Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
I AM PROUD to announce this glorious Monday morning that I have been invited to speak at the 3rd Edition of the Cardiology World Congress this coming September. My abstract: A Parent’s Perspective– Against the Odds: A Parent’s Perspective on Congenital Heart Disease. I will share the highlights of my award-winning story, some pictures of my son and conclude with my message to the doctors and surgeons present.
As those who are familiar with my book know, when my baby was born, the chief cardiologist at the hospital told me to let him die. Well, I had a hard time with that because death is forever. So there I was in a country where I did not speak the language, whose inhabitants had a different mentality than mine, where I knew no one and had to fight like hell to give my baby a chance at life. I have walked through fire and am honored to use my platform to advocate for patients who have an urgent need to communicate with their doctor but do not have the wherewithal due to the uncomfortable ‘clinical’ context of the situation. Just being in the doctor’s office can result in fear and anxiety and the suppression of the desire to speak up, much less be assertive. We fear that the doctor is too busy to listen to what we have to say; or is impatient, or we don’t want to anger him or her; we don’t want to appear as though we are questioning his/her judgment. We feel constrained. Listen to me: this can have not only dire but even deadly consequences.
The first congress I attended was in Dubai which was highly fortunate for me as I have always wanted to visit this emirate, so when I received an invitation to speak at the Lexis 2019 World Pediatric Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery Congress held there on September 9 and 10, I was thrilled!
It was quite the honor to have the opportunity to moderate the conference and to take my place amongst these brilliant surgeons and doctors.
The countries attending were Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Algeria, India, Greece, Syria, USA, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. All of the attendees presented their facts, findings, treatments, and innovations on various issues pertaining to pediatric cardiovascular diseases.
I spoke at the podium for thirty minutes beginning at 3:10 in the afternoon.
My presentation was clearly not scientific, it was, however, passionate. In part, here is what I said:
“I’d like to begin my presentation by saying, for those of you whom I haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet, that I am not a doctor. What I am is a heart warrior mother.
First of all, I’d like to say that I salute all of you, for you are the fortunate ones. You are the fortunate ones because you have the satisfaction of knowing–the very real satisfaction of knowing–that you have a chance at saving a life when you go to work every day…I am confident, that you are inspired by empathy, passion, compassion, and a certain motivation to help your fellow man and with this thought in mind I urge you to stay on course…
Please carry this other standard from the Hippocratic oath always with you: ‘I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.’
And be remarkable because remarkable is where miracles happen! And that is the heart of the matter.”
When I concluded my presentation there was applause. Then, one of the co-chairs, Doctor Nosehy Yousef Zaraby stood up and approached me at the podium. I thought he wanted to shake my hand. Instead, he grabbed both of my hands and said, “You are an amazing mother. I want to kiss your hands.” I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. Then several doctors surrounded me at the podium, congratulating me. Dr. Abdel Abu Haweleh said, “Tracie you are our hero! Maybe you will come to Jordan to speak!” I was so amazed, I just remember saying, “Oh my goodness! Thank you all! Thank you!” I was just shocked and so very humbled!
I’m still reeling. These doctors as well as the lovely Dr. Iquo Takon from Nigeria have remained in my online circle of friends and acquaintances. For this, I am blessed and thankful. I know that they are doing all they can to save lives.
If I, just an ordinary girl, can use my voice to encourage a doctor to go that extra mile, research a bit deeper, and listen to his/her patients with a bit more empathy, maybe, just maybe life or two or thousands can be saved.
And how absolutely. awesome is that!!!