Dear Dr. Davtyan,

In July of 1997, you operated on my son Matthew for a presumed isolated colon cancer polyp. When you came in to talk to me and my daughter after the surgery you told me that you and the surgical team were “devastated” to discover that my son’s cancer had moved to his liver (3 lesions). I asked what the prognosis was, etc., and you told me that he was a “stage 5” cancer and Matt had-at least- a 20% chance of survival.

You also told me that the surgery had removed all the cancerous lesions, but the cancer had traveled to other areas of his body.

I (and my daughter) were of course in shock, but never so I will never forget the deep sense of compassion and loss that you yourself felt at having to present the facts to us (and through in to Matt). I also recall how affirmative you were with Matt when we met subsequently in your office.

Well, Dr. Davtyan, I am writing to you now to make sure you know just how fabulous a surgical job (you even removed Matt’s gallbladder) you did on that day. Matt is alive, and now the father of a beautiful young baby girl.

I have meant to write to you on several earlier occasions, Dr., but the combined birth of Matt’s daughter and his graduation from UCLA finally provided me to take pen in hand. All I can say, Dr. Davtyan, is that you saved his life-period! How can a father possibly express his gratitude for that? I can’t. All I can say is that you will always be in my heart and in my prayers.

Bob P.