Dr. Dan Saltzman is the Torgusen family's superhero.
Cait and Dr. Dan (Submitted photo)
"We are proud to tell you about our amazing superhero, pediatric surgeon Dr. Daniel Saltzman. Dr. Saltzman came into our lives in January 2008, when my adopted daughter Caitlin, born in November 2006, needed major reconstructive surgery for a Complex Persistent Cloacal Anomaly and other malformations. After frightening life-threatening experiences in previous hospitals, Dr. Dan (as Cait lovingly calls him) assured me that he would be a champion for my daughter, and he is exactly that.
Since the day they met, Cait has spent more than 100 days as an inpatient at U of M Amplatz Children's Hospital and has had countless outpatient procedures, along with numerous visits to the clinic and months on feeding tubes, TPN, and home health care services. Our home health nurses would always tell me how amazed they were that Cait's Dr. Dan would call them personally to check up on her and give medical instructions, something none of them had ever experienced before. It came as no surprise to us.
During one of Cait's very lengthy inpatient stays, I can remember arriving at the hospital, after driving 90 miles from home and work, which I did many many days, to find him snuggled up with her in her room watching "Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue," which we've watched at least 1,000 times, or talking to me while driving lost in the Cities on a holiday weekend while holding an OR for her to get in for an emergency procedure to find him smiling at the ED door waiting. Amazing relief for a mom in a panic.
We loved and always will love our Dr. Shukla, many more physicians at Amplatz, Melanie H., nursing staff, child-life specialists, and other tech teams in the hospital, each and every day. However, Dr. Dan was the one constant that I could call on for updates, questions, concerns, new treatment issues, mom fears, surgery-related or other care needs, and for his integrity and honesty. I am grateful he was able to deal with my mom fears in a big way. Cait's twin sister, Courtney, along with her older sister, Ashley, and I counted on him to get her back home to us after numerous surgeries, complications, and recoveries.
He helped us get Cait home to stay. We have happily been home and well since 2/23/11. We know that if we need his help, he is still there for us. We know he's working hard taking care of other children just like Cait. We thank our superhero Dr. Dan each and every day in our prayers.
THANK YOU SUPERHERO DR. DANIEL SALTZMAN aka Dr. Dan :)"
—The Caitlin Skye Torgusen Family
Submitted by Cait's mom, Mary Torgusen