After a long day of seeing patients at his OB-GYN practice on Enota Street, Dr. Kent Miller was not all too happy when his wife Melissa came by Thursday to tell him he had a little business to take care of nearby before they could go home.
Miller took the bait and followed his wife to meet someone at the Locos Grill & Bar in Sherwood Plaza.
The doctor was caught completely by surprise when he saw waiting for him in a corner of the restaurant some 20 or more of his patients waiting to greet him with a surprise party to thank him for what’s he’s done during his more than 30 years practicing medicine in Gainesville.
Miller sat down at a table with his wife as his many patients took turns standing and delivering heartfelt testimonials.
Several recounted how the good doctor had saved their lives. Others offered their gratitude that he’s not only been a great doctor to them for 10-15-20-years and more, but because now he’s taking care of their daughters as well.
Miller felt the love as he stood to thank his patients and staff.
“In 32 years, nobody has done something like this,” he said. “My heart is so warm to see all my special, special people.
“Sometimes I get discouraged...but things like this and words like this make it all worthwhile and give me the encouragement to keep going,” Miller added.
Miller told everyone that he was the youngest doctor in town when he started practicing in Gainesville in 1989. Now, at 57, Miller said he feels like he’s the oldest.
Miller also shared with the group that he discovered about a year and a half ago why he’s a doctor.
“I discovered it by accident, and beyond any doubts” he said. “Here is why I open my heart to you… I figured out that I’m a doctor because I’m an instrument that God chose to work through me to help all these girls and all my patients. That;s why I do what I do the way I do it every single day.”
Melissa Miller said her husband leaves the house at 6:30 in the morning, comes home 9 at night, takes 30 minutes for dinner, and then they work together at their animal rescue farm that’s home to horses, goats, eight dogs, two cats, three sheep, including a rare, “Jacob’s lamb” from Israel with four horns, pot-belly pigs, chickens, rabbits and more. On top of that, the couple have seven children they look after.
She said the doctor goes to bed about midnight.
“He’s the most compassionate man I’ve ever met, and I don’t say that because he’s my husband,” she said.
Patient Jackie Ginn, who’s been going to Miller for 10 years, agrees.
“”He’s saved my life more than once,” Ginn said. “He’s like a father to me.”
Tanya Bennett said she’s been seeing Miller 15 years, and her 20-year-old daughter is a patient too.
Bennett said Miller doesn;t get enough credit for the extra time he puts in on paperwork so that insurance companies will cover treatments their patients need.
Marsha Chandler said she’s been driving about an hour and a half from Blairsville for her check-ups with Miller.
“He is a genuine and extraordinary caring man,” Chandler said.
Miller went around hugging and spending time with his patients.
“This is the sweetest thing anyone’s done for me,” he said.