Johnny's Story

When Chad Garven, MD first started working at Neighborhood Family Practice in September 2015, Johnny Meadwell was one of his very first patients.

“Before I became a patient of Dr. Garven, I think I was well on my way to heading to the morgue,” says Johnny, who truly believes Dr. Garven helped save his life by working with him to get his diabetes, and other things, under control.

Johnny has a family history of heart problems – his mother had a quadruple bypass – and Johnny underwent bypass surgery before becoming a patient of Dr. Garven. When Dr. Garven first met Johnny, he wasn’t taking care of himself, or his diabetes. According to Johnny, exercise is challenging due to his heart condition, but there were other issues as well. And Dr. Garven and NFP patient advocate Jill Caster, were determined to address all the issues.

"During an office visit, we discuss many things. If it were as simple as saying ‘here’s why you need to change your medication dose’, we could do that over the phone,” says Dr. Garven. 

Johnny feels that the interest Dr. Garven and Jill showed in the rest of his life are what truly made the difference and helped him get on the bandwagon.

“I’d tell Dr. Garven that I was taking my diabetes medications, but he knew from my numbers that I wasn’t. I wasn’t fooling anyone other than myself, and Dr. Garven called me on it. He spent time talking with me, and listening to me, asking about other things in my life like my relationships and related depression that were impacting my health whether I realized it or not,” says Johnny. 

Dr. Garven knows how much impact these other factors can have on a patient’s health, which is why he takes an interest in all aspects of their lives.

“Some of what Johnny was feeling did have to do with his diabetes, but there were other factors contributing to his problems. We had some good visits, and some not so good visits – sometimes I had to read him the riot act, others I realized it could wait for another day. But in the end, we got his numbers where they need to be, and he’s sticking with the health care plan we’ve put in place that is best for him.”

Johnny admits he wasn’t listening at first, but one day, the conversations with Dr. Garven just clicked, and he realized he needed to take care of himself, that he was worth it. With his diabetes and other life stresses under control, Johnny now sees Dr. Garven every two to three months, and knows that if he has questions or concerns between visits, he can get in touch with Jill by phone, and in a short time, he’ll get the answer or information he needs. 

“Dr. Garven is a Godsend and Jill an angel,” says Johnny. “I highly, highly recommend them to anyone looking for a physician.”