Dr. Lee Raley ‘Saved My Life’

Raley_Lee2To celebrate Doctors’ Day, we asked our patients and co-workers why they appreciate their doctor. Watch for more of these stories as we continue #CHILivingOurMission.

Tiffany Talbert writes that Colorectal Surgeon Dr. Lee Raley of CHI St. Vincent Colorectal Surgery Clinic in Little Rock saved her life.

Dr. Lee Raley is my colorectal surgeon and has saved my life more than once. He’s saved the life of thousands of patients, many of them becoming my dear friends. He not only saves lives but puts families back together. He has the best bedside manner and makes talking about embarrassing colorectal issues easier. He deals with people who are embarrassed and often very sick and he makes it easy to talk about and be examined/operated on.

I’ve heard people/parents of teens facing major surgeries say, “All my worries went away the instant he walked in and started talking.” I started seeing Dr Raley shortly after he graduated in 2007 (my friend was his very first patient requiring a surgery more difficult than open heart surgery that many young surgeons prob couldn’t have even performed…I later had this same surgery…removal of my j pouch). I had 7 surgeries from 2007-2011. The Cleveland Clinic even told me I had an Amazing surgeon.

I’ve met several friends with the same condition as I (severe Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis) through his office and we still get together, go visit and play jokes on him. He’s always up for a good laugh/practical joke and that helps us deal with having our colon’s removed, ostomies, etc. He has let us introduce patients to each other and sit in his break room for an hour talking and supporting each other. We call ourselves, “Raley’s Angels” because he’s saved all of our lives.

He’s also very involved with colon cancer groups and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) – Arkansas chapter. He is (by far) CCFA Arkansas’ most supportive physician (financially AND w ith his time). Every year he raises money for CCFA and every year raises more money than any other physician’s office. More importantly is pretty much the only physician in AR to take their time to come to our CCFA events. He’s done so much for CCFA AR that he’s our walk chair this year and we’ve awarded him multiple times for his efforts for CCFA.

He’s a physician that knows your entire family by name and whom your whole family loves. This story is all over the place, if you use it, please let me re-write it but I really can’t tell you just how much Dr. Raley deserves to be recognized for his work. He saves people from colon, rectal, anal cancer and severe inflammatory bowel disease (to mention a few). He makes having to live with an ostomy much easier (LONG story/surgical history short: I had my colon removed and not have a permanent ostomy). During my journey I had to go to his office for office procedures (embarrassing, painful and not fun every 1 to 3 weeks for 4 years). He makes facing a severe and embarrassing disease much easier to handle.