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Your Healthy Family: NM couples spends Valentine’s day at UCHealth Memorial

Posted at 8:18 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 22:22:11-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – Today we have a special Valentine’s Day Your Healthy Family.  A hospital isn’t the ideal place to celebrate Valentine’s Day, that is unless your getting your heart worked on like Reynaldo Gonzales.

Reynaldo recalls “It started about 2 years ago, I was having trouble breathing, I was slowing down a lot more, and doing a lot less because I couldn’t get around.”

Reynaldo and his wife Vivian are from Santa Fe New Mexico.  They are at UCHealth Memorial in Colorado Springs because Reynaldo needed open heart surgery and the specialized care available at Memorial was his best chance for a positive outcome.

Reynaldo received clear advice from his doctors in New Mexico.  “My surgeon in Albuquerque where I was going to have the surgery done said ‘if you don’t go to a bigger hospital with proper surgeons he said you will live months, if you have the proper surgery done we’re talking years’.”

Two weeks ago Dr. Peter Walinsky performed open heart surgery on Reynaldo here in the Springs, and now with his heart on the mend he and Vivian are celebrating Valentine’s Day in the hospital.  Their day was brightened with cards made from students at the UCCS School of Medicine, the National Charity League of Colorado Springs, as well as many departments at UCHealth Memorial hospital.

Michelle Reich is the Development Officer with UCHealth Memorial who explains why providing these small gestures is so important.  “It means the world to (four our patients) know that someone is thinking of them, rooting for them and cheering them on.  It’s something we can do to bring a smile to their face and make their journey here a little bit sweeter.”

It’s a gesture Reynaldo and Vivian really appreciate says Reynaldo.  “They are wonderful, those are really dedicated people.”

Usually this couple would celebrate Valentine’s Day with a nice dinner but this year with his heart on mend Reynaldo says, “Breakfast together is good enough.”