Dear Dr. Kruger, Thank You and Rest Easy

Dear Dr. Kruger, Thank You and Rest Easy

We think it is safe to say that the entire New Orleans community will deeply miss Dr. Ellen Kruger. If you were lucky enough to have her as a physician or friend, then you already know the absolute magic that was Ellen. As an OB-GYN, Dr. Kruger had the immense responsibility of bringing new life into this world. She did this with the deepest love, sharpest wit and utmost skill, always carefully navigating the safety of both baby and mother. Heck, Dr. Kruger was even capable of making you laugh during labor. Her bedside manner was simply unrivaled, be it during office visits, pre-op or hospital rounds. Her compassion and empathy made her uniquely suited to navigate a family’s tremendous sorrow following a miscarriage, loss or upsetting diagnosis. Dr. Kruger was genuinely adept at holding your hand, literally and figuratively, during the lows of life. She gave medical advice with such confident conviction that you just knew you better listen to her because – while she always offered options and believed in true autonomy for women – she also knew what you needed to hear. Dr. Kruger even made pap smears comfortable, always remembering to ask about the kids and work while elbow deep in the work she so loved.

We hope that other New Orleans moms will leave their Dear Dr. Kruger moments below in comments.

From Lydia Lynn

Dear Dr. Kruger,

When you entered the room, it was almost as if time stopped, and I was the only patient on your schedule that day. Thank you for navigating me through my pregnancy and making me feel so important and heard. I have this image in my mind of you up in heaven. You’re riding a beautiful horse and drinking a glass a wine, and all the angels are smiling big.

My heart goes out to your precious family and friends who you have left behind. I hope they understand how much your patients loved and adored you, too.

Thank you for everything.
Lydia Lynn

From Jessica Deidling

Dr. Kruger was my OB for three babies and performed my hysterectomy a week before she took extended leave for treatment. I am eternally grateful that she was the person guiding me through some of the biggest moments in life full of joy, fear, loss, and acceptance. She always took time to listen and connect with me and she made it a personal mission to be present at my third delivery after having had to miss the first two. Sometimes you were in her waiting room for a pretty long time, but you always knew it was because she was also listening to her other patients and making sure she was there for their deliveries, too. I loved looking at the pictures of all the babies she had delivered while waiting on her exam room walls and wondering what those babies looked like now as kids and teenagers. I’m now thinking about all the kids that were brought into the world by Dr. Kruger and the moms she supported through that process and how many walls that would take to fill. I’m so grateful I had her for these big moments in my life and I know so many others are as well.

From Mary Furman Shay

I had the privilege of being Dr. Kruger’s patient and there was truly no one like her. Her energy was kind and patient and unrelenting and fierce all at once and she was able to command a room and put everyone at ease simultaneously. She remembered the small things and made sure to ask me about them whenever I saw her. Later, when all of the physician notes that had previously been private were released, I learned that she had written down my interests, our shared love of horses and mutual friends in order to talk to me about them at my appointments. She had done the same for a friend of mine who was also her patient, writing down a note about a bagel shop they both liked. This was the level of care she had for each one of her patients. She always took her time and answered any and all questions and never seemed rushed. When I was done having children I felt sadness at having to switch to yearly appointments; seeing her only once per year didn’t seem like nearly enough. The community has lost such a gift with her passing. My heart breaks for those friends and family who loved her. I can’t imagine the grief they are bearing when I feel such sorrow for losing the few minutes per year that I had with her.

From Missy Matte

Dear Dr. Kruger,

Thank you for showing me how it is done, how to love your life, your patients and all your people. Each day you convincingly greeted the day with energy and fire. You made everyone feel important and heard. I’ll miss your candor and no nonsense attitude, your trailing cape, and quippy remarks. You will be missed but will continue to inspire.

Thank you, Missy Matte

From Ashley Angelico

My absolutely favorite moment with Dr. Kruger that sums her up in a nutshell happened during a routine pregnancy visit. I was pregnant with my third child in as many years, and I was freaking tired. I was a full-time working mom, chasing toddlers in diapers, and my husband was traveling non-stop. For some reason, as if I was at Church on a Sunday, I confessed to her that I had been drinking Diet Coke. I don’t even know why I did this; it just flew out of my mouth. She slowly turned around from her seat at the computer, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “if Diet Coke in moderation harms fetuses, we’d know it by now. Drink the fucking Diet Coke.” I was already in love with her, but it was that witty confidence that made her such a special doctor and human.

From Kristine White

Twelve years ago when I started working for Ochsner, I made the switch to Ochsner’s OB-GYN department. My first ever appointment was scheduled with a physician named Dr. Kruger. Little did I know, this first appointment was the first of a long relationship as a patient and colleague. Dr. Kruger welcomed me to this visit with a smile. She talked to me about herbest OB-GYN in New Orleans family and she connected with me about living on the Westbank and how she worked on the Westbank for years before starting at Ochsner.

I saw her regularly over the years as all women do and was so thrilled when I got to tell her I was expecting my first. I could give you countless instances during my first pregnancy alone that Dr. Kruger eased my anxiety.

When it came time to see Dr. Kruger for my second son, you would have sworn I was telling her that her own grandchild was on the way! She was grinning ear to ear and was thrilled to be the one to deliver my second child! Now, this is a doctor who has delivered hundreds of babies and she was on Cloud 9 to deliver MY baby, my 2nd baby.

After my c-section in 2021, I brought my newborn into the office for what ended up being my final visit with Dr. Kruger. I gave her pictures of both of my boys, as she always asks us to do, and we talked about life with two kids and a little about the future of OB-GYN on the Westbank. She had high aspirations and big plans for the direction she wanted to take it in as she complimented the doctors and staff saying they were the “best of the best” and deserved a beautiful space to shine in. After our extended visit, she hugged my little one, and asked if it was ok to hug me. Of course it now feels like the tightest hug of my life. On my way out she said, “I’ll see you around soon! Maybe for number 3…?” And with a wink and laugh she waved goodbye as she knocked on her next patient’s door…

From Kasey Gignilliat

About three years ago I discovered I was pregnant and weeks later I was told the terrible news that I had to have an emergency hysterectomy and it had to happen within the next 24 hours. Panicked … sad … scared … all the feelings. I admittedly reached out to a friend who works at Ochsner and said I needed the best of the best OB because I was scared to death. She said without hesitation, “Dr. Kruger.” I went straight to her office.

To say she was amazing is truly an understatement. She said all the right things to a mother who is about to lose her baby and undergo a surprise surgery. She had this way of making me feel like we were in this together. She was so compassionate and cried along with me. She preformed the surgery two days later and got me safely back home to my family, which she promised she would.

I had one follow up appointment with her. It was a few weeks before Mardi Gras. She was very excited about that, and I was telling her I was going to have to sit this one out. I was still really sore. She said she would love to see me out there for Muses. She was a part of this fun horse crew. She said, “if you see me call out my horse’s name not mine because that’s when I really know you know me.” I felt connected to her. Like we together had survived this terrible time in my life.

Weeks went by and I felt strong enough to head to dinner with my girlfriends and catch Muses. After dinner, we walked to the route and immediately saw all these horses.  Absolutely no way I thought I’d actually see her. I pushed past the crowd, I walked out into the street and yelled her horse’s name. Dr. Kruger and her horse came over to me and she leaned down and said, “I’m so happy you are here! You look great!” She just lit up my whole world.

She handed me a decorated horseshoe. She trodded off and I stood there and tears started rolling down my cheeks. It was a mix of happy and sad tears, but I had this overwhelming feeling of “we did it…we are here having a wonderful time together in this wild place.” That was the last time I saw her. She was a part of my life for such a short period of time but such an important part. My heart goes out to her family and her close friends. I know they will truly feel this loss and grief. She was amazing and a true gift to me and my family.

From Allison Hoffman

Dr. Kruger,

Oh, how you will be missed by so many. You were there for me when I had all of the stressful questions, concerns and needs of a teen into my college years. I can even remember flying home for my appointment with you one semester because I knew I’d get the care I needed and my anxiety immediately calmed.

As I made my way through my twenties, you became even more a part of my life, guiding me through two pregnancies. The first one came with high risk measures at the onset and a diagnosis of gestational diabetes. You weren’t worried even the slightest; you took everyDr. Kruger New Orleans phone call, made extra time in each appointment, and called in all the necessary scripts at a moment’s notice. You delivered my son with the biggest smile and made me feel like he and I were the most important people in our world. And you took care of thousands of us!!

Fast forward two years and you were beaming with excitement to announce we’d be scheduling my daughter’s birth on Halloween so she’d have a party for life! We had all the candy upon arrival – no diabetes this time!

We were so excited to see each other at the Blue Crab a few years ago. Your infectious smile seeing my two children not so tiny anymore was so genuine. You had so much pride knowing you helped bring them into this world.

I also have immeasurable gratitude for your right hand nurse at the time, Tanya. We became so much more than your typical nurse/patient dynamic; she was my close friend, navigating pregnancies together with you by our sides.

The women of New Orleans who were lucky enough to have you in their lives are forever grateful. You will be missed dearly.

Hannah Ha Jordan

I couldn’t have asked for a better guide through pregnancy than Dr. Kruger. She alleviated my concerns without ever being condescending, and above all, she empowered me to feel that my body was fully capable of childbirth and motherhood. I’m horrible at taking compliments, but I’ll never forget Dr. Kruger calling me an “iron woman of the L&D.” And I just know that the fortitude and strength I felt because of Dr. Kruger as I brought Kateri into this world has manifested itself in the strong little lady that is my daughter.

Katie Teen

Dr. Kruger was such a positive light and an amazing doctor. When I was in need of an OB-GYN and asked some residents who had trained at Ochsner for anyone they recommended, they unanimously said her name. That was how well-respected and admired she was by all. We were so lucky to have her deliver our three babies (including twins safely without a c-section). I always loved seeing the bulletin boards in her exam rooms covered with cheerful photos of her, the babies she delivered, and their parents. I hope her sincere warmth, joy for life, and joy for bringing new life into the world lives on with the residents she helped train.

19 COMMENTS

  1. DR ELLEN KRUGER was a very very sweet caring loving & a kind person all the time every day. I worked at Ochsner Main Campus & Ochsner Baptist with her for 10 yrs and her personality was the same my entire time I was employed at each Campus . She also was my daughter ( BRANDY JACKSON ) GYN PHYSICIAN we both loved her so much, everytime my daughter had an office visit with her she always & I mean always asked my daughter about me & for her to tell me she said hello. I’m glad I had the privilege to work with her she’s going to be missed by plenty. I can go on & on talking about a True KIND HEARTED DOCTOR……WE LOVE ❤ YOU DR ELLEN KRUGER WE COULD NEVER FORGET YOU 🥰🙏🏿🥰

  2. Dr. Kruger delivered my son in the middle of Covid. We bonded immediately because we were both from Norfolk Virginia. Her analogy of riding the waves of Virginia Beach to help me get through contractions was all that got me through the labor. We laughed at meeting our husbands in Louisiana and how now we were here forever.

  3. I am so saddened to hear of Dr. Kruger’s passing. She was more than an OBGYN – she made you feel like you were best friends right from the first appointment. I was new to NOLA when I met her, and we bonded on being Virginians. I was always amazed by how she seemed to remember me personally at every check-up.

    After my third baby was born and we were in the middle of rebuilding from a house flood, I was in her office for a follow-up check-up in tears saying that the new IUD was making me feel depressed and I wanted to take it out! She looked at me and the three children hanging off of me and asked if there was anything else going on in my life. When I told her about the flood and how overwhelmed I was, she gave me the space to just cry with her over how much was on my plate. Never dismissive, only supportive. It was that conversation that helped me realize that I couldn’t do it all on my own and prompted me to find ways to get some extra help in my life. I never forgot the time she took to be with me in a moment of need when she was no doubt in the middle of a busy day.

    When she moved to the West Bank, I followed her there because she meant that much to me. Dr. Kruger has touched so many women and families in this community. She will be missed fiercely and never forgotten. Rest in peace, Dr. Kruger. And thank you for the millions of ways that you made a difference in this world.

  4. Dr. Kruger was my OBGYN—by the time of the emergency c-section of my son she had been working (and checking in on me) for over a full shift. Despite technically being off, she stayed to assist in the c-section. Dr. Kruger coming around the partition holding my son and telling me “it’s your baby” is something I will remember forever. And then she was back the very next day, on Christmas morning, to give my son his first ever Christmas ornament. We will miss her (her candor, wit, sarcasm, and clear love of her job and respect for women) very much.

  5. I was Dr Kruger’s patient for over 20 years. She helped me through conceiving, miscarriage, personal struggles, and delivered both my beautiful kids. She truly was the best. I felt like I was visiting a close friend during my exams. I had no qualms about calling her to talk about anything bothering me. She was that kind of doctor. Rest in peace friend.

  6. Dr. Kruger has been my OB/GYN since I was 15 years old. I found out I was pregnant and suffered a horrendous missed miscarriage that led to an extended hospitalization and sepsis. Dr. Kruger made it a point to visit with me and calm my fears. Shortly after, I found myself pregnant again. It was a routine visit to check everything from the miscarriage and a shock. Dr. Kruger came in with Tanya and told me that I was pregnant again. I cried, I was still a child in high school. My mom also worked for Ochsner and she was called in. I remember fearing the worst and Dr. Kruger looked at me and said “it’s going to be hard, but this baby has a purpose, and you can do hard things. We will do it together.” She delivered my son and both my girls. She also saved my life from early cervical cancer. I remember her saying the cancer was very aggressive, but “I’m more aggressive and we will cut this out next week”. She saved my life. Dr. Kruger was witty, kind, and assuring. She knew her stuff and always could tell me if I was overthinking something and would do what she could to ease my concerns. If I would have known the last time I saw her would be the last, I would have hugged her tighter and longer. She’s been my doctor for 20 years and I am deeply saddened by her loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends and patients, who like me saw her as family, not just our doctor. We love you Ellen, you will NEVER be forgotten.

  7. She was the angel we all think about or even dream about.My OB-GYN left Oschner in the month of April. God had a ram in the bush waiting.It was Dr.Kruger 4/97.We actually met on 4/22 I delivered my 9lb bouncing baby boy.She was so gentle ,held my hand and assured me everything was going to be alright.From that time on she became my Dr.Going through menopause at an early age,she gave me the best care and talk.No matter where she moved her practice I went.Just this year I noticed my portal stating I was due for my annual…Little did I know she was gone . I was at lost for words when I questioned my PCP that I needed to have my annual and she broken my heart with the passing of Dr.Kruger.I can only imagine how the Heavens are rejoicing…Dr.Kruger served faithful to whom she came in contact with…..REST EASY…DR.KRUGER🕊💔🕊GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN 😘💞 The memories on her wall definitely says…
    🕊 She Love Unconditionally 🕊

  8. My heart is broken. I called today to make an appointment with Dr. Ellen Kruger and the operator says that we have no doctor with name here. So I got online to see where she was located. And across a post that said we will miss you Dr Kruger take your rest. Dr Kruger had been my OBGYN since 1994, she has performed 4 surgeries to remove my fibroids tumor and she knew that I desired to have a child so we never talked about a hysterectomy, she checked everything I had no endometriosis my fallopian tubes were not blocked, she said Demetrice it’s just not your time go home and wait on God. I had 4 miscarriages after that and she proceeded to tell me again everything is fine just wait on God. When moved her practice on the West Bank, I didn’t want to travel that far because I live in Laplace. Today is a hard day to see these posts of her passing. There is none like her, she definitely is and will be missed. Broke my heart 💜💜💜 today.

  9. I am stunned- I had no idea that Dr. Kruger has passed- I was hoping to schedule my daughter with her and realizing that I was overdue an appointment, myself. She delivered my first baby and was always so positive and attentive when I saw her. She seemed to remember everything. I am still taking this in but RIP Ellen Kruger. LeAnne

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