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By: Clarissa Cisneros, Emergency department coordinator, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center
Oct. 7, 2013
Her salt and pepper hair was pulled back and braided. She was leaning against a gurney propped against the wall in the corridor.
“Puedo tomar su foto? Can I take your picture?” I ask. She smiled at me and nodded yes.
I’m standing in front of her, waiting for her to sit on the gurney. She instead stands up tall and crosses her arms, her left hand clutching her right wrist.
“Lista? Ready?” I ask. She nods. Snap. Picture taken.
“Gracias, Señora.” She nods once more.
Marta traveled two hours by car with her eldest son and youngest daughters. Her son, who knew of Faith In Practice and Hilario Galindo from friends and former patients, drove all three in from Reu for Marta’s surgical consult. She made it through all five steps needed for surgery: tests completed, surgeon sign off, anesthesiologist sign off, pre-op education, and a meeting with Hilario Galindo’s director to discuss patient responsibilities. Marta is ready for surgery.
She’s back today for surgery. She waited patiently in the standing room-only waiting room. For a first day of team surgeries, hers would be the last. Her expression remained the same from triage on Friday to the waiting room today. Neither anxious nor afraid, she conveyed a matriarchal grace, secure and at ease. It was an unflinching expression she carried from pre-op to recovery.
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