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.


  1. My time with Dr. Kruger was really hard. I came to her as a new patient as I knew I wanted to have a second child and my previous doctor would not perform VBACs. What I didn’t anticipate was a heartbreaking journey of four pregnancies and three of them ending in miscarriage. She was there supporting me and my journey through it all. I was needy and I was scared. I remember in the fourth pregnancy after 13 weeks when she told me, “You’re okay. You’re just like everyone else now. You’ve made it to this point. You’re doing a great job.” She was incredibly kind. She truly listened to all of my concerns. I saw her 10 hours before I gave birth which much faster than she anticipated and she missed it. However, by 7:00 a.m. she was in my hospital room meeting me and my baby and celebrating having a baby in my arms. She had an immense impact on me in a very dark time and for that I will be forever grateful. May her memory be a blessing.

  2. Dear Kruger (because after all, when you called it was always just “Hi it’s Kruger…”),

    With our first born you were there for the easy ride.  I remember feeling so comfortable at our appointments and admiring the hundreds of baby photos on the walls.  One time during a visit over Passover you shared your very special chocolate matza with me – and wouldn’t let me leave until you printed the recipe out.  You were always upbeat – even the morning after a nightmare election as I cried to you about how worried I was to bring a baby into this crazy world.  You assured me we would be ok.  We laughed about you missing my delivery – only because of course it was a holiday weekend, you were in Poplarville & the baby wanted out quick!  But you were at the hospital the next morning to check on me regardless.  And then a few years later you were our champion through the roughest fertility battle we could have imagined.  I will never forget you calling my husband & I in for an appointment just to have a little mental health check in.  No other doctor on our fertility journey with us had taken the time to do this.  In the worst of times and most difficult situations you were on our side. We will forever be grateful for your compassion, strength and support.  And we send our deepest sympathies to your family, friends, patients and colleagues.  

  3. I was transferred as a patient to Dr. Kruger since my OB was moving, following complications with my first daughter Juliana’s birth and my wishes for a VBAC for future deliveries. I loved my OB, Dr. Drennan, and felt like I wouldn’t possibly connect with someone else the same, until I met Dr. Ellen Kruger. From the first visit to her office, I felt an instant sense of calming, warmth, security, love, and compassion. Within her exam rooms, the pictures of her with former patients and babies she delivered were beautiful and comforting. She spoke to you like you were both her only patient in the world (giving you her full undivided attention, knowing she was nonstop all day long) and like you were old friends or even family. My first pregnancy as her patient resulted in a stillbirth and Dr. Kruger comforted us throughout our journey from the moment we found out about my sweet Ava’s diagnosis and prognosis. She cried with us, invested herself in finding out our best options and assured us that if she had any miracles left, she’d help deliver our girl safely in our arms. As our journey continued, we celebrated wins together when things looked positive and shared deep breaths, hugs, tears and prayers on days of lows. She did keep her promise, though outside of our control, when she delivered my sleeping angel Ava to our arms. Through one of the toughest times in our lives, it was then that I also thought about the other side of that coin. We left the hospital empty handed with broken hearts, while she had to come into our room knowing she couldn’t save her, knowing this was one of the times we all lost, and then continue her day following that and being fully present for everyone else as well. Throughout the following year, she was a continued support, helping me manage myself post-loss, guiding us through trying again, and then delivering our daughter Zoey safely to our arms. She never hesitated to speak of all three of my girls and my husband every visit and to check in on me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I cannot imagine how one human can carry, let alone manage all of that for everyone, except to say that Dr. Kruger was superhuman and extraordinary. Reading testimonies of others confirms my gut feeling that she was as magical, beautiful, and legendary to all she met. When I received the letter that she was no longer seeing patients, I wanted to believe that she was retiring, having brought so many people into the world and impacting so many lives, instead of my fear that she had a personal illness. However, I felt that she couldn’t have left her career that she was so passionate about without necessity. Dr. Kruger had one of the most beautiful and warm smiles I’ve ever come to meet and her loss is heartbreaking. I’m praying for her family, friends, colleagues, and those that were blessed and honored to be her patients. A collective THANK YOU, Dr. Kruger, for all of beautiful humans you brought into this world and for being an everyday superhero. You will be missed.

  4. Thank you Dr. Kruger for being the BEST OBGYN that a women and mom could ask for. Anyone that has had you as a doctor knows that you would do your absolute best to go above and beyond for your patients. You would light up the room as soon as you walked in and talked to me as if I was part of your close family and as if you really knew everything about me and my family. You were a friend and leader. You understood my needs and understood our point of view. You explained things the best you could in anyway possible. Thank you so much for being there for me for over 15 years and delivering all three of my beautiful boys. You did a tremendous job. You will be missed. Rest peacefully doc. We love you!

  5. Dr. Kruger was definitely one of the best! She delivered my first born and listened to all of my concerns and requests with such interest and ensured that all were considered and/ or met in the delivery room. She was well respected by all staff in that delivery room and in her clinic. She was even more personable when I was pregnant with my second child. Unfortunately she was not able to deliver him, but was amazing post-delivery. I loved her wall of the thousands of babies she delivered! She was a one of a kind OBGYN and will be missed greatly! Thank you for setting the bar high and demonstrating compassion, fierceness, and the utmost professionalism as a physician.

  6. Dr. Kruger was an absolute badass! She delivered my twins vaginally with Baby B being breech. I was induced early due to preeclampsia, and because they were early, they were going to take the twins to the NICU once born. It was not only Dr Kruger’s medical expertise that got me through that day, but it was her calming and confident spirit that really made her my hero.

  7. Rest in Peace, Dr. Kruger. As a transplant from Tennessee, she made me feel very comfortable in a scary, new environment when I moved here 10 years ago. Though I primarily saw her NP Dr. Howell, she always checked on me. You could tell her impact on the community just by seeing the hundreds of babies she helped bring into the world on her office wall. She will certainly be missed. Thank you for being such a positive force for the New Orleans community, Dr. Kruger.

  8. I got the news of her illness in April for my annual by a fellow colleague and I am so sad to see she’s now passed. She was my OB for over a decade and was only no longer because she had to stop practicing. Although nowhere near ready for pregnancy the photos in every room made me want to be, simply to experience the joy on those women’s faces that she brought. She was an amazinggg physician and you could literally feel the love through those photos. I longed for the day I’d be ready to start a family and share that with her. We all have lost a great person 🩷🩷my prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues. May she rest eternally and peacefully.

  9. If you ever wanted to see a saint, Kruger was it. Fun, loving, empathetic, pragmatic, positive, attentive and truly just one of a kind. When she entered the room with her white cape, you felt her. When I would talk, she listened. My first two pregnancies ended with loss, Kruger and I cried about it. Kruger called me while she was away at a conference to tell me the next steps. She didn’t have to do that. When I got pregnant the third time, she looked me in the eyes and said “We’re having this baby” and she meant it. Whatever it took that’s what she did, weekly appointments to have my cervix measured, a cerclage and eventually bedrest. Then I had Hunter. When I had Hunter we both cried, it was like WE had a baby. She’s the just the best, there are not enough words to describe her. Kruger was more like family than anything. I’m going to miss her smiling face at the festivals. My prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all gained an angel. Kruger please look after Saul. We love you and will seriously miss you down here.


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