Alejandro Ramos - A Story of Heart Transplant Success
I got diagnosed out of the blue. I used to bike ride a lot and did martial arts. Well, I went bike riding one time and couldn’t breathe. I was told by many other doctors in other hospitals that the problem was just allergies. One doctor finally figured out something more was wrong, eventually transferring me to CPMC for care. It wasn’t until I got to CPMC that I got my problems taken care of.
I was listed for heart transplant and waited about a year to move up the list and then I got really sick and got admitted. I was an inpatient for about four months and then I got transplanted. It was all kind of a blur, and one morning I woke up and my nurse told me I had been transplanted. I was stunned. I was like, “Wow! This actually happened.” I had been antsy, nervous, butterflies in my stomach. A whole bunch of emotions were just flowing through me.
I got my transplant in July 1998. The difference in my life now is that I have to take care of my meds and make sure I make all of my appointments, and still keep up with going to school. My usual bike trips were like 12miles at a time; I’m working my way back up to that!
In the beginning I kept things bottled up inside when something was really bothering me. But one day Ernie told me, “Danny, you are your own best advocate,” and encouraged me to open up. I’m getting better at that.
I went to Miami a couple of years ago and forgot to bring my medications. I was going nuts! Right away the Nurse Coordinator called a pharmacy down there and I picked up my meds that same day and was fine. After that trip I realized how helpful this staff has always been. Another time I had a really bad rejection and I didn’t realize it. The team’s response time was really quick, which was good. I got called right away by the Nurse Coordinator and they had me come back to the hospital that same day. I got admitted and they took really good care of me. No matter what, the transplant center has always been there to provide support - physical, medical and moral support. They’re like family now!
California Pacific's Heart and Vascular Center
California Pacific's Heart and Vascular Center is supported by one of the best heart hospital/center networks in the USA, offering quality, comprehensive patient-centered cardiovascular care by a team of top heart surgeons and physicians with leading-edge technology. Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco and Marin County, as well as the entire Northern California region, our team has many of the best cardiovascular surgeons and physicians in California and the United States.