What It’s Like To: Bring Someone Back to Life
In 1993 David V. Feliciano received a phone call in the middle of the night from a surgical resident at Grady Memorial Hospital about a patient who had been stabbed in a robbery. The resident sewed up a hole in the heart, but called Feliciano again when the liver began bleeding uncontrollably. The patient was dying.
What It’s Like To: Cure a Child with Cancer
Childhood cancer is like a journey that starts when you meet a new family, a new patient. Nobody expects children to have cancer. It’s literally unbelievable. So there’s this big element of shock and fear and grief. These truly are diseases that threaten the life of their beautiful child.
What It’s Like To: Deliver a Baby
Every patient and [every delivery] is just a little bit different. It does not ever get boring, because it’s never the same.
What It’s Like To: Diagnose a Mysterious Illness
If things are not going well and you don’t know what to do next, my job is to figure out how we go about figuring out what’s wrong. Is this vasculitis? An autoimmune disease like lupus? Sometimes it’s just a drug allergy. You keep going back to the history, you keep going back to the physical [exam] until you get the clue that leads you to the right diagnosis.
What It’s Like To: Perform Robot Surgery
It’s doing surgery as though you were immersed inside the patient. It’s as if the patient was wide open. You can be a few feet away, but you’re right on top of the pathology and you can see precisely what you’re cutting.
What It’s Like To: Transplant a Hand
The patient lost both legs and her left hand when she was a year old due to Kawasaki disease, a rare childhood condition of inflamed blood vessels. She emailed Cendales soon after her twenty-first birthday, and a short time later, she was evaluated and approved as a transplant candidate.