Did you ever think you knew something only to find out it was even better than you imagined? That’s what happened to me recently and I just have to share my story. I worked as a nurse at Kenmore Mercy Hospital for 45 years, retiring a couple of years ago as a nurse manager. I always knew the doctors and staff at Kenmore Mercy went above and beyond to provide the best care for patients. It wasn’t until I became a patient myself last year that I truly understood just how extraordinary the care is at the hospital.

It was a Sunday in November and I was experiencing abdominal pain. By 3:30 AM I knew I had to go to the emergency room and my husband drove me to Kenmore Mercy. Of course, I didn’t want to go anywhere else, even though we live in Akron. Turns out, it was my appendix and I would need surgery right away.

As I was being taken care of, I was surprised to see my family physician, Dr. David Pfalzer, walk into the ER at such an early hour. When I asked what he was doing there so early, he told me I needed medical clearance and he did not want to hold me up for surgery. I say I was surprised, but I wasn’t surprised. That is how much he cares for his patients.

Shortly after, I met Dr. Liam Knott, the general surgeon who would perform the appendectomy. I’d never met him as he was new on staff at Kenmore Mercy. He impressed me because he showed sincere concern about my pain management. He said he would not leave the building until the surgery was done. He was there once I was in recovery and came to see me every day I was in the hospital. He even took the time to call my husband to update him right after the surgery. As for the surgery itself? Two weeks later, I came out of retirement to help with the fight against COVID at the St. Joseph campus of Sisters Hospital. I’d call that a success.

Dr. Pfalzer and Dr. Knott left a lasting impression on me and it is not because of my long familiarity with Kenmore Mercy. Of course, I knew the hospital has a reputation for compassionate care. But now that I have experienced it for myself, I want everyone to hear my story.

Please consider showing support for your caregivers, with a donation to Kenmore Mercy Foundation. To make your gift, please visit their website to make your secure donation online at CHSBuffalo.org/Foundations/Kenmore-Mercy. Any and every contribution is appreciated. If you have had your own great experience with a caregiver, this is your opportunity to honor the great work that they do. Simply fill out the Angel of Care form to share your story about a caregiver.


Mary Hojnacki


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