“TOUGH CHAPTERS IN LIFE ARE ONLY PART OF THE STORY:” MY CONNECTION TO HEALTHCARE AS A RECRUITER
One thing I always like to learn about people I interact with, whether it’s for work or just everyday life, is to learn what their “story” is. Everybody has a story, and I think when somebody gives you a look behind the curtain of their lives and what motivates them, it can go a long way to building a strong and long-lasting relationship. In my business of recruiting/staffing, this is of the utmost importance. Doctors and Nurses get calls and emails all day long, every day, so if I can genuinely ask them to tell me their “story” and not just shoot resumes and job details back and forth, we end up hitting it off and usually we end up working together for a long-time. As you read this and get to know me better you might relate to my story as we have all experienced loss and hardship- it’s part of living whether we like it or not. And you will hopefully find me to be the kind of honest and hardworking guy that you want to work with and represent you on your next job assignment.
SO, WHAT’S MY STORY ANYWAY?
Sometimes it’s hard to answer as I am lucky to live a relatively normal and great life with loving and supportive family that encouraged me to leave my hometown of Everett, Washington after high school and move to Arizona for college. I was not running from anything, but I was eighteen and I wanted an adventure on my own. To find myself and see what else was out there beyond the suburbs of Seattle. While sad for all of us, my parents knew it was best for me to challenge myself and learn about the world on my own. My parents probably did not know then that 20 years later I would still live in Arizona and now, so do they! I have an incredible wife, Jen, who is my best friend and motivates me to be a better person each day. Her unwavering passion for people and causes, and her support for my goals is something I wish everybody could experience. I have two beautiful and amazing sons that I am blessed to be their dad and hopefully can send off into the world someday like my parents did for me. Bobby, my oldest who is seven, and Everett, my youngest who is four, are the goofiest and sweetest little boys and bring great joy to my life, while also bringing some unwanted gray hairs too! And that’s what it comes down to as far as what my “story” is. My family is my story, especially events that happened in 2012 that changed my life forever and gave me a common bond with healthcare providers. It’s a bond that opened my eyes and my heart to what caregivers accomplish every single day.
MY WORLD FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN
In the summer of 2012, my wife and I found out that we were going to have Bobby and obviously we were excited but anxious to become first-time parents. One of the most rewarding things about the news was telling our own parents that they were going to become grandparents. My wife was especially thrilled as she is an only child and her mom was “baby crazy,” and couldn’t wait to become a grandma. No more than six weeks after experiencing one of the highest highs of learning that we were expecting a new baby, our world flipped upside down with the news that my wife’s mom was experiencing severe headaches and fainting issues. In what seemed like a never-ending nightmare, we learned in August 2012 that she had developed Stage 4 Lung Cancer and had near-impossible odds to overcome the illness. This became a great challenge for all of us, especially for my wife as her mom was her rock and the prospect of losing her while welcoming a new baby just didn’t seem right. It didn’t seem fair. And we didn’t know what to do. Taking it day-by-day, we did our best to help her get the cancer treatment she needed while she, and all our family members, did an incredible job of helping Jen and me prepare for a new baby boy and maybe losing my mother-in-law.
As our lives were somewhat calming down around Christmas 2012, we were dealt another blow. My wife experienced early labor complications and 9 weeks premature, here came our little Bobby, all 4 lbs 4 ounces of him, destined to spend his first few days on a ventilator and his first 5 weeks in the NICU of St. Joe’s Hospital in Phoenix. My wife and I were at his side every day, driving the 30 minutes each way to the hospital after work and staying late into the nights. While it was the scariest and most uncertain of times, Bobby’s early arrival ended up being a blessing in disguise. It gave my wife and her mom a chance to visit each day by his crib and learn from the wonderful NICU physicians and nursing staff about what we needed to do as new parents. Over time, Bobby grew stronger and healthier, and eventually, we brought him home from the hospital. I still remember driving about 15 MPH down the freeway during rush-hour traffic much to the annoyance of my fellow commuters! Today, Bobby is a beautiful and talented boy that I can see his independent spirit constantly and I know he will overcome anything life throws at him because he entered this world overcoming grave obstacles from his first breath. Jen and I were and still are, truly blessed for Bobby and his brother, Everett, and from their births and early years, we have learned so much from the nurses, pediatricians, and other caregivers we have seen. I am sure you can relate to a similar experience and hope you have a special connection to the men and women that care for lives every day. Perhaps you are one of those people and hopefully, you know that you do make an impact, even if you don’t realize it.
IN LOSS I LEARNED TO APPRECIATE LIFE
We lost my wife’s mom in July 2013, one year after experiencing that highest of highs when we found out we were going to be new parents. She fought valiantly and with the same resolve and warm spirit she always had, even when we all knew that the end was coming and cancer was taking over her body. We miss Beth every day, and that she isn’t here to witness her grandsons grow up is an unsettling feeling. Bobby probably doesn’t remember her as he was still a baby when she passed, and Everett was born in 2015. Pictures and memories will always paint a beautiful story about her but it’s not the same as her being around. Still, in everything, I take away a lesson. I developed my “story” to become passionate about what I do and why I invest my time and effort to work in the healthcare arena. From these experiences surrounding my son’s prematurity and my mother-in-law’s cancer diagnosis and passing, I saw firsthand what nurses and doctors go through. They don’t often deliver good news to people. It’s usually “you’re about to have an emergency C-section and your baby is coming now, nine weeks early.” Or it’s “your mom has maybe 6-12 months to live… 6-12 weeks… a matter of days…” We met some of the kindest, most genuine, loving, and supportive nurses in the NICU for our son and the cancer treatment centers and ICU for my wife’s mom. All the while, they never acted like we were just another patient or family member of a patient. These healthcare professionals always inspired us with their care and generosity. They made me want to learn more, become better at my job, and to help other patients that need quality healthcare get what they deserve, even if I am not the one providing it but rather I am the guy that makes the match of a provider to a job.
So, in a long-winded look behind the curtain of my life, this is my story. I am just a regular guy that works hard to support my amazing family and to be the best son, husband, dad, and recruiter that I can be. I love sports, especially football, and especially the Seahawks (no bandwagons here as it has been 38 years of crazy fandom). My wife hates Sundays in the fall; I love them! You can call me the “Football Fan and Family Man” and I think that’s a nice summary of me. I love many types of music, comedy, history, and really, I just love learning. I love learning about people’s stories. And now hopefully, you know my story, which honestly, I am still “writing” every day. If you care to add to it, give me a call at 480-719-7257 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat!