Friday, September 21, 2007

Vindicated ... somewhat

As many of you may already be aware, I am an amputee as of Dec 2003 (as a result from trauma received during a fall in June 2001).  One of the good things that has come out of this experience is the ability to provide support/mentoring for other amputees or those soon to be amputees.  I am also the webmaster for, a website the promotes the Ertl procedure of amputation (overview of procedure).  While I don't work for any surgeons or medical facilities, I do maintain close email contact with both my surgeon (Will Ertl) and his cousin (Jan Ertl).  When I receive inquires for the surgeons, I normally reply back to the sender (with a bcc to the surgeon) letting them know I have forwarded their message accordingly.  I have no control over the length of time it takes the surgeon to get back with either me or the original sender.


Two days ago a friend from Croatia emailed to let me know that an individual in an internet forum was attempting to locate Dr Jan Ertl (the forum site is hosted by Heather Mills).  I went to the site and found the thread in question that was originally started in early August of this year.  I recognized the information of the original posting individual as one that I had recently had several email messages from/to, and had even called him to chat about his situation. 


The thread started out with this individual (let's call him "Bob") inquiring from the forum readers if anyone had the contact info for Dr Jan Ertl.  That inquiry included:

....the information on is NOT good enough. I have emailed though their site a few times with no results


One of the readers (Freddy) provided the suggestion of:

When I clicked on webmaster I got this email address. Did you email him?


The response from "Bob" was:

Yup Freddy I've tried that 3 times now and all you get back is -- "I've forward your email to Jan Ertl. --webmaster Ron King". the ONLY thing i have not done though the Ertl site is make an appointment with one of his brothers and then drill them for Jans location and contact info and I bet that would go over like a lead zeppelin but thank you for your efforts


As I have already stated, I have no control over the speed and timing of the responses from the surgeons.  But, since "Bob" mentioned my name, I felt the need to share my side of the story.  So, I entered into the thread with this:

Quick note from webmaster Ron King:
I maintain the website at the request of the Barr Foundation. I do not work for any of the Ertls, or the medical facilities where they are practicing. Also, I have no control over the speed at which they reply to email messages that I forward to them. All I can do is continue to forward the info as often as requested.


Jan has been away from an active practice for quite a while and I believe he is preparing to enter back into practice, however I am not able to share that location until everything is confirmed.


I thought, at least I get to put my side of the situation out there for whoever cares.  What I didn't expect was "Bob" posting one additional post for the rest of the world to see:

Hi Ron,
This is an old post and I'm the one you helped hunt down Jan, I have talked to both you and Jan since I last posted here. However I would like to tell everyone else here on the boards that RON was a great help to me and is a fabulous person to talk to if anyone ever needs information on the Ertl procedure or anything amputation related for that matter. Ron has always responded to my questions and has been a great help to me personally in my quest to get an Ertl amputation. Thank you Ron for you wisdom and information and you do a great job keeping up the Ertl web site.


I don't believe "Bob" meant for his message with my name in it to "tarnish my reputation".  However, I did take it as somewhat of a personal slap, especially considering how powerless I am in regards to getting information back from the surgeons.  As such, you have no idea how much that final message from "Bob" meant to me.  He could have just let it look like I was just trying to "save face", but he took the time to share with all the forum readers (and it really is a very active amputee forum) that I am one who strives to help others in their time of need. 


"Bob", if you actually follow the links in some of my emails to you, THANKS!!!

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