By Helen Kelly
How often have we heard the anguished cry, “is there a doctor in the house?” You may be surprised to learn there are several doctors residing at Plymouth Harbor. I became aware of this as I was about to interview one of the new move-in couples, Dr. James & Harriet Ahstrom. I questioned how long-time residents of River Forest, Illinois, had discovered Plymouth Harbor and was told they had recently been living at The Players Club on Longboat Key.
Upon setting up the interview, I was warmly greeted by Dr. Ahstrom at their North Garden apartment. I learned he has been an Orthopaedic surgeon with a specialty in hand surgery. His undergraduate degree was earned at the University of Richmond and his medical degree at Northwestern. It was there paths crossed with Harriet who graduated with a degree in Bacteriology.
Dr. Ahstrom served in WWII and again in the Korean War when, as a Navy reservist, he was called back to serve from 1950-52 at the 4th field hospital in Taegu. Among many distinguished memberships too numerous to mention, he was a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic surgeons, president of the Clinical Orthopaedic Society, has practiced in Oak Park and Downers Grove, Illinois, and the Shriners Hospital for children in Chicago. He was a member of the Rotary Club Oak Park for 40 years and recently assumed membership in the Rotary Club of Sarasota Keys.
Prior to marriage, Harriet was Bacteriology assistant to the renowned Dr. Louis Sauer, originator of the triple vaccine for diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough. She confided, however, that she became captivated by the role of wife and mother. The Ahstroms are the parents of son, Jay, who resides in Wilton, Connecticut, and daughter, Jill, in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, who have gifted them with five grandchildren.
Harriet is obviously an enthusiastic decorator, evidenced by the explosive blue-and-white scheme that dominates their North Garden apartment. Although very recent occupants, everything was in order and in place from furniture to wall decor.
The Ahstroms, no doubt, are a welcome addition to the Plymouth Harbor family. However, the doctor is not “on call.”