My name is Akira Sawada. I’m a nurse, and now former patient, of
USC Arcadia Hospital. And I am
forever grateful to the staff – my colleagues – for the medical care and emotional
support they gave me when I needed it most.
I want to share with you why your donation today means so much.
I work as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) on the 4th Floor of the North
Tower at USC Arcadia Hospital. When the pandemic hit, we became the floor
that cared for COVID-19 patients. My training in the Air Force helped
prepare me to do what needed to be done each day – care for patients
sick with an unknown illness. The team came together like never before,
and we faced this challenge head on.
Nothing could have prepared me for what would happen next, when my team
helped save my life.
On March 30, I started to feel chest pains. My manager, Doug Robinson,
rushed me down to the emergency department.
It didn’t sink in until they were urgently working on me in the ED
that I might be having a heart attack.
The team got me prepped and ready for an angiogram in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
On the way, I blacked out, coded, and had to be shocked two times to bring
me back from death. I was quickly taken to the Cath Lab and had a stent placed in my right
coronary artery. They saved me!
I spent a few days in the ICU, and then on the cardiac floor. I was able
to recuperate and go home after a few days, getting back to my wife and
three kids. While healing, I’ve had time to reflect on my experiences.
What I remembered most was the amazing love, support, and hard work from
all of the staff. From those who treated me in the ED, ICU, and cardiac wing to my coworkers
who came in from 4 North and across the hospital to check on me and make
sure I was okay. All I had to do was focus on my recovery.
I especially remember the discharge nurse who came to talk with me. She
outlined my medications and what to expect in ongoing recovery from a
heart attack. She was very thorough and clear as well as patiently talking
me through the anxiety that came with my brush with death.
She talked to me not just on a professional level, but on a personal level
that truly made me feel like I would be okay.
Also important to me was a visit from the chaplain who came and prayed
with my wife and me, strengthening our faith in knowing that I was brought
back for a higher purpose.
I am blessed by the outstanding services from the hospital, allowing me
to come home to my family and live to see another day.
As an insider,
it’s easy to see how community donations play an important role in
our work and the lives of patients. From the protective equipment we wear daily given by so many individuals
and organizations, to the funds donated to support our COVID-19, cardiac,
and even chaplaincy programs. Each of these areas played a critical role
in my life this past year fighting the pandemic and recovering from my
own health crisis.
I want the community to know that we, I and my team, are truly grateful
for your generosity, and that you play an essential role in the health
of everyone in the San Gabriel Valley.
Please consider a donation today to support USC Arcadia Hospital, and the staff and patients like me. You can truly make a difference and
Thank you in advance for your gift,
CNA and Former Patient, USC Arcadia Hospital