Martin's Story

We interviewed several doctors before we were referred to Sequoia Hospital. We met a cardiologist at UCSF and he said there are only two places to get valves replaced...UCSF and Sequoia Hospital where Dr. Luis Castro is the surgeon. The next day we contacted Dr. Castro’s office and they scheduled an appointment with us within a week.  After meeting Dr. Castro we knew he was my surgeon. He is professional, personable, and confident with an excellent track record after doing thousands of these types of valve replacements. 

Dr. Castro’s approach and demeanor were comforting.  He reassured me that I would feel significantly better after surgery with only a small incision.  That closed the deal. When we left we had a scheduled date for surgery within a couple of weeks because of holidays. 

During my first stay at Sequoia, Dr. Castro’s ‘DREAM TEAM‘ and the ICU staff went out of their way not just to care for me but also for Rhonda, my wife. They made us feel that they were only taking care of  me.  They provided pillows and blankets so that Rhonda and Pari could stay overnight with me. After discharge, Dr. Castro personally called to check-in on us when we arrived home.

Unfortunately, complications did arise after only being home from the hospital a couple of days.   I had to be transported back down to Sequoia after spending an evening in the ER in our home town.  Dr. Castro spoke to the doctors in the ER because it was a major complication that only he would be able to fix. I had to be transported by ambulance 70 miles south from our home to get to Sequoia Hospital. Rhonda and I were greeted immediately by Dr. Castro and ‘DREAM TEAM’ and within an hour I was in surgery receiving another replacement of one of the valves. Because of Dr. Castro’s special training, he was able to be creative to fix my particular issue.

My second stay in Sequoia’s ICU coincided with Hanukkah.  The nurses and staff again were outstanding, making sure we felt welcomed, and bringing culturally appropriate gifts to celebrate the special holiday with us. The care we received, medical and otherwise, made us feel that we were being taken care of.  The entire staff including housekeeping were so pleasant and helpful.   They took care of us physically,  emotionally and spiritually. Returning the second time, everyone welcomed us as if we were family. They were as upset that we had to return as we were. They made a horrific and scary situation a pleasant experience…as much as it could be being so sick.

Their supportive care continued even after my discharge.  We were given our team’s personal cell phone numbers and when we needed guidance they called us right back…even when they were on vacation with their own family.  Whether it was Dr. Castro, Julie in Diabetes or Phil in Respiratory Therapy, they were gracious and friendly and took as much time with us as we needed.

-Martin Hymowitz grateful patient with Rhonda his wife and Pari his daughter.