“I was sure I'd lost the use of my right hand,” she says.
The paramedic took one look and told the ambulance driver to go straight to UC San Diego, where her care was taken over by Drs. Ron Crater and Ryan Gnandt, residents in the ER. In less than a week, she was in the operating room with Dr. Reid Abrams, an orthopedic surgeon and professor of orthopedic surgery who, Heather will tell you, walks on water. Through three surgeries, three months of working from bed as she healed and pushing herself through challenging therapy, she says of Abrams, “He did so much for me—my wrist, my morale and my motivation.”
One day in an occupational therapist’s office, Heather waited alongside a young girl who’d lost her arm.
“She was so sad and I wanted to tell her that she had so much ahead and that she could work in the financial world with just one hand,” just as Heather had, but no longer has to—she's recovered full use of her hand. “I was so appreciative of everything Dr. Abrams did for me, I named UC San Diego as the beneficiary of my IRA in my estate plans.”
Her gift will be directed to Dr. Abrams’ department. From the moment her care was taken over at the ER doors, “I've never met a more compassionate group of doctors,” she says, including inquisitive School of Medicine students. “They're the future, and I hope this gift helps them help people like that girl. I'm so happy with my wrist, this is how I can give back.”