Dr Stephanie Husen went into medicine because she wanted to treat people the same way doctors treated her after she broke her foot in a car accident, her ex-husband has said.
“She wanted to be that person who helped people get better and made sure they could have a great life even after a horrible injury,” John Reckenbeil said Thursday.
Husen was one of four people killed Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police said. The shooter then appears to have committed suicide.
The shooter was targeting Dr. Preston Phillips, whom he accused of lingering pain after back surgery in May, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said Thursday. In a letter found on his body, the shooter “made it clear that he came with the intention of killing Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way,” Franklin said.
Husen and Phillips were killed along with Amanda Glenn and another man whose wife was a patient, William Love.
Dr. Preston Phillips, 59
Phillips is remembered as an “accomplished gentleman” who others would do well to emulate, those who worked with him said.
A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Phillips was an orthopedic surgeon with an interest in spine surgery and joint reconstruction.
Cliff Robertson, president and CEO of Saint Francis Health System, remembered Phillips as a physician who felt a real call to his profession and the care of his patients.
“He was – he is – a man we should all strive to emulate,” Robertson said.
“The fact that someone is suing Dr. Phillips is mind-boggling,” Robertson said at a news conference. “He’s one of those people…his clinic can’t always be on time because he’ll be spending every minute with the patients they need.”
Robertson called Phillips’ death “the ultimate loss for St. Francis and for Tulsa.”
Dr Stephanie Husen, 48 years old
Husen was a sports and internal medicine specialist at the Warren Center.
Reckenbeil, a lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina, remembers her as a caring and empathetic doctor. The two met in Oklahoma City when Husen was a physical therapist about to start medical school.
The car crash and terrible foot injury gave him a new perspective, he said.
“That was all she wanted to get into sports medicine and orthopedics for. She was 1 million percent dedicated to her patients.
They married in 2004 and divorced after five years. Reckenbeil, who said he hadn’t kept in touch with his ex-wife, recalled a heartwarming gesture – last year she sent him a package containing photos she had of his mother, who died of cancer.
“That’s the kind of person she was,” he said. “Knowing how much I miss…she and my mom found these photos that included my mom. And she sent them to me. Very special.”
Amanda Dawn Glenn, 40
Described by her family as a devoted wife and mother, “Amanda always put everyone first,” police said in a statement to the victims.
Glenn, who had worked in the medical field for 18 years, was working as a receptionist in the office when the shooter attacked, police said.
She is survived by her husband and two sons.
“She was happiest just being with her family, with the most incredible love for her boys and her husband,” read the statement distributed by police.
William Love, 73 years old
William Love was shot and killed while helping his 54-year-old wife, Deborah Love, according to his family. Deborah Love was a patient of Phillips, their daughter said.
“William Love’s family would like us to share that at the time of the shooting, William heard the gunshots and knew his wife could not escape the building alone. He sacrificed his life for her,” a said the police.
Franklin, the police chief, said Thursday the information he had was that a patient who was shot and killed was holding a door shut to allow others to escape.
William Love retired from the army, in which he served 27 years. He was a first sergeant and toured Vietnam.
“My father has always been a protector to his wife, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” his daughter Karen Denise Love said in a statement.