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Veteran’s remarkable connection to his VA doctor

A Vietnam Veteran has discovered a remarkable connection to his VA doctor.

In a small Rhode Island town, a unique thread of healing has woven through generations of a family’s medical legacy. Dr. Michael Addonizio, a compassionate Orlando VA physician with a penchant for history, found himself treating a special patient, an Army Veteran.

The story begins decades ago when Addonizio’s grandfather, Dr. Ercole Addonizio, dedicated his life to medicine. He served the tight-knit community in Rhode Island, becoming a trusted community legend, especially among the neighborhood children.

One such family was the Stones, whose young son Robert found solace and care under Dr. Ercole Addonizio’s watchful eye. Stone was diagnosed with polio at 19 months of age. 

Fast forward to the present and Dr. Michael Addonizio is continuing his family’s commitment to health care. Little did he know that his path would intersect with the now adult Robert Stone, a Vietnam Veteran grappling with the aftermath of exposure to Agent Orange. He sought Addonizio’s expertise for liver cancer after a CT scan came back with two life-threatening tumors.

Connection created a bridge between two eras of healing

As Addonizio delved into Stone’s medical history, the realization dawned on Stone. The familiar surname echoed through his memory. The profound connection between their families unfolded, creating a bridge between two eras of healing.

Veteran Robert Stone

The Veteran that Addonizio is now treating is the same little boy his grandfather cared for in Rhode Island.

Addonizio approached Stone’s care with expertise and a unique understanding of his medical history. The two quickly became fast friends, bonding over their connection to their past.

“I would blow off my appointments and follow-ups prior to Dr. Addonizio getting involved with my care. When Dr. Addonizio introduced himself, I instantly had a flashback and knew I could trust him with my care,” Stone said.

Through shared memories and old photographs, Addonizio and Stone forged a bond that surpassed the typical doctor-patient relationship. The family legacy inspired Addonizio to channel his grandfather’s empathetic approach to medicine.

Their journey together became a testament to the enduring impact of a family’s dedication to healing. Addonizio, guided by the stories of his grandfather’s compassion, not only addressed Stone’s medical needs but also provided a therapeutic bridge between the past and present.

“My care is in the best hands.”

Top photo: Addonizio and Stone at discharge after treatment for liver cancer.

“I have a long road ahead of me, but I trust my care is in the best hands. I’ve been through a lot. But I know better days still lie ahead, thanks to Addonizio and his grandfather who treated me as a child.”

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