Oscar's Story

Credits Rush Copley’s Day Surgery unit with keeping him alive until he could receive organ transplants
Oscar and Marilyn Adame

Oscar Adame credits Rush Copley’s Day Surgery unit with keeping him alive. His liver and kidneys were failing and he went weekly for paracentesis procedures for several months – and then twice a week as his condition worsened – until he received liver and kidney transplants. Because his organs weren’t working properly, Oscar’s abdomen needed to be drained for fluid at least once a week.

“They are the best,” Oscar said of the Day Surgery team. From the lady at the front desk to the employees who helped treat him – all were pleasant, professional and just amazing, he said.

“They made things a little easier for us,” he explained. “What we were going through was difficult, and they didn’t make us feel uncomfortable. What an amazing job they do!”

Oscar’s wife, Marilyn, said it was a rough time. While her husband was sick, she was the only provider and his caregiver as well. She juggled work and her husband’s health, taking him for treatments and giving him his medications.

When he received his transplants, she watched him “come back to life. That transformation was incredible,” she said. They now celebrate the anniversary of his transplant as his second birthday.

But they haven’t forgotten the great care he received at Rush Copley, and – prior to the pandemic and the no visitation policy – they went back to visit the Day Surgery team to show them “what an amazing job they did.”

It was definitely rewarding for the Day Surgery team to see him and know that he was ok, said Marilyn.  “They never get to see the end of the story or to see the good,” she said. “They were so happy to see him well – they had seen him at his worst.”

When Oscar walked in as a healthy man, the team did not recognize him. “The last time we saw him, he was 80 pounds and wrapped in blankets,” said Barbara Gambino, MSN, RN, senior clinical coordinator for Day Surgery. “Then this guy walks in and is a vibrant, smiling, energetic man. We wondered, ‘Who are you?’ You would never know what he went through. The transformation was nothing short of amazing.

“It’s good to see such a good outcome,” Barb continued. Some patients come in for treatment for years. “We bond with these people,” she explained. “We know their families and their kids.”

“It was a really good story,” agreed Chris Keith, the radiology nurse who was involved in all of Oscar’s procedures. Not all patients have such good outcomes, he said. “It was a happy moment for us to see him. He beat a lot of odds. The whole team fought through this with him.”

To express their gratitude to the team that cared for her husband, Marilyn prepared meals for them. “We wanted to show our appreciation,” she said. “The care they provided for my husband was incredible.”

It isn’t just the Day Surgery team the Adames praise. They also speak highly of other departments – including the Emergency Department, the ICU staff and the first and second floor staffs – who treated Oscar as an inpatient when his illness progressed.

Although the pandemic has curtailed his visits for now, Oscar would love to visit with patients to encourage them and tell them “to never give up – because the health care staff will go beyond for you. There are no words to describe what they do,” he said. “All the nurses are amazing.”

Related Stories