Marcela Gaviria survived a childhood cancer that nearly took her leg.
She’s spent the last 30 years dealing with complications from that illness. And in all that time, she has stuck with the same doctor, Dempsey Springfield.
Marcela and Dr. Springfield have lost count of just how many surgeries they’ve been through together. But when they sat down for StoryCorps, they remembered the very first one.
Click here for the transcript.
Dempsey Springfield (DS): You were in the hospital to have a bone transplant.
MG: I was pretty scared, I remember, and I think I survived a very sort of traumatic moment 'cause you were so kind. What I remember about you were your bow ties. You just looked like such a Southern gentleman, and you'd show up every morning with such a big smile. And you were so warm and gentle, and I wanted to get better for you. I wanted your surgery to work on me.
DS: I really enjoy taking care of patients —- that’s probably what came across.
MG: Well, I'd hate to count the amount of times you've operated on me, but every scar in my leg, I think, has something to do with you.
DS: Well, I keep moving, and you keep following.
MG: 'Cause I don't trust other doctors as much. And it's funny because when I was a kid I would complain all the time about how I'd never get married.
DS: I remember very distinctly we would have conversations about this.
MG: Yeah, because, you know, I always wondered how difficult it would be for someone to sign up to my life. Well, I got married this year, and I wanted you to have the first dance, and that was just a way of celebrating the fact that a lot of what I'm able to do nowadays is because of your care.
DS: Your wedding is the first wedding of a patient that I have ever gone to. So, it's so rewarding to see that all of that, you know, getting up before the sun comes up to get to the hospital pays off. It wasn't squandered.
MG: Well, I have a great surgeon that really cared to get it right. It's a beautiful thing. Thank you for doing all you did.