Faith & Life



By Cathi Douglas     1/14/2021

Healthcare is top of mind for us all in this terrible pandemic and perhaps now is the perfect time to appreciate the excellence of Orange County’s many fine health-care institutions. 

Our hometown heroes are slaving away putting in overtime to rescue us from the coronavirus. 

Closest to my heart are St. Joseph Hospital and CHOC Children’s Hospital. Both have provided lifesaving care for several members of my family. In fact, I recently spent several hours in the St. Joseph ER after a taking a tumble during my morning walk – my head is too hard to be concussed, but I got four stitches for the gash in my hand. 

It’s just the latest visit in a series of many to the fine hospital that, conveniently, lies just five minutes away from our Santa Ana home. I’ve visited my mother, father, and husband, as well as several friends, during their treatment there. I’ve given birth to our three children, been treated for cancer, had an emergency appendectomy, and undergone several surgeries.  

I was hospitalized for a week last year following a routine parathyroidectomy when they discovered my thyroid was cancerous. It took that long for my body to begin producing calcium on its own. In the meantime, other than the calcium deficiency, I was doing well and made it a practice to do at least 10 laps around the floor every day to keep up my fitness level. Once they removed the thyroid gland, I’ve had no sign that the cancer spread.  

When our daughter was born six weeks prematurely, they cared for her first at St. Joseph and then in the CHOC neonatal intensive care unit. I was familiar with the unit because a boss of mine had a son who spent the first three months of his life there. We were encouraged to feed and hold our baby daughter, despite the many tubes connecting her to various machines, and they welcomed my husband and I to stay as long as we wished. 

Emma’s homecoming a week later was a time of great rejoicing for our family. Unlike many premature babies, she had no side effects and has since blossomed, and is set to graduate from UC Davis with an English degree in May. She plans to study library science in grad school with the goal of becoming an academic librarian. 

The nurses and doctors at St. Joseph and CHOC are both excellent at what they do and caring toward their patients. The rooms are clean, well-appointed, and filled with light. I always knew that whatever the prognosis the physicians and their multidisciplinary teams were doing all they could to treat me, my kids, my parents, and my husband. 

Let us thank God for giving us the doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, and other specialists who make up the teams of medical professionals at O.C.’s many fine hospitals and medical centers. We are so fortunate to have UC Irvine’s Medical School, Hoag Hospital, and the many other extraordinary health care institutions located nearby.  

And let us send our best wishes and prayers to all the heroes working on the front lines to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. We are so blessed to have you working on our behalf.