It has been almost two years now since my local pulmonologist, Dr A. Munoz from Bakersfield, referred me to UCLA for a double lung transplant. After my initial shock, I came to UCLA with an open mind about the transplant. The thing is, I am a nurse. As an Operating Room RN, now retired since 2007, one might imagine how that helped to understand the transplant process, yet, since transplant is so specialized it was not so black and white. Sometimes I had too many questions about the smallest details about the surgery, the medications and just about everything in between. Patients want to know, in my case, I wanted to know everything ! It is the fear of the unknown that scares us most. Which brings me to my story about Dr. Y. Michael Shino.
Dr. Michael Shino first saw me in Transplant Clinic in summer 2015. The clinic was nothing like I imagined and neither was Dr. Shino. I was walking, wearing my arch enemy—the Oxygen tubing that fed my lungs the ingredients of life—hoping that all would go well. Might I be considered for the transplant? My primary doctor had prepared me for the possibility of denial but assured me that I would most likely qualify as a good candidate and that I should be persistent in my quest to get listed, transplanted and thereby, be able to breathe. If not, my affairs needed to be in order for the short term.
Meeting Dr. Michael Shino that day was a game changer. Immediately upon meeting him, my husband and I both liked Dr. Shino. He was obviously very knowledgeable, friendly, polite, informative and efficient. With a clinic full of so many people there was barely enough sitting room, all things, people, tests, paperwork and Dr. Shino worked like clockwork. In my mind I was thinking, well if my surgery goes this well I will be glad. I was soon to learn that this was UCLA in action and it has been since day one.
Of course there is an entire team of people that I wish to thank for all the great care that I received and continue to receive at UCLA. Particularly my surgeon, Dr. Abbas Ardehali, Dr. David Ross, and Dr. Joanna Schaenman. I have been blessed to have you all as my Transplant Team (it must be noted that the RN Coordinators have been outstanding and I wish to mention Christine Natori, RN at this point since she is amazing! ). I would be lax if lab, x-ray, nuclear medicine, Cardiology, Oncology, Respiratory Department and ICU did not receive special mention here as well. Oh and the marvelous Dietary & Nutritional areas too.
For Doctor's Day, with one person in mind for the day to recognize, it most certainly would always go to Dr. Michael Shino. The busiest but the best award should be his. He always found time to answer my all too many questions to my satisfaction. He is always polite and professional. He has the ability to be clear and present technical information in an understanding way, whether it be tests, medications and side effects, procedures or simple things that are asked of him. One might say, well, that is what we expect of all our doctors... yes, of course we do. But with Dr. Shino there is something a little bit more... Maybe it's magic but I call it dedication.
After helping me through a very successful Bilateral Lung Transplant that I received on in summer 2016, Dr. Shino continues to be my Transplant Pulmonologist. I have had a life-saving, remarkably successful result from my transplant. Now nine months after transplant I have been able to return to a wonderful life with my family. I have even traveled recently to Hawaii, a place I thought I might never get to revisit again. I can breathe!
As I mention Hawaii, I am reminded of another reason that Dr. Shino is so dedicated. Even when he does take a little vacation in or out of the country, he has always been available for communication. Kind, caring and professional, Dr. Shino has delivered high quality standards of safe and effective health care in the busiest settings. We would highly recommend you to family or friends!
Thank you Dr. Shino, you are the Best of the Best!