Thrive by IU Health

July 26, 2023

Lifting the burden for the advocate

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Lifting the burden for the advocate

Advocating for a loved one is a big responsibility, and it can wear on a person.

Louise Cossari is a beloved team member at IU Health Morgan who is well-acquainted with the stress of supporting someone with health concerns.

Mark and Louise Cossari
Mark and Louise Cosarri

“My husband, Mark Cossari, is a kidney dialysis patient and these past two years have been a tough road with many ups but more downs than we would like to remember,” says Louise Cossari. “I have had to be a very strong and loud advocate for my husband during this time.”

Recently, her husband was scheduled for a fistula when there was an issue with labs that concerned vascular surgeon Duangnapa Cuddy, DO.

Dr. Cuddy in hallway at IU Health Bloomington
Duangnapa Cuddy, DO

“When she came and told us what was going on, my rock of a husband burst into tears, and at that point, I just couldn’t believe something was happening again,” says Louise Cossari. “Dr. Cuddy immediately looked at me, smiled and said, ‘I will get to the bottom of this; please don’t worry.’”

Typically, Louise Cossari is used to being that advocate. This time, Cuddy was there.

“In my opinion, being a doctor is not just simply being a scientist-physician and treating physical illness, we are also providing a source of light and compassion,” says Cuddy. “It is an honored task to be able to bear this burden for my patient and his/her family.”

The surgeon quickly got to the bottom of things, apologized for the confusion, and reassured the couple that they could proceed.

Cuddy explains how supporting the patient and family is important, because it allows them “to remain focused on recovery and taking good care of themselves, which in turn will help improving the outcome of treatment.”

“This is the first time a doctor has taken the care out of my hands, stood up for my husband and lifted that burden so I could focus on him,” she says. “She was so compassionate as she sat beside me, held my hand and reassured me that everything was fine, and she took care of it.”

“My experience with Dr. Cuddy has been exceptional,” says Mark Cossari. “She explains every step, in detail, really cares for me as her patient and goes to bat for her parents to make sure I get the care and solutions for my health.”

The couple can’t say enough about their great experience with Cuddy—from the first office visit to the surgery to her taking the time to talk with Louise Cossari to reassure her that everything went well after surgery.

“I felt like my husband was the only patient she had that day,” says Louise Cossari, “She treated us with respect, kindness and love—no other way to put it.”

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