A respected member of the city's medical community is recovering from a brutal attack.

He and his wife were beaten and carjacked Monday, in front of their uptown home.

"I hurt, my ribs hurt. If I take a deep breath it hurts. I lift my arm, it hurts," Dr. Charles Scher said.

Charles Scher is hurt physically and emotionally.

His body is bruised; his ego is too.

"We have given an awful lot to this city and to the people of this city and to the African American community of this city," Scher said.

As retired head of the Sickle Cell Center of Southern Louisiana, he's spent a career treating children with cancer and sickle cell anemia.

After Hurricane Katrina, he and his wife contemplated leaving New Orleans, but decided to stay; despite the uphill battle with rebirth and renewal, and despite the crime.

"We love New Orleans; we've given a lot to the city," Scher said.

Monday he and his wife were returning from playing a concert for seniors at a retirement community; when they were ambushed by two men in the parking lot of their State Street home.

"It came from nowhere. It was very very frightening and when I was punched in the head, I was confused," Scher said.

While dazed and confused, they heard one of their attackers yell.

Reda Scher yelled back.

"Get off of him, stop it. And they said, we want the keys," Reda Scher said.

"Give me your keys, where are your keys, give me your keys, give me your keys and then he pulled out his gun," Charles Scher said.

The teenagers got away with their 2003 Toyota Highlander -- a purse, cell phones, and credit cards.

And they got way with the couple's sense of security.

"It's so disconcerting," Reda Scher said.

Reda says she thought about canceling dinner plans for 25 of her neighbors.

But, there will be no changes.

Instead, it's a chance to get together and build something of a neighborhood watch.

"We need to interact with each other. We need to understand what's happening and we need to deal with it; help each other and look out for each other and pay attention to what's going on," Reda Scher said.

"We thought we were respected, and respectable people and we never thought this would happen to us," Charles Scher said.

Both Tulane Police and New Orleans Police have increased patrols in the area.

Both agencies are tracking lead and searching for the couple's SUV.

If you have information about this crime, crime Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.