It was a scary moment for Jody Wright. Her husband, Carl, needed an aortic valve replacement and the operation was being performed by a surgeon they had just met – Bradley Taylor, MD, MPH.
If the surgery went as planned, Carl could be on the path back to the life he once knew, going on walks and creating stone sculptures. If it went wrong? As Carl puts it, he might have been shaking St. Peter’s hand sooner than planned.
The surgery was a success, and Jody and Carl couldn’t have been more pleased with the care they received from the University of Maryland Medical Center and Dr. Taylor.
Jody, who has a background in film, produced this video to show her appreciation for the life-saving treatment, as well as the support UMMC provided during their stay:
We chatted with Jody to learn more about her time at the University of Maryland and why she produced the video. See her answers here:
Q: Why did you want to make this video?
A: The reason why I wanted to do this video is that I know a lot of people may be going to the UMMC with the same fears and concerns. I wanted to address the big elephant in the room – that perhaps for a patient at age 60, surgeons wouldn’t be as concerned about your outcome as someone with all their life ahead of them.
This simply was not true in any way.
Dr. Taylor looked at my husband as a man who still had a lot to give and he knew how to help. So, I thought if Dr. Taylor could use his skills as a cardiac surgeon to save this man’s life, why wouldn’t I use any skills I had in video to do something that might help others?! It was the least I could do and a way to “pay it forward.”
Q: What’s your background in film production?
A: I am self-employed and work in 2-D and 3-D animation, and video and editing. I do it professionally on contract/freelance basis. That’s the majority of my work. The other portion is in Fine Arts – I paint canvases and am represented by two galleries.
Q: Did you approach this project differently than others?
A: I suppose that I did approach it differently on one level – it was so very personal. It was much harder to edit and stand back objectively because we are talking about the life of someone dear to me. But since it was personal, I just let it shine through, unvarnished. There was no preplanned script – it just came from the heart.
Q: Can you give more details on your time with UMMC?
A: We stayed at UMMC about seven days. We are out-of-state (West Virginia), so it was imperative that Carl be able to make the hour and a half trip back in a car after his open heart surgery and be able to climb the stairs back into our home. He’s a big man (6 ft. 4) and had to be able to get around.
I stayed at the Baltimore Harbor Hotel and they were wonderful as well. It was really stressful driving in Baltimore since we now live in a small town, so it was a big relief to be able to take advantage of the UMMC shuttle that’s available at any time and not be stressed by traffic when I had concerns about my husband. People really shouldn’t be driving when they are going through such a thing. Their attention just isn’t there.
Q: Did anyone else make an impression on you and Carl during your stay?
A: The better question might be, “Who didn’t?” Seriously. Everyone I ran into at UMMC was very kind and patient. They were true professionals. I especially enjoyed the humor of one of the cardiac step-down nurses. It was nice to be able to laugh and smile again after going through all that. Carl also enjoyed the physical therapists who really explained well how to increase his mobility. And, of course, Dr. Bradley Taylor – the cardiac surgeon, and his associates were top-notch – not only in their skill but in their level of caring.