For the second year in a row, Scripps Health heart failure patient and MLB Hall of Famer Rod Carew has received the gift of life for the holidays.
Last year it came in the form of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a small high-tech pump that Scripps physicians implanted in Rod to keep life-giving blood flowing through his body even as his heart stopped working.
The LVAD also bought Rod precious time to heal from the massive heart attack that originally put his life in jeopardy and to wait for a well-matched donor heart to become available.
That brings us to this year’s holiday gift, which arrived for Rod just over a week ago when doctors at a hospital in Los Angeles transplanted a new heart into his body. His Scripps cardiologists say he is recovering well from that procedure.
There is no greater gift than life.
Most of us take it for granted while rushing through the paces of our normal routine. But sometimes we experience moments when the fragility and preciousness of our very existence come into sharp focus.
Our physicians and staff members at Scripps know that better than most. They regularly care for people who are facing catastrophic disease and injuries. And just as often, they provide critical therapies and care that give patients more time to enjoy the pleasures of living another day.
While most of us spend the holidays at home, many Scripps physicians, nurses, technicians and staff members will be on the job at our hospitals caring for the ill and giving the gift of life once again.
Let’s remember them during our celebrations with family and friends.
I know Rod will.