Sylvia Smith, RN, CC

Surgical Coordinator, Cardiac Surgery
Start Date: 1975

TOUCHING LIVES, TOUCHING HEARTS

Working in cardiac care at the Hospital Center is special. You touch so many lives, and sometimes you don't even realize the impact you have on patients. I still get a Christmas card every year from a gentleman who spent one night in 1997 in the Cardiovascular Recovery Room. I can't believe he still thinks of me each Christmas. I also get cards from other patients who have stayed longer at the Hospital Center, and I have saved every one of them.

One of the most exciting moments in my career here was when I took care of my first heart transplant patient. As nurses, we wanted to put into practice all of the good things we had learned, so at that time, we used to fight over who would get to take care of the transplant patients. My first transplant patient happened to be the hospital's seventh, and I cared for him for one week in the ICU. When he was well enough to be transferred to a regular floor, it was very rewarding for me.

I'm from South America where the care is not as advanced, so it's sometimes hard to visit my home country and see sick people who could be helped if only they could come here or had the same care there.