When Rafael Perez left Spaulding Hospital Cambridge this summer, he wore a shirt with “El Fuerte” (The Strong) emblazoned on the front. It was a hard-earned name—Rafael had just beaten COVID-19, two years after surviving advanced prostate cancer.
While in Cambridge, Rafael developed a special bond with his physician, Dr. Donna Roy. “Not being able to have visitors [due to COVID-19 safety restrictions] is so hard for our patients like Rafael, who are used to being surrounded by family,” says Dr. Roy. “We stepped in to support Rafael and his loved ones—and all our patients—in a new way during this pandemic.”
Rafael’s daughter, Francheska, says, “You never feel like you have to manage by yourself, because the staff is so involved. I called multiple times a day and they always had an update for me. You could tell it came from the heart, how much they cared. It was so reassuring.”
At Spaulding, we help our patients and families find physical strength—as well as emotional strength and confidence. It’s an important facet of rehabilitation and recovery, especially now.
And donor support helps fuel that strength. This year, unrestricted donations to Spaulding have funded employee assistance grants for those in need, helped purchase critical personal protective equipment (PPE), supplied nourishing snack packs and meals to staff during shifts, and so much more. Through these efforts, donations give strength to our care teams—so that they can be strong for our patients and families.
After being hospitalized in April and spending seven weeks on a ventilator, Rafael’s family thought he would spend the rest of his life in a long-term care facility, unable to breathe on his own. But one week into his time at Spaulding, Rafael had his ventilator removed. A few weeks later, he was heading home.
“I beat cancer,” Rafael’s daughter recalls him saying. “COVID is not going to take me down.”
Imagine the Possibilities
At a time when scientific advancements can help make the impossible possible, an investment in rehabilitation medicine has never been more necessary—or more promising.
Your gift to Spaulding can make a real difference...starting now.