Father's Day Inspiration


“A few times in a physicians career there will be these transcendental moments that shape and inspire us,” says Dr. Michael Yeh, a surgeon at UCLA who was working on Father’s Day when a unique patient came in. “His blood pressure dropped suddenly in the middle of the night, so we operated on him to relieve an obstruction in his intestines. Then, a few hours later, his heart stopped working. We were stunned because this young man ran marathons and was very fit. So we were in dire straits and did something I don’t think we’ve ever done at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. We used a procedure called ECMO, which stand for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and is really a heart-lung bypass machine. It was a heroic measure. We had Dr. Will Suh from cardiology who came in on a Sunday and Dr. Peyman Benharash summoned the ECMO team. I can’t tell you the sense of relief that washed over me to see an entire ambulance arrive with a dozen skilled personnel and the ECMO machine. Once the heart-lung machine was in place, the patient started to recover. We transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and his heart was supported for three or four days until it was able to recover. And now he’s going home today. In my 20 years of being a physician, I’ve hardly ever seen anything like it. I can think of no better way to signal as a dad to your children that this is what we can teach as fathers.”