Patient Testimonial: Sharon Yunker-Deatz, Multiple Sclerosis Center

Published on January 6, 2017

The Rev. Sharon Yunker-DeatzThe Rev. Sharon Yunker-Deatz was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1988 while living in New Jersey. This life-changing diagnosis did not stop Yunker-Deatz from following her calling as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. She was determined to serve others and maintain the best quality of life possible. Even when Yunker-Deatz became concerned she may no longer have the stamina to serve as a pastor of a congregation, she went back to school to get her doctorate in Psychotherapy. This enabled her to extend her career, ministering to others in yet another way. 

Yunker-Deatz admits that she has had years of remission and periods of pure despair, but she has continued to strive for a good quality of life day-by-day. She has moved to Louisville and Michigan and back again since her diagnosis. Through all her moves and new opportunities, there was one thing that she always found challenging – finding and keeping a neurologist that really respected her medical and personal needs and that she could respect as well. 

Today, her neurologist is David A. Robertson, MD.  “I have great respect for him,” Yunker-Deatz said.  “He is a gentle spirited man whom I feel has a genuine calling to serve people through medicine and with his brilliant mind. He is young, which is a good thing because he will be around awhile. Best of all, Dr. Robertson is not arrogant. He recognizes my intelligence and honors it.” 

When Yunker-Deatz has an appointment with Robertson, he is attentive and listens to her. It is clear to Yunker-Deatz that Robertson checks his records before meeting with her and remembers where they left off during their last appointment.  Most important to Yunker-Deatz: he is aware of the quality of life which she has now and desires to help her keep it that way, to remain as independent as possible. 

“Dr. Robertson is willing to try new things, but is overall conservative,” Yunker-Deatz said. “I appreciate his thoughtful initiatives and I am thankful that Dr. Robertson is not going to push me as a patient to do something that I am not comfortable with for the purpose of his own aggrandizement. I am grateful to have him for my physician. Dr. Robertson is a keeper.”   

In response to the gratification that Yunker-Deatz has shared for her care, Robertson said, “In my practice and in my teaching, I feel it is my job to ‘meet patients where they are’.  This includes understanding their neurological condition or disease, but also appreciating their physical, cognitive and psychological abilities.” 

Robertson also feels it is also extremely important and even more rewarding to know each person as an individual and know their current lifestyle and future life goals.  He recognizes that most people do not want to need a neurologist or to consider some “scary” medicines.  “Yet, whatever the patient’s needs may be, when I become their neurologist,” Robertson said, “I consider it a pleasure and an honor to get to be part of their story, just like in this case with Sharon.”

To learn more about the UofL Physicians - Multiple Sclerosis Center, visit http://www.uoflphysicians.com/multiple-sclerosis-center.

Learn more about Dr. David Robertson by visiting his online profile at: http://www.uoflphysicians.com/1326195215-david-robertson.

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