Andrew Letayf is an anesthesia PGY-1. This past month, he encountered a very difficult situation. He had a non-English speaking patient who presented on February 14 with sepsis due to a “rotting foot,” which ended up requiring a transmetatarsal amputation, and ultimately a below knee amputation. All the while, the patient’s hospital course was complicated by dyspnea due to newly discovered CHF with an EF of 20%, acute kidney injury, and urinary retention, to name a few. There were many obstacles to providing this patient with optimal care, the biggest hurdle being that the patient did not speak any English. He was living undocumented in the US for 15 years and had no health care. His family was all in Poland, where he was planning to meet them the day after his admission. Unable to find a subacute rehab facility to accept the patient due to lack of ability to obtain Medicaid for a non-US citizen, we were left to send the patient to a homeless shelter. Andrew refused to let this happen. He spent countless hours, including coming in on his days off, working with social work, care management, the hospital administration, and went as far as contacting the Polish consulate numerous times. After several weeks of advocating for the patient, he was ultimately able to get the patient a flight back to Poland to be with his family and continue to receive care. I witnessed the patient in tears after the work Andrew did for him, fighting for what was best for the patient. It goes without saying that Andrew‘s selflessness truly saved a patient’s life, and his humility and empathetic nature should be recognized.
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