"He saved my life" A former patient defends Dr. Robert Rand

By  | 

SPARKS, Nev., (KOLO) John Stampfli doesn't recognize the doctor he hears described in news accounts these days. What he does hear about Dr. Robert Rand leaves him angry.

"I think when I read he was a "pill mill" that hit to the heart," says Stampfli.

Surgery and injuries suffered during a tour in the Iraq War, left this Air Force veteran with serious pain and taking and abusing a long list of addictive medications prescribed by military and V-A doctors and civilian pain specialists.

"Oxycontin in combination with vicodin. In combination with Ambien and then valium."

It was, he says, a zombie like existence, one that almost cost him his life.

"At one point I was in the E.R and had overdosed. They brought me back. I basically almost died. It was a wake up call for me."

For his family's sake he decided to listen to that wake up call and resolved to rid himself of his addictions.

"They were ruining my life," Stampfli says of the pain killers. "They were ruining my relationships with everyone. My children. I can't imagine what they saw and went through.">

The search led him to Dr. Rand who he says put him on a program of gradually reduced doses of suboxone, weight loss and therapy.

It was, he says, all laid out in a contract he signed and closely monitored.

"He had me come in for weekly pill counts, drug tests. I mean he was on top of me consistently."

One misstep, he says, and he would have been out of the program.

He stayed with it and today he's clean. His life back on track and he takes nothing stronger than Tylenol for his pain.

He owes it all, he says, to a doctor who stands accused of creating addiction rather than curing it.

"He's a good man, a great man and I would not be sitting herein front of you if not for Dr. Rand."

Stampfli's biggest health concern today is finding another family doctor. It hasn't been easy. Those left without a doctor because of the drug bust are advised to call 825-HELP for referrals.

So far it hasn't helped.

Stampfli says he's been told repeatedly by other medical offices that they aren't accepting Dr. Rand's former patients, not even his young son who suffers from asthma.