(helicopter flying) – [Radio] Major trauma
on the beach, gonna be– – I remember screaming in the airport, not knowing if she would survive. – It was the first time in my life that I ever had so much doubt. I was really scared. – I held her hand and whispered in her ear that I loved her. – When I’m walking around without hair, people know that I’m in
the fight of my life. – Left untreated, lymphoma of any type is a fatal disease. – Cancer can’t take your dignity. We really want to really
honor that part of a person that cancer can never take away. – When people die in accidents like that– – Paula? – People don’t know what
to do in a crisis situation when you’re in a foreign country. – [Doctor] We have a 63 year old female, she’s got a left haemothorax. – Time was of the essence
to get them back home in the United States. – I have never heard of anyone surviving that kind of injury. (orchestral music) – My friends and I, we drove
to Torrey Pines State Park. We parked at the top and
walked down the beach trail. I remember stepping onto the beach. I remember it being a gorgeous day. And that’s sort of where my
memory of that day stops. – [Phone Call] We’re at
Torrey Pines right now, I’m trying to get us
a (mumbles) on a girl. – My mom yelled from
downstairs, she yelled my name. But I could hear in her
tone that it was not her usual, Daphne, I’m home. There was something else in her voice, and told me Anna’s been in an accident. My first question, is she alive? She wasn’t even able to answer that. We drove to the airport and that’s when I sort of lost it, I remember screaming in the airport and a DSA agent asked me if I’d be okay and I was just sobbing. – [Radio] We have a major trauma. – And then we had to sit on a
three and a half hour flight, not knowing if she would survive. – And then we walked
into the emergency room, and there she was, beautiful
as always, but just asleep. – I held her hand and whispered
in her ear that I loved her. And I hoped that she could hear it. – When I first woke up and when
I first started remembering, Erin was the person who
was there to tell me what had really happened to me. – And Anna said something, something like, what happened to my legs? – I think I was asking
the question out loud that hadn’t been confirmed by anyone yet, but I think I knew. – I remember just looking
her right in the eye and saying, “You were at Torrey Pines, “and some rocks fell on you, “and you have a spinal cord injury, “and the doctors said you won’t be able “to move your legs again.” And there was this long pause, and everyone in the room was
just holding their breath, and Anna looked at us
(chuckles) and Anna said, “Then I guess I’m gonna
be a really good swimmer.” – When I’m in the water,
I don’t really feel any different from anybody
else in the water around me. – I am gonna take you on your back. – Okay. – The reason for that is you can breathe. – Feeling my mom’s, my dad’s,
my brother’s, my sister’s pain that they felt for me
when I was struggling, so knowing that if I didn’t keep fighting, that it would hurt them more. – And there’s always what I
call the basketball effect. When you first roll over,
you’re gonna go down, and then you’ll come up. – Every time I get into the water I learn something new about the way I need to move my new
body in order to swim and feel safe and confident in the water. – For a lot of people,
when they’re done swimming, they stand up, but what will you do if you’re just out there? And that’s when I want
you to have that roll. Nice, good job! – [Anna] Yay!
– How’d that feel? – [Anna] Great, I feel very free. – I think that’s one of
the most beautiful things about swimming, being in
water, is that you leave behind any devices you need on land, and you come in and now it’s just you. – Anna is (chuckles), she’s incredible. There’s no other person like Anna. – When I first started
using my wheelchair, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to roll up a ramp or get down a curb. – Up and down. – Ahh (laughs)! – Like a rockstar. – Through Sharp’s
occupational therapy program, they’ve really helped me
navigate my new world. – [Marion] Good job, Anna! – [Anna] Thanks, Mom. – And what we’re working
on is to eliminate the hesitation as she, just
to maintain the momentum. To go forward, pop up,
and keep going, pop up. Not fast, but try without hesitation. And just when I think,
is she ready for that, and I throw it out as a
possibility, she goes after it. I say we get rid of that platform and try the four inch. – Yeah?
– Yes. You’re ready for it. – Alright, let’s do it. – Alright, as if you’ve ever said no. – Pop, you need more speed, bam. (Anna squeals) (thump) – Oh! You know, Sharp and Sharp
Rehabs sort of set me up for success, so I don’t want
to disappoint them (laughs)! – I mean, you’ve seen her,
she just, whole face smile, and, I mean, her whole life’s changed, and she’s going after it. – They contacted me to help train her for the Rock N Roll Marathon. She was training for that
at the time of her accident. – Feel the burn. – Yep, there you go. So you actually can pedal fast? – Okay (laughs). – [Ricky] See, this is where
is starts getting hard, gotta start downshifting. Downshift, downshift, you can do it. Once you’re on your bike, you can just go as far as you want, wherever you want. That’s pretty cool. – [Anna] That’s amazing. Gorgeous-ness! – [Ricky] Yeah, it’s not bad. (Anna laughs) – I definitely like to
be able to drive to work and to the grocery
store, and seeing friends and all those things. – Across the United States? – [Anna] Yes, that too! – There you go, perfect. – Thank you. I’m so grateful to my
whole team of therapists, I obviously would just be in
bed if it wasn’t for them. They’ve taught me how to move again. Do you think that I’ll need
a ramp and a swivel seat? – Ah, probably not, as
you continue to work with your therapy people, you’re gonna gain a lot more independence. – Okay.
– Okay. – Yep, ready. – And when you decide what
car you’re gonna purchase, that’s another thing that’s
gonna be interesting, because it’s a two-handed drop
to change gears, obviously. And just let the idle speed take you around the corner by the stand. – Okay, not having to think so hard about what is gas and what is brake and how do you shift your
gears and all those things, makes me concentrate so much on what to do and I hope eventually I’ll
also be able to focus on the environment (laughs). Ahh (laughs)! Here we go! – Good job, Anna. Team handed driving. – Very excited to be able
to just go somewhere, all by myself, even if
it’ll just be driving along the coast road or going
to the grocery store, I love the grocery store! (woman laughs) Or to work, it’s anything that, I just, I can’t even imagine, I
haven’t really been by myself at all, I can’t even remember
what that feels like. – It was about maybe four or five months after her accident, you
know, everyone’s talking about coming back to work. And Anna’s response was,
“Well, I’ll be back to work “by Christmas, half-time
or full-time by then,” and we all were like, Anna, that’s crazy, how are you gonna be able to do that? Come November, Anna’s at
work, seeing patients. – The first time that I
could put my white coat back on and come back to
work and see patients, that’s really when I
started feeling like myself, that’s when I was able
to become a caretaker, a provider, a physician again. Dr Erin King is one of my besties here, and colleague, we just bonded immediately. She’s been there every step of the way through my medical journey. Being on the patient side,
feeling vulnerable and broken, helped me really learn what a patient needs from a physician. Hey, I’m Dr Hackenburg,
any medical problems? I had to sort of relearn the
physical exam a little bit, just had to, you know,
maneuver around a patient from a different perspective. So when I first enter the room, I’m already kind of at the patient level, so, although I think patients
are a little shocked, maybe, that I’m on wheels, I don’t think they mind,
usually they’re sitting and so I’m sitting, so we get
that eye-to-eye interaction. – She has this unending supply of sunshine that just bursts out of her
when she turns the corner. – It’s her smile, she is
just bringing sunshine to everybody’s life. – She brightens up any
room she rolls into. – Her colleagues at work
call her Dr Sunshine. Which, I think, probably for a doctor, that’s the best title that you could have, for a patient’s perspective that’s, I mean, what other doctor
would you wanna have? – Everybody… was just always there. You know, with me, I didn’t have to do any of this on my own. – And that, I gave you 5% at the top. – Yeah! – This is your best one. Here’s where it gets harder,
stay back, stay back, stay back, there’s more of an angle. – And then you felt,
oh, this is my family, my friends, my community, my Sharp family. – It’s the ultimate
activity of daily living that gives you independence. – Driving independently is the best. I can go wherever I want. (cheering) I would not be here, this far, without my amazing family
and friends and everybody, so I’m just super grateful. (horn blows) (inspiring orchestral music) Wheelchair coming through, wheelchair! (inspiring orchestral music) – And, in the water,
you don’t see she is one that sits in a chair, she just looks like any other swimmer out there. – She’s a really good swimmer now. – I just hope she doesn’t
let it get in the way, because she’s still the same Anna, and we don’t care if
she’s sitting or standing. – Being in the ocean, being free, being independent and
getting to be my best self is all I could hope for. – The sky is the limit
for her at this point. (inspiring orchestral music) – Hi, it’s time to get up
and go get some stuff done. But, I just wanted to, I
guess, get used to seeing you getting used to seeing me like this. Hair, hair’ll come back. When I’m walking around without hair, people know that I’m in
the fight of my life. – Maria came to me with
a diagnosis of lymphoma. Occasionally, lymphoma develops
outside the lymph nodes, called extranodal lymphoma. And the GI tract is the most common place where the disease develops. Very few people have this, only a couple of percentage
of the lymphoma cases involved in the extranodal setting. So it’s quite rare. Left untreated, lymphoma of
any type is a fatal disease. When we get into the realm of rare tumors, the team had to really work
together to really optimize chemotherapy and radiation
therapy together to give her the best chance for a cure. (speaking foreign language) – Hanging in there? – I am, it’s overwhelming. – And I tell them, that, hey, you know, we’re here for you. It’s what we do for a living. I’m here to serve them
and get them through a really tough time and I
take that very seriously. We’ll get you through it, alright? Okay, I’ll see you later. – Here, we really have a community, we have a medical community
that’s taking care of the whole patient, the family. – For someone who’s sick,
you’re not feeling well, you’re not focused on things
because your mind’s thinking, oh, I’ve got cancer. It’s just nice to know
everything’s in one place, and then first thing you see
when you walk in the room is a garden, instead of this big, scary piece of machinery that’s huge. It’s really a great place
to feel like you’re at home. – One of the nice things
about the treatment that we were able to do with
Maria is do something called, intensity modulation radiation therapy, which allowed us to really wrap the dose around the area that we wanted to treat, and spare a lot of the
surrounding tissues. The accuracy there is
0.5 – 0.7 millimeters, that’s really, really tiny. – How are you feeling? – Okay. – We turned the footprint
of the machine around so it’s behind the patient, as one of the construction workers once said, it’s behind you to serve you. – You’re all set for treatment, if you need us for
anything, just call out, we can see and hear you the whole time. Are you comfortable? – There’s a lot of elements that go into making a patient feel comfortable. One of the key elements is to make sure that the patient feels
seen and feels heard, because if they just feel
like they’re a number that’s being pushed
through some machinery, that’s gonna be their experience. – It’s making them feel like
we have the time for them, all the time. (calm orchestral music) – If I can make them smile
every day they’re here, whether it be 10 treatments or 9 weeks, then that’s my job, my job is to empathize and make them smile. – Everything’s going okay for you? – Yeah, we’re almost done. – We are almost done. – Cancer can take whatever
it is you give it. But there are lots of
things that it can’t take, like your dignity or
your sense of human-ness. And so, we really want to
really support and honor that part of a person that
cancer can never take away. – We deliver the radiation
to kill the cancer, but your mindset is part of
what heals you so quickly. – [Noelle] You okay? – [Maria] I’m good, I’m
really good, thank you. – It’s essential to keep
that positive mindset. – You know, I’d ride an
elevator with the bald man and I tell him, great haircut (laughs). They just look at me
and say yeah (laughs). – I wore the baldness with honor. It was like my badge, you
know how when you’re a warrior that you’re holding your
badge off and you’re going to a fight, it was my badge of honor so people could see
what I was going through and that I wasn’t afraid of it. – She also had a follow up PET CT scan that showed no evidence of disease, and then over time, if we
maintain that remission then we consider this disease cured. – [Woman] Beautiful. Hi, ladies, I am a lymphoma survivor from two and a half years ago. And I took the makeup class
because meeting other women that were in the same
position that I was in really just made me feel
that I wasn’t alone. – Our Look Good, Feel Better
class helps with makeup when women have lost eyelashes
and eyebrows or hair, it also helps with wigs and tying scarves and things like that. It really is helping them to feel like, if I walk out in the
community, people aren’t gonna be looking at me like I have cancer, I can feel normal, I can forget about it for a few minutes while I
go to the grocery store. They’re not gonna say, oh, you look great, considering what you’re going through. You know, those kinds of
things are hard to hear. – The hair went, and then, pretty soon, you don’t feel like much of anything. – [Woman] Just let it
go, don’t hold it in, you don’t want that in you, let it out. – These women are feeling helpless. Sharp and American Cancer
Society are here to help these women regain their identity. – [Woman] Oh, you look nice, we need to go dancing after this. – It’s beautiful. – I could see their
transformation, and it was just, their faces just sparkled. – [Woman] You look adorable! – I’m leaving here feeling
like I’m gonna be okay. (sighs) It’s wonderful. – I’ve seen a lot of patients transform through this process, and they come out a lot stronger in the end. It can draw out that
strength of the human spirit that they otherwise
wouldn’t know was there. – There’s just all kinds of great things in store for me. There’s a lot of life after cancer. There’s a lot of life during cancer. To me, this whole thing was a blessing. I took a lot more out of it than what it took out of me. (phone rings) – Hi, this is Hugo. – Oh, hey, Hugo, it’s Amy, in charge here at Sharp Memorial ER, I just wanna give you a heads up, we got a call about a female coming out of Port Abierta With multiple
injuries, looks like she’s gonna come to us as a major trauma. So, I wanted to let
Global Patient Services know what was going on. (Spanish guitar) – We were in Port
Abierta for about 8 days. It’s a city that we love
and people that we love, And it was about dinner
time, and Paula cannot pass up a bookstore. And so she wanted to go and
check out some used books before dinner, so she went off and the three of the rest of us went off to La Bistro. This is nice. So, why don’t we get Paula a drink, she should be here anytime. – [Woman] Sounds great. – It’s probably a good
thing I don’t have details of the accident beyond the
impression of the impact of being struck. People die in accidents like that. I guess I just look at
it as not my day to die. (tires screech) (phone rings) I just remember the moment of impact, remember calling him on my cellphone. – Paula, hello? I would’ve thought that
maybe a mirror clipped her on the shoulder going around the corner. The thought of someone actually
physically being run over by a city bus, I have
never heard of anyone surviving that kind of injury. She had surgery that night, and although her blood count was
normal when she came in, throughout the night it continued to drop. Turns out she had multiple
fractures in the same ribs, so that it requires assisted ventilation. And, once stabilized, they
were prepared to operate and do things as needed, except
there was one small twist. (phone rings) – Hello, Allan, this is
Hugo with Sharp Health Care. – Global Patient Services
is a unique department within Sharp Healthcare that
provides 24/7 assistance for people who are traveling
outside of the United States, to help assist them in
getting back to San Diego, to a Sharp Healthcare Facility. We are available 7/24, 365 days a year, no matter what, you are
getting a live person. – [Allan] Our biggest
problem right now is that she has O negative blood, and
there’s only one unit here in the city. – So, to get her out as soon
as possible was critical and time was of the essence. – Yeah, bye bye. – When you’re traveling,
it can become a financial, as well as emotionally
devastating experience. And most people don’t know what
to do in a crisis situation when you’re in a foreign country. (nurses speak foreign language) (speaks foreign language) We can initiate the ball to start rolling. We’re like the 911, we’re
the behind-the-scenes for everything, we pull everybody together. – We have a Global transfer
from (speaks Spanish) today, it’s gonna be a major trauma. She was hit by a bus. Logistics is my role in this whole process and that includes communicating with the radio nurse, trauma nurse,
the administrative liaison. – Maxcare Ambulance. – And they were terrific, so they were, in the meantime, trying to
locate a plane and a crew. – We’re there at the time
of a crisis situation and we help take all of that
pressure off of the patient, off of the family. There’s so much that goes
on behind-the-scenes, going that extra mile. We don’t stop. – [Allan] The only glitch
we had was when we were supposed to fly into Brown
Field and it was fogged in. – Copy that, Sharp
dispatch, this is shift 618, rerouting your pickup. – [Allan] We ended up flying
into the commuter terminal at San Diego International. (sirens) – We have a 63 year old female, she’s our Global patient from Mexico, hemoglobin is five. So I knew Paula was going
to be taken care of, the trauma team had been
made aware of how severe her injuries were. And I knew she was in the right place. – [Allan] It was all
kind of a blur, again, my focus was clearly right on Paula and making sure that she
got funneled to where she needed to go. – He was emotionally drained
and just being there for him is a privilege that I
could share with him. – How you going, I’m Hugo. – Oh, hi, Hugo. – Glad you guys made it here. – Well, I have some
memories of being in Sharp, in the very, very early
stages where they were trying to orient me. – And she had lots of injuries, okay? The most life-threatening ones I would say were her rib fractures and
three of those rib fractures were actually broken in two places. The fracture of the right
elbow, multiple places and on the left side just a more simple fracture of her elbow. She also had a fracture of her ankle, fracture of the scapula,
that’s the wingbone. I then arrange for the
consults that I need, like Dr Smith. – See, there’s a break here and here in multiple locations, and I can scan back and you can see the
breaks are all along here and all along here. – Whenever I’m taking care of
a trauma patient like Paula, you’re in a situation
where you start taking care of the injuries before you’ve really got to meet them as a person. But over the course of her recovery, we’ve had multiple conversations. Those are the conversations that start becoming very meaningful, because you get to know the patient, how they’re doing and what things are still troubling them. How are you? – Better and better. – Good, you look great. – I’m feeling good. I just feel stronger and
I feel better every day and I feel just more like me. And I keep asking people,
“Do you see the same me?” and they assure me that they do. – And she actually made steady progress, great progress in rehab,
started her OT and PT. – Allan and I, throughout
most of our married life, have had boats. – She’s working on steps,
she’ll need to be able to negotiate the stairway in the boat. – Well, even over at
rehab we discovered that her AC joint that was injured
was starting to shift up more, and become more of a problem
because of the way it was lifting up, so we brought her back and put that back together. And that relieved her a lot and she was even doing shockingly well, considering the injuries, we’re like, wow, she’s fantastic. – She’s flying, she’s flying, you know, and I get to be part of
it so I’m real lucky. Given her nature of her
accident, I can’t believe it. And I’m so proud of her. And that’s Paula. Today, I’m measuring you at 50. – Yay. – Sharp offers so many
different modalities. Acupuncture, massage,
yoga, raiki, chi gon. It’s about listening to what
the patient really needs, what the problem is and
finding the best solution. – Practicing yoga, it’s given me a lot of physical, spiritual wellbeing. One of the things that
I’m looking to get back to is a full yoga practice. Due to having my
independence, on the boat, and it’s just being out on the water. – This isn’t a job. This is more. I love what we do. We do make a difference. – Beautiful day. Beautiful day out on the water. – It is nice to be out again. (happy orchestral music) – I’ve been really fortunate, I’ve had Allan with me through
this whole healing process. – You know, she is integral to my life, she is part of me. – Allan and I, we’ve
been married for 39 years and we’ve had an adventure. – We want you to go out
and just conquer the world. We want you to live the best life, the fullest life, the longest life, the most fulfilled life, full of love and happiness that you possibly can. – Destiny had this change for me. If I look at these pictures and I think, I went through a lot to be here. It was a really good wake up call to give me a second chance. – Every moment in your journey matters. It matters to you and it matters to us. – And she did all of these amazing things that some people don’t even do who can use their legs just perfectly. I think she deserves a
huge amount of praise and admiration for what she has done and what she will do, because
it’s pretty incredible. – The most important
thing we bring to our work is compassion. – A year ago today, I was scared. The thought of losing her was torturous and I didn’t want to think about it. But my sister is here
today, stronger than ever. I’m happy not because I think
your struggles are small, but I’m happy because your
greatness outweighs them. Happy first birthday, Anna. (crowd applauds and cheers) – [Narrator] Your Sharp experience begins when you choose a doctor at sharp.com. Be sure your health
insurance includes Sharp.

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3 thoughts on “Stories of The Sharp Experience, Season 17

  1. This is a tough journey …. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my good friend Jo, my oncology team, and all the wonderful people in the radiology/oncology department @ the Sharp Hospital/Barnhart Cancer Center in Chula Vista. We live to fight another day 🙂

  2. I was wondering why her friend appeared to be wearing a white coat, was her friend a doctor, did she make friends with one of her doctors… then the reveal HAHA.

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