Doctor, former patients reunited for special visit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2003

GLOSTER &045;&045; A special bond is sometimes forged between physician and patient &045;&045; a bond that not only facilitates the goal of healing, but also yields the rich reward of a lasting friendship.

Dr. Charles Laramore, now 80, retired and living in Gloster with his wife, Sarah, had occasion to celebrate such a bond when Leandes and Evelyn Ancor visited last week.

&uot;You’re not just our doctor and our friends, but you’re our loved ones,&uot; Evelyn told the Laramores as the group sat around the dining room table, feasting on seafood lasagna, shrimp patties and a Hawaiian wedding cake the Ancors had prepared.

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Laramore first met the Ancors at his New Orleans practice in 1970. They were shrimpers from the remote fishing village of Grand Bayou in Plaquemines Parish.

Evelyn was a diabetic patient.

&uot;They are a very loving and very generous people. Every time she would see me in the office she would say ‘How is my doctor?’&uot; Laramore recalled.

Laramore began traveling by boat to visit the Ancors and soon started treating other Grand Bayou residents, most of whom were not accustomed to a doctor’s care.

&uot;Leandes’ father never had a doctor. If he cut his hand, he would treat the wound with spider webs and kerosene,&uot; said Laramore, who quickly came to appreciate the resourceful nature and devotion among the people of Grand Bayou.

&uot;It was a different world there. The old man could navigate at night by the moon and stars.

&uot;They were special. They treated me with respect as a physician, but they also cared about me,&uot; he said.

Laramore said there is a pervasive lack of confidence and appreciation between doctors and patients in today’s medical world.

He remembered a brilliant young doctor who once treated emergency room patients at a New Orleans hospital.

&uot;She was sued so much that she quit her practice and went to law school … Patients used to trust the opinions that doctors gave them,&uot; he said.

Laramore closed his private practice after 38 years in 1989.

He continued to work as a consultant in the chemical industry until his retirement in 1996.