2018 Stories

An Aspiring Cardiothoracic Surgeon’s Wish Comes True

“They really went overboard. I was able to do and see a lot more than I thought was possible. They gave me a lab coat and scrubs and many surprises that I was not expecting. My time here at the Texas Heart Institute was invaluable and changed my life forever.”

Make-A-Wish recipient

When THI was approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey about helping to make a young woman’s wish come true, our team never dreamed the experience could have such an exciting and profound impact on the Institute and our partners. Micaela’s dream to become a cardiothoracic surgeon drove the THI team to put together a wish experience possible only in the Texas Medical Center.

Partnering with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and THI Thoracic Surgery Residency teaching staff member Dr. Ourania Preventza, THI orchestrated an almost week-long wish experience for Micaela this fall. The experience exposed Micaela to the many facets of cardiothoracic surgery: patient care, cutting-edge research, continuing medical education, and much more.

Micaela’s experience was filled with tours and the many daily activities of a resident in training, including completing new-resident paperwork and attending orientation for her badge processing.

She attended several education conferences with the trainees and met with Dr. Preventza during her office hours. She toured the surgical units, ICU, operating rooms, clinics, and laboratories and interacted with executive administrators, nurses, doctors, surgeons, technicians, researchers, and support staff across the institution. Among the highlights of her experience were observing surgery, rounding with Dr. Preventza, and attending THI’s Friday Cardiology Grand Rounds with all of the faculty, staff, and trainees.

At the conclusion of her three-day visit, the Visual Communications team interviewed her in the studio for a heartwarming wrap-up video produced by the team for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey and the Texas Heart Institute website.