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My Extraordinary Care
Three years ago, Mario Chapa (right)
advised Ramiro Cabello to go to the
Emergency department - a visit that
saved his life.
When Mario Chapa, transporter for the Radiology department of St. Catherine Hospital, ran into longtime friend Ramiro Cabello at a restaurant, he knew something was seriously wrong.
"I have known him for a while and he just didn't look right," Chapa says. "He was retaining water, seemed weak and just wasn't himself."
Chapa insisted that his friend make a trip to the Emergency department at St. Catherine Hospital—a trip that ended up saving Cabello's life.
"So many departments worked together to help keep me healthy," Cabello says. "They all helped to save my life and I want the world to know it. They are very, very compassionate people. They could have judged me, been mean to me, ignored me, but they didn't. They gave me what I needed—unconditional love, acceptance and compassionate care."
A Long Road
After a series of tests and several days in the hospital, Cabello was diagnosed with advanced liver disease. That was in 2009. He has been a regular patient of St. Catherine Hospital ever since. He started out coming on a monthly basis for a procedure called an ultrasound paracentesis (peritoneal drainage). The monthly visits soon became weekly, and his early morning routine would begin at 6 a.m. by going to Same Day Surgery to receive blood products.
After receiving blood products at the Same Day Surgery department, Cabello "would go to ultrasound, where we would remove anywhere from 8–13 liters of fl uid from his abdomen," says Ana Bran-Guzman, RN. "He would then be discharged from same day surgery late evening after receiving albumin infusions. He had a history of drinking alcohol and cirrhosis that had caused his liver failure. Since his fi rst procedure in 2009, he quit drinking and was advised to see a medical specialist for a liver transplant."
According to Family Medicine Practitioner Bayne Spotwood, MD, Cabello's recovery represents a team effort on the part of St. Catherine Hospital staff, but ultimately, the choices were the patient's to make.
"Ramiro was truly committed to the process," Spotwood recalls. "He followed the plan of care we worked for him and he truly is a success story. He completely changed his life around and has a second chance."
According to the staff, he went through many obstacles and hoops for his transplant and they were there to cheer him on. At one point, he thought he would never be able to be on the liver transplant list.
"There were times when I thought, 'What am I doing? I can't go on like this,'" Cabello says. And then there were moments of inspiration.
"I would get checkup calls at home from staff members of St. Catherine Hospital and that would make my entire day—just to know people outside of my family cared," he says.
"To get where he is today took a fi ght and lots of faith," Bran-Guzman says. "When we see patients on a regular basis for such a long period of time, we get attached."