The level of care and the comfort UCLA has provided my family is second to none and will forever be part of our lives and etched in our memories. In 2005, our daughter was born into the caring arms of lovely nurses and amazing doctors. With almost no complications, mother and daughter were healthy and recovering just right. Little did we realize that just a year later, I would be rushed to the emergency room with an unknown complication. It puzzled the doctors at UCLA to what was causing my body to virtually shut down. I was in and out of ICU knowing I was receiving great care, but not knowing if my body would ever recover and respond to the treatments. Once the puzzle pieces were put together, the doctors quickly identified the problem got me well enough for surgery. They saved my life! They knew I needed surgery on my colon, but had they performed that surgery without knowing what was causing my body to shut down, I could have died and left a grieving wife the responsibility of raising our 1 year old daughter. It a few more surgeries to clear everything up, but 9 months later I was a new man and my duties as a husband and father continued
Four years later, I walked into the newly built Ronald Reagan UCLA Hospital knowing I was going to be there for awhile. I have had Crohn's Disease for over 20 years and the damage the disease caused was costing me most of my colon. This time I was healthy and there was no reason for me to be admitted until the day of surgery. UCLA felt comforting and the staff (Administrative, Food Service, Housekeeping, Nurses, Doctors and even Students) made me feel like I was be cared by the best in the world. As I kissed my wife good bye and told I would see her in about 5 hours, I felt confident that I was going to come through with flying colors. 11 hours later, I would learn that had it not been heroic efforts of my surgeon and his staff, my good bye could have been my last. My body refused to cooperate and it took a team to save my life, a second time now. During the entire 11 hours, my wife along with our dear friend we constantly updated. It went so late into the evening that even the security guard was released to go home. However, they never felt alone. They felt I was in the best hands and after 11 hours they were one of the first people I got to see! Recovery was long, but in the end I am strong and back to good health.
Since I moved from Cleveland in 2000, UCLA has been my medical home. My internist is the best UCLA has to offer, my gastroenterologist is whom i consider to be the best in the business and my surgeon is by far a leader in this country and around the world. So much so that when I was visiting Cleveland, I had to be rushed to the emergency room and admitted to the Cleveland Clinic. When the surgeon there came to visit and saw who my surgeon was at UCLA, she said she would do her best to get well enough to go back because she learned from him during her residency and did not want to try and top, in her words, "the master!"
What is most amazing is how all of my doctors and nurses work as a team. There is a sense of family and I must say that growing up in Ohio, I am a Buckeye at heart, but after having my life saved twice and bringing another life into the world at the hands of UCLA, I and my family will be part of the Bruin family for the rest of our lives! Thank you UCLA! It doesn't seem enough to simply say thank you but this will have to do. I hope this story inspires others to share, but more importantly make the decision to have UCLA care for them in their greatest and most vulnerable times of their lives.