Patients, doctors praise Hermitage cancer doctor killed in crash - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Patients, doctors praise Hermitage cancer doctor killed in crash

Dr. Eric Raefsky Dr. Eric Raefsky

A Mt. Juliet crash claimed the life of Dr. Eric Raefsky on Tuesday night.

For more than 20 years, Raefsky helped thousands battle cancer at his practice with Tennessee Oncology in Hermitage.

Six months ago, Joyce Wright had a port put in for chemotherapy. Luckily, Wright had Raefsky on her side.

"She feels like he saved her life," said Beth Ryan, Wright's daughter. "We feel like God used him in a big way and saved her life."

For all the lives Raefsky worked to save, his life was not spared in a car crash.

An accident report said Raefsky was driving on South Mt. Juliet Road when a driver failed to yield at a stop light and T-boned his vehicle.

State troopers listed 20-year-old Clayton Rogers as the other driver in the crash. According to reports, there was evidence of drinking and drug use by Rogers.

Rogers has been charged with felony reckless endangerment.

Ryan said her family has been crying since hearing the news.

"It is like losing a family member, because he was so instrumental in her healing," she said. "You see them every week, week after week."

Raefsky was known as a doctor's doctor. Tennessee Oncology CEO Dr. Jeff Patton said patients and co-workers reaped the benefit.

Patton said Raefsky knew how to bring compassion and simplify a complex and often ruthless disease.

"He was incredibly good at what he did," Patton said. "There's lots of smart doctors. There's not many that can talk to patients the way they can understand."

Raefsky and his wife also rescued dogs.

Wednesday, Raefsky's office sat just how he left it hours earlier, but there were also words of gratitude from those he inspired.

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