Dave Kruczynski realized he wasn’t healthy, but he didn’t know why. He was constantly coming down with pneumonia and many other illnesses. In the fall of 1996 he collapsed while on a hunting trip up north. Luckily, his wife, Marie, was with him. She drove him 40 miles to the nearest hospital, and then he was transferred to Crittenton. Dave credits Dr. Arturo Prada, Crittenton, and the wonderful staff at the Outpatient Clinic for helping him to remain healthier and enjoy life to the best of his ability. It took awhile, but with the help of Dr. Prada, he was finally diagnosed with a white blood cell disorder. This condition leaves him with low resistance to illnesses such as pneumonia.
Since the diagnosis in 2006, he has been coming to Crittenton’s Outpatient Clinic for monthly infusion treatments, which help to keep him in better health and less prone to illnesses. He said he loves Crittenton and the staff is wonderful. “They know how to take care of people and they cater to patients, no matter the age or circumstance,” stated Dave. “They try to make us as comfortable as possible. It is a very positive, caring environment.”
In an effort to show their appreciation for the hospitality that is shown to them, Dave and his wife, Marie, decided to start a tradition. They noticed that the staff is so busy, they hardly take the time to eat or go to lunch. That prompted them to bring in home-cooked meals for the staff to enjoy. Shirley Stoddard, contingent RN, reported that they have definitely benefited from at least two of Dave’s hobbies – hunting and cooking. They’ve brought in everything from bear stew to deer chili! Other meals have included boar roast, stuffed cabbage and pulled pork sandwiches. They also bring in delicious desserts, including Dave’s award-winning carrot cake. The staff is always excited to see what they may bring in next.
Shirley said that in spite of his health problems, Dave has a very positive attitude and continues to bring cheer to all those he comes in contact with. He and his wife are very gracious, kind-hearted people who love to help others.
In addition to his culinary skills, Dave enjoys making things. He is part Native American and he has hand-crafted dream catchers, prayer wheels, pipes, and carved walking sticks and story sticks. He sells many of these items in a shop in Sault Ste. Marie. He is very involved with the Lions Club as well, and has helped to rebuild cabins for the blind. Dave, along with Outpatient Clinic staff member Tina Walker, also participated in the Polar Bear Plunge for the New Baltimore Lions Club.
“As we are getting older, our family is dwindling,” said Marie. “At the Crittenton Outpatient Clinic, they treat us like family members … we feel right at home. What more could we ask for?”