I am going to light four candles tonight. One for each of my three babies in heaven and one for my beloved OB/GYN, Dr. Brenda Ferguson. It has been a month since she passed into eternity.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 – when I was pregnant with Alexis. Brenda was with me on my journey through my three losses, diagnosis, and surgery. She was with me through the rocky start of my pregnancy with Alexis. I’m sure she had me in her prayers.
Brenda was a sweet angel on earth. She loved what she did – you could see her passion. She was compassionate and yet firm in her beliefs and practice. She correctly diagnosed me and treated me, which is very rare for an OB/GYN to do in cases like mine – that she knew more about Mullerian anomalies than most OB’s do shows how serious she took her work.
Brenda did her residency under a high-risk maternal-fetal medicine specialist – Dr. Jodi Schucker – whom I am now friends with through a different circle of friends. Jodi shared with me what a wonderful, amazing person and doctor Brenda was when I was pregnant with Alexis. Every time I saw Jodi, she would ask how Brenda was doing. My little hometown of Meadville, PA, lost a truly great doctor on September 14, 2011.
Brenda attended the same church where my family did (parents still do), so I knew her outside of just in the exam room. I know her family and her love for God. I was working as the Administrative Assistant at the church when Brenda was diagnosed with cancer. I was there and went with them when she and her family came in for special prayer and to be anointed with oil. She became a big subject of my prayers.
She went through treatment during my second and third trimesters with Alexis, so I had to switch to seeing one of her colleagues in the same practice. However, Brenda was so involved with my care and concerned for me that she had planned to be in the OR on the day of my scheduled c-section with Alexis! However, since Alexis came two days ahead of schedule, in an emergency situation, she wasn’t able to be there. But by the time I was pregnant with Jasmine, she was back at work with her cancer in remission. Brenda was able to deliver Jasmine and share in our joy that day. She was my doctor until we moved to Ohio in 2008. I was not happy about having to find another doctor. But I was forced to shortly after we moved, because I became pregnant with Kaitlyn.
Every time we went back to PA to visit, we would attend church and usually see her there. She was always asking how things were going. She knew about how my pregnancy with Kaitlyn turned out and was concerned – asking my mom about us frequently. After that, she was excited to meet Kaitlyn. She would make sure to hug me and talk with me every time we were in our PA church. I will miss her smiling face and tender hugs.
I also wanted her to read my manuscript for my book – I was even going to ask her if she would write a forward for it. I’m very sad that she won’t be able to do those things.
I have a friend who refers to the doctor who finally correctly diagnosed and treated her as her “hero in a white coat”. I always thought of Dr. Brenda as my hero in a white coat. But more than that, she was also one of my spiritual hero’s in plain clothes – always embodying faith, compassion, helping others, and grace even in the face of her battle with cancer.
Just like my babies, she is gone way too soon. However, I smile when I think that she is in heaven with my babies. She knows all six of my kids now. I’m celebrating that they are all living in a perfect place, in perfect bodies, with our perfect God. Maybe she has told our babies about us. Regardless, they are all worshipping together now directly in God’s presence. I think it is fitting to light a candle in her honor along with ones for Nat, Moriah & Sydney.
Dr. Brenda Jean Ferguson
CONNEAUT LAKE — Dr. Brenda Jean Ferguson, DO, 47, of 13119 Conneaut Lake Road, Conneaut Lake, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011, at home.
Brenda was born in Indiana on Sept. 3, 1964, a daughter of Martha (Silvis) Hollis and of the late Richard Hollis.
On Aug. 27, 1983, Brenda married Jerry A. Ferguson; he survives.
She was an active member of New Beginnings Church of God, Meadville, where she was a Small Group Leader and was involved with the cancer support group.
Following her move to Meadville in 2002, Dr. Ferguson was a physician and co-owner of Meadville OB/GYN Associates and of the Laser Cosmetic Center of Meadville. Throughout her practice, she was very involved in the teaching of the resident physicians at MMC. Dr. Ferguson completed her residency with Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. She was a 1997 graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), a 1987 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a 1982 graduate of Apollo Ridge High School, Spring Church. She was a board certified member of the American College of Obstetricians and served as Department Chairperson for Meadville OB/GYN Associates. While she was a part of Meadville OB/GYN Associates, they had won the Premier Q Award for clinical excellence in Obstetrical Care multiple times. Her hobbies included hunting, dirt biking and camping. Brenda will be remembered for her love and dedication to her church, her family and her practice.
In addition to her husband, Jerry, of 28 years, Brenda is survived by three children, Justin R. Ferguson, Joseph J. Ferguson and his wife Leslie, Emily R. Ferguson, all of Meadville; her mother, Martha Hollis, of Spring Church; two sisters, Becki Okopal and her husband Mike of Lower Burrell; Bonnie Vensel and her husband, Jim, of Spring Church, and several nieces and nephews.
Brenda was preceded in death by her father.
I love you and thank God for your life – your presence in my life and helping me to bring other lives into our hearts. You were very special to me – a hero – more than words are adequate to say. I will miss you on our visits to PA. I look forward to seeing you again when we will all be worshipping God together in paradise.