An Urgent Plea
Jefferson Health Cardiologist encourages the Latino community to remain vigilant about health care.
New York was counting its dead. We knew it was a matter of days until the pandemic hit us in Philadelphia. Here at Jefferson Health, we were actively preparing. As one of the leaders of the Cardiology Division at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, I was at the hospital most of the time. My wife was nine months pregnant, and we decided the best way to protect her, the baby, and our two-year-old daughter, was for them to live at her parents’ house – an hour away from Philadelphia – until the baby came.
A couple of days after they left, I came down with a high fever and felt extremely ill. I knew I had contracted COVID-19. My test came back positive the same day my wife was rushed to the hospital with contractions. I missed the birth of my son. I battled this terrible disease for a month, at times not sure I would make it. The day I saw my family, including my one-month-old son, for the first time, was the happiest of my life.
Many of my friends and colleagues got sick as well. It’s a risk we take to protect and treat our patients, their families, and the communities we serve. At Jefferson, we gladly take this risk because we care about you. We encourage you to visit our clinics, get vaccinated, and help us provide you and your family with the health care you need.
COVID-19 will eventually go away. Heart disease is here to stay. Since the pandemic started, people from all over the world mainly stayed at home and became less active. The result? Weight increase, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions have been more difficult to control. Hesitant to visit clinics and hospitals during the pandemic, many jeopardize their health by not seeing their healthcare providers.
We ask you, plead you – come visit us. Jefferson Health and our specialists in cardiovascular medicine want to learn about you and recognize and treat your risk factors for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac conditions. We want to identify these diseases and treat you early. We want the vibrant, beautiful Latino community here in Philadelphia to continue thriving.
We are committed to your health. We have multiple mechanisms in place to ensure your safety during this difficult time. When you visit our clinics, you will realize that you are the focus of our attention.
Now that I am healed and reunited with my family, I continue my mission to keep you healthy and well. COVID-19 will go away, but our physician in Jefferson cardiology will always be here for you.