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Doctor's sudden death shocks SCV

Woman who aided gunshot victim in September died unexpectedly in her home

Posted: December 4, 2008 9:51 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Popular Santa Clarita physician Patricia Lynn Wells died suddenly in her Stevenson Ranch home, a Los Angeles County Coroner's official said Thursday. She was 44.

Her death was under investigation pending lab results, the spokesman said.

Way Station Coffee Shop owner and Wells patient Jeri Bronstrup was crushed at the news of Wells' death.

"She was my backbone," Bronstrup said Thursday. "She was not just a doctor. She was really there when you needed her. What a fine person she was."

Bronstrup could not contain her tears.

"I'm greatly saddened, absolutely shocked. I've been crying for the last 20 minutes. She was just such a wonderful, compassionate human being," she said.

Wells, who died Nov. 28, showed her personal commitment to others throughout her life, punctuated Sept. 27 when she rushed to the aid of a dying man who was shot in a morning rush-hour robbery and murder.

The victim was stopped at a traffic light and staggered from his truck after being shot. Wells ran to his aid.

The victim died on a Lyons Avenue curb.

At least 10 witnesses watched in horror as the brazen daylight gunpoint robbery attempt turned into a bloody homicide.

Two months and one day later, Wells died. Calls to her Lyons Avenue office were not returned.

Attorney Anthony Zinnanti knew Wells as a friend and patient.

"She was a wonderful, wonderful individual. She was more than a doctor - she was a healer. We are taking this really, really hard," he said.

Zinnanti said Wells was one of those people who always went the extra mile for her patients.

"She ran a very special office. She was a rare find," he said.

Wells came to the Santa Clarita Valley about eight years ago to be closer to family, said Dr. Bernard Raskin of Advanced Dermatology Medical Group, her first local employer.

"I offered her a position for a while because she was very knowledgeable," Raskin said.

"The patients loved her. Eventually she started her own practice because she wanted a relationship with her patients and she set up an office down the hall. She was a very nice person deep inside."

A memorial service was held for Wells at Mount Sinai Memorial Park and Mortuary Dec. 3.


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