Success Stories of WMMCCF
Read about some of the many success stories we’re proud to share:
Kristy had lost two babies due to pre-term labor. White Memorial was determined to ensure that her third baby would survive and thrive, despite complications only 26 weeks into the pregnancy.
- Kevin and Mario:
Brothers Kevin and Mario had their cleft palates surgically repaired by White Memorial, putting an end to the social stigma, taunting, and self-esteem issues accompanying it.
Hear about Miguel’s journey from a 6-year old immigrant boy who spoke no English and was placed in a special ed class, to an Ivy League-educated doctor who now is President of the WMMMC Medical Staff and President of the Los Angeles Urology Medical Group at White Memorial and whose close friendship with boxer Oscar De La Hoya has resulted in numerous forms of support from Oscar to White Memorial.
White Memorial: Making a Difference in Emily Hope's Life
Last year, Emily Hope Reynoso was a healthy six-month-old spending her first Christmas at home with her parents, Hector and Kristy. This story could have had a different ending because on April 6, 2000, when Kristy was just 26 weeks into her pregnancy with Emily, a doctor's exam revealed that she was at risk for premature labor.
"I was so afraid," Kristy said. "I had already lost two babies for the same reason."
Kristy was admitted to White Memorial Medical Center's High Risk Obstetrics Unit, which is designed to meet the needs of women with prenatal complications. On May 22, she delivered Emily Hope.
Because Emily weighed only 3 pounds, 10 ounces at birth she spent the next three weeks in White Memorial's Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she was given the loving and specialized, state-of-the-art care she needed to grow and thrive. During their stay, both mother and baby were closely monitored on a daily basis by both the perinatologist and the nursing staff to assure that both were progressing well. Emily was released from the NICU when her weight reached four and a half pounds.
"Emily Hope wouldn't be here if it weren't for White Memorial," Kristy said. If she'd been born at 26 weeks, she could have had severe complications or even died."
Patients like Kristy, who are at risk of early delivery or complications due to reasons such as premature labor, high blood pressure, diabetes or infections, are now receiving extra care and attention at White Memorial. We have always taken excellent care of high-risk patients, but by designating a separate unit, these patients now receive specialized care focused on their particular condition. And most important, by delaying birth as long as possible, babies get a better start at life.
"Being hospitalized for seven weeks was hard on me and my family," said Kristy, "but the staff did everything they could to make me comfortable. They encouraged Hector and our children to visit often. One nurse knew I liked to read, so she brought me books and videos from home. I even made some friends on the unit."
Kevin and Mario
White Memorial: Cleft Palate Program Making a Difference in People's Lives
Brothers Kevin and Mario Hernandez, three and four years old, respectively, share the same loving parents, the same peaceful home, and the same devastating birth defect.
The brothers, separated by just 10 months, both entered the world with a cleft palate, a malformation in the roof of the mouth. Left untreated, children with cleft palate can suffer life-long handicaps including severe facial deformities, chronic dental and hearing problems and even malnutrition.
But thanks to the expertise of surgeons, dentists, therapists and other specialists with White memorial Medical Center’s Cleft Palate Program, the Hernandez brothers can now speak, breathe and eat without the stares they once received.
“They look like normal children again,” said their mother. “No one laughs at them anymore.”
The cleft palate program is just one of the highly sophisticated specialty programs for children available at White Memorial Medical Center — one of the only places in the community where such care is available. A team takes a comprehensive approach to repairing the condition and gives kids a far more normal childhood.
Mario and Kevin’s mother compared the quality of life before and after the surgeries. “Now I take them everywhere,” she said. “No one can tell they were born with a birth defect. They look really good. I am so grateful to the staff at White Memorial. They are so patient and loving to my children. They are so prepared to help the community they serve.”
White Memorial remains dedicated to advancing the technology and expertise needed to continue providing the highly specialized care so needed in its community. For the Hernandez brothers, it has made all the difference.
A Heart for His Community: Dr. Miguel A. Martinez
When six-year-old Miguel Martinez entered school, his teacher placed him in a class for mentally challenged students – because he could not speak English.
Back then, the Martinez family had just emigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, to a tough, crime-plagued neighborhood in Los Angeles. The family could not afford English classes for the young boy, who dreamed of being an astronaut or an architect. When his father noticed that Miguel wasn’t bringing home any homework, he knew something was wrong. He immediately went to the school and ensured that the boy was placed in regular classes.
Then when Miguel was in the eighth grade, his father, a tile layer, believed in the power of education and set the expectation that each of his children would go to college. One day, he turned to his son and said, “You’re very smart, and you help people. Go to medical school.”
So Miguel did. He attended both Yale and Stanford Universities on scholarships. He completed a residency in urology at White Memorial Medical Center. Today, the boy is Miguel Martinez, MD, President of the WMMC Medical Staff and President of the Los Angeles Urology Medical Group at White Memorial. Dr. Martinez has served as Chair of the hospital’s Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, and has also served on the hospital’s Governing Board.
He formed a lasting friendship with the family of renowned boxer Oscar De La Hoya who later gave a generous donation to establish the Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center, named after Oscar’s mother.
With an ivy-league education, Dr. Martinez could have practiced medicine anywhere. Instead, he chose to stay and give back to the community.
“This is where I wanted to be because I wanted to be close to home,” he says. “I love this community.”