Kelly and Cory Vander Zeyden

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Surgery Date July 6, 2002
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July 2002

Our trip to Mexico was not without trials and tribulations, nor was it not without unsuspected joys. After a blowout in Mississippi at 2am, I truly feel that God watched carefully over us until we made it into New Orleans, finding an auto store open there, even though it was the 4th of July.  We made it to McAllen, TX the day before my surgery was scheduled. After lunch, we headed to the border. I wanted to make sure we could find the hospital the next morning and visit another one of the ladies from the list who was to have had her surgery that day. We had no trouble finding the location and I was pleasantly surprised to walk into such an immaculate, yet small, hospital!

When we got there, even though the pretty little nurse spoke minimal English, and me minimal Spanish, we learned my friend had already been discharged. The nurse started handing me papers to sign. Having been a nurse 15 years, I was familiar with pre-registering; but, I couldn't tell what she wanted me to put in each blank. So we were told to go sit in the lobby and wait. After 15 minutes or so, Levi appeared. He is the kindest, sweetest young man. He explained that my friend had come to see the hospital the night before and stayed overnight, having her surgery a day early. We were given that option, but nervousness, the fact I had eaten a couple hours before, and the fact all our stuff was in a hotel room in McAllen, we declined.  We arrived at the hospital at about 6:45 the next morning to find Levi waiting on us; the papers were signed and I was led to my room. I was left to undress and change into a hospital gown, and soon Levi and another nurse were back, this time with needles. I have never been an easy stick, but the girl got my IV in on the first try. I was SO impressed. Within another half hour, my chariot (a wheelchair) arrived, and off we went to the OR.

My husband was sent somewhere else as they rolled me into the operating room. I was introduced to the anesthesiologist, and climbed on the table as another nurse set up for my surgery. Having worked in the OR, it was comforting to see her using such careful technique to preserve sterility. The anesthesiologist gave me something through my IV and I turned over for them to put the epidural in; this is the last thing I remember. My husband was in a room changing clothes with Doc Perez and they talked sports while I was being prepared for surgery; and with whatever drug I had in my system, I was awake and talking, but can't recall a single event. My husband said I was carrying on a lively conversation with Levi and the doctor, reminding them as they started that I had no tube or ovary on the right side (lost it to a tumor the year after the tubal ligation). Dr. Perez noted I was about to ovulate as he examined my one good ovary.  I awoke in my room later, delighted to find that my friend and her husband had come back to see me! They stayed a little while and we took some pictures. I was sore, and still groggy; but amazed to find out I'd been put to sleep and was not puking my toenails up. My husband had gotten food at a little place Levi recommended. I expressed disappointment as I don't remember seeing or meeting Doc Perez, but was assured he was a wonderful guy; and yes, I had talked to him before they put me to sleep.

Levi came in and I began bugging him to take the IV and catheter out so I could walk; we compromised and the catheter was removed, and a few minutes later, I strolled down the hallway, stopping at the nursery to look at a beautiful baby that had been born that day. I was impressed with how kind everyone was and how my needs were met so quickly; I was fed my first food later that evening and given pain medicine as needed.  Levi showed back up early the next morning, cleaned my incision and redressed it (I had been allowed to shower already), and by 8am, we were on our way back to the border, an operative report in hand for my doctor here in the states. We stopped to shop some for our kids, and then crossed back over into the states.  My husband and I had been through workup for invitro-fertilization prior to having this surgery done, but finally threw up our hands at having to fight my insurance company at every turn and finding the fertility clinic to be cold and impersonal. I found the BA website, and Doc Perez by accident (or divine intervention) but am thankful I did. Once again, I feel whole.

I would highly recommend this doctor and hospital to any couple considering the trip. I received the highest quality of medical care in Rio Bravo, and would go back to deliver my babies there (if God allows) if it wasn't such a far trip. Granted, Mexico isn't a slick cosmopolitan place that will wow anyone with it's glamour, but it is reality. Seeing Mexico humbled me into remembering that a human is a human no matter where they come from and status isn't acquired by money and worldly items, but status comes from a person's goodness.  I wish you each the best and may God bless you each and everyone.

Kelly V