Teenager’s legacy saves a local doctor’s life

Times Record News | Judith McGinnis

TORIN HALSEY/TIMES RECORD NEWS Dr. Sherrette Shaw-Fontenot displays a photo of Madison Welch. The 18-year-old was killed in an auto accident, and as a registered organ donor, her heart was made available and transplanted into Shaw-Fontenot on Nov. 23, 2014. By Judith McGinnis of the Times Record News

Dedication to treating patients the way they want to be treated has come full circle for Dr. Sherrette Shaw-Fontenot.

Having conquered breast cancer in 2008 and come back to her internal medicine practice with enthusiasm after a 2013 gall bladder surgery she was "still dragging."

After a bad EKG and a lot of tests, a doctor told me it was something that happens when we get older," said Shaw-Fontenot. Eventually physicians began to suspect it might be metastatic cancer.

By 2014 after three different hospital visits, Dr. Jennifer Thibodeau at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center told Shaw-Fontenot there was "no good news." The Wichita Falls doctor had a rare diagnosis — nodular sarcoidosis.

The only cure would be a heart transplant.

"The first thing I thought about was my kids," said Shaw-Fontenot, pausing with a smile to talk about son Segun, a mechanical engineering major at Cornell University, son Shomari, a student at Midwestern State University and 12-year-old daughter Sharalyn. Continue reading