many from what I’ve heard over the years. Always going straight back to work, same day with no pain meds ( because he couldn’t / wouldn’t practice on drugs). Although this time I just had that feeling after his accident that he might not recover completely. Although he was such a survivor I had the same feeling about him that I did with my grandmother who passed at 92 …. ” they will outlive us all”. I am so sad. I feel so honoured to have known this man. I’ve never respected any doctor more in my life an I grew up with doctors all around me in my family. He was by far the most passionate, caring , knowledgeable and forward thinking man / practioner I had ever been graced to know. My heart goes out to his family, blood family as well as anyone in this group who have been so lucky to have had him as your family doctor. He always felt to me like part of my family. Even when his eyes would forget who you were for a second he would always remember your story and treat you and your children like his own. He was a gem of a man and I AM SO GREATLY heartbroken and sad that we did not get to see him one last time.
The first time we met him was when my first daughter was 2 days old and I woke thinking she was having labored breathing. I had been GBS Positive in my pregnancy and took alternative routes to preventing contraction in labour instead of IV antibiotics. Very controversial. Some decisions as a parent can be some of the hardest ones. We knew there might be a risk. He met us at 2:30am. Never judged. He understood that and Diagnosed my daughter as perfect and said we will keep her close and see her next day but that he saw no signs of complication. He also said he wanted To see her personally first to make sure otherwise anyone else might send us straight to the ER which then would start a trickle affect of days of tubes and IV’s in our baby when it might very well be a false alarm. He wanted to prevent unnecessary intervention that could change the course of our daughters future in any negative way. There was no contest. He was our pediatrician from then on. The last time I spoke to him over the phone I was on a trip with family in Atlanta and got caught in an ice storm with two feverish, unwell children. He returned my page and we spoke for awhile. Then at the end of our conversation I expressed to him our gratitude for calling us back so late and that i knew he was healing from a broke hand, he corrected me and said ” oh not just my hand, I broke my neck, but I’m healing”. He called me from his bed and put mine and my families needs first. You just can’t teach that kind of love, that’s Spirit. Just like it was Spirit that woke me up last night to share the news of his passing.
My husband and my sweet joke about going and seeing fleiss when the girls were sick was always ” what did he say to do? Put Breast milk in it!”
He will be missed.
…and if you have not already, please check out his Sleep book ” sweet dreams”. He was an amazing master mind of theory and scientific study as well embodying the compassion of a wise elder. His findings on sleep will blow your mind and help you to truly understand why our children, ourselves and our elders sleep the way they do. And he gives such a great permission to the parent to let our child grow as intended. He was the best. I feel his book went very under rated but I can say it might be one of the best on the market.
RIP Dr. Paul Fleiss
Hugs. Meaganlark ”
Thank you Dr Gordon, you are as well someone I have looked up to and now I see why! Great minds and hearts grow out of the same fiber.
Warmest- Meaganlark Canepa
Sent from a Little Black Box