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Thousands say 'thank you' as doctor who touched young lives retires

Thousands say 'thank you' as doctor who touched young lives retires

If you've ever had a critically ill or injured child in the Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart chances are good you've run into Dr. Rex Northup.

He's dedicated his life to the care of children and now a lot of people want to say "thank you."

How many children have Rex and I done?" asked Merrie Schwartz, an adoptive and medical foster mom. "I don't know. Probably 90 to 100 special needs kids."

Those 100 or so children brought Merrie to know pediatric intensivist Dr. Northup very well. She has spent many a day and night at the hospital bedside of the critically ill or abused babies placed in her care. She could always count on Dr. Northup being right there with her.

"There's no time clock with him," Merrie said. "Late at night, holidays, weekends; he doesn't work nine to five."

A compassionate heart has fueled that type of commitment for 40 years. As Dr. Northup retires, there is praise from all across the country. There are many stories; thousands more than Merrie's 100.

"To be one of the ones that is afforded that privilege of being looked at to provide that care is something that I value tremendously," Dr. Northup said.

Every case has not had the outcome everyone hoped for. Even in those time, Dr. Northup was still there.

"There is always something that we can do to make things better," he explained. "It may not make it well, it may not even make it good, but there are things that we can do. And in my opinion that we should do at least make things better."

Many lives are better because of Dr. Northup and the families say "thank you."

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

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