Category Archives: Testimonios

The story behind the story of a horse named doctor Sotelo

Omar and I were friends. I always have good relationships with my patients.  In those relationships, there is comradery and trust. Omar was unique; he had hope and a will. Unlike others, he had a vision of the future, despite his illness. For him, there was always a tomorrow, and tomorrow is the race day. This story is the story about his horse, his legacy that is named Doctor Sotelo. He keeps moving forward, honoring the meaning of friendship, the celebration of life, and moments that we have lived. Even though Omar is not here, his presence will always be.

Omar Rosillo came to my clinic with an advanced stage of prostate cancer. His cancer was very aggressive. However, we managed to operate on him and prolong his life for at least two years. I did his surgery in LA, but I met him in Venezuela.

At his first consultation, we agreed to do the surgery, and immediately planned all his accommodations for LA. I did the surgery at Verdugo Hills Hospital. During that same week I was scheduled to operate on another very close friend, Francisco Piñera. I will always remember both at the same hotel, on the same floor.  I introduced them, I introduced their wives, I invited them to eat. I told them, you have company now. That’s what I try to do for all my patients. In that way they are not alone.  There is an opportunity for friendships to start between people who are enduring the same hardships. The companionship and affection, helps in the healing process. In that sense, the healing begins before the surgery.

Afterwards, I helped them navigate through the recovery process.

One day Omar, told me “I have a fantastic racehorse, and I want to name him after you. I want to call him Doctor Sotelo, would you let me?” And I told him, “if that makes you happy, that’s what matters.” Later, people told me, “ are you crazy?” “what if he loses?”. Wins and losses were of no consequence. For me, the importance was the meaning of the gesture. It was an expression of gratitude towards the care he received. Moreover, it was a demonstration of appreciation for a new and esteemed friendship that had been created.

The horse won, and now we are at the door of the Caribbean Championships. He is stunning, fiercely spirited animal that is a symbol of respect and friendship.

I remember the day that the horse raced for the first time. Omar came from Maracay, he was on chemotherapy, and he could only talk about his future visions and the possibilities that the horse had. Now his future is the present, and his dream is his stunning brown horse.

 

Pantin Family

“… Although they were months of anguish, at the end my spouse, did it! He regained his health! The goal was to take Isa, our daughter to the altar. Now, the goal is to follow healthily and enjoy life for a long time more! “I am so grateful to you, and all the doctors and both medical and administrative staff of USC, who participated in one way or another to recover the health of my spouse, I have no words to thank you all…”

@evepantin

Hans Wüest: 3,200 gifted days

Hans-Wüest

I want to share with you, the joy of this letter entitled 3,200 gifted days, which comforts the soul and reconciles with life.

It is from Hans Wüest, a patient whom I had the fortune to meet, in February 2009, when I treated him in Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland, as a guest professor, of a kidney carcinoma.

Year after year, at Christmas, he writes to thank me for each day full of joy and health that he has lived since 2009. Each of his letters is a perfect arithmetic of days of happiness with his family. His sum, since then, totals 3,200 days.

As I always say, one of the greatest satisfaction that I have is to nourish myself with the smiles of my patients, their stories, and the generosity, gratitude, courage, and humility that I learn from each of them, and from the possibility of sharing the little things in life, the ones that give greatness.

Thank you Hans 3,200 times for your humility and generosity.

Your joy for life and your health is my greatest gift. Thank you for always sharing it.

Merry Christmas for you and your loved ones.

This is Mr. Wüest’s letter:

Dear Dr. Sotelo,

This year’s end is a special event for me. On New Year’s Eve, there are more than 3200 days since my kidney operation in february 2009 at the Inselspital Berne. I do not have to impose any restrictions. I owe these given healthy days to you.

This March, I will be 89 years old. Apart from two hearing aids I do not suffer from any age-related impairments.
I have been married to the best wife for 58 years, I have 2 great children and 2 grandchildren who give me great pleasure. I am a truly happy person.A cat has seven lives. If this applies to humans, I have already used three of them.

60 years ago, I inadvertently touched a high voltage of 800 volts and survived.
40 years ago, a change of domicile prevented me from taking part in a blasting course in which all nine participants lost their lives.

9 years ago, a nocturnal fall led to a visit to the doctor. My right hip was bruised. The urine was the color of raspberry syrup. The doctors found that the left kidney had a carcinoma which had to be removed. Without the fall I would not have gone to the doctor, the kidney carcinoma would have gone undetected.

I still have four lives left. I am a lucky person! I hope that fate will continue to be good with me and I will be able to write you many more times for the holidays.

It is my big wish to thank you once again for the excellent operation. Your extraordinary ability has already extended my life by 3200 days.

I wish you happy holidays and continued success with the laparoscopic method.

Best regards, 

-Hans Wüest

Mark H. Rademacher

Dear Dr. Sotelo:

I am writing to you out of gratitude for your care and attention, as well as the care and attention of your office staff and the staff of Verdugo Hills Hospital.  I was thoroughly impressed by your office staff and their care of me when I first came to you with my problem.  I was very pleasantly surprised by your prompt response to any of my telephone calls when I was concerned or had questions about my upcoming surgical procedure.  Everyone in your office was kind and understanding towards me, and I appreciated your prompt and clear responses to any questions I had.

 

The staff at VHH was very attentive and kind to me.  I constantly had people coming into my room to make sure I was alright, asking me if there was anything that they could do for me.  It made what was obviously a difficult experience very tolerable.

 

I realize that I am being repetitive, but I must tell you that I was very surprised by the attentiveness shown towards me, as well as the kindness.  This applies to you as well as to Jason and all of your staff, and the nurses at VHH.  My thanks to all of you.  I am enjoying a recovery that is quicker than I thought, and I believe that is at least partially attributable to the care that you and your staff provided to me.  Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mark H. Rademacher, Esq.

Law Offices of Mark H. Rademacher

301 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 616

Pasadena, California  91101

Office  (626) 792-8425

Fax      (626) 792-8205

 

Oscar Iván Zuluaga

“I thank Oscar Iván Zuluaga, former candidate for the Presidency of Colombia, for his confidence in the Latin American talent and his willingness to talk openly and publicly about prostate cancer.

Thank you for coming along with me in this commitment, which I renew now, to open pathways in favor of the health of the Latin American peoples.”

Francesco Leopardi M. – 55 years old

“… On behalf of my wife and myself, we express our greater sense of appreciation and affection from the bottom of our hearts for letting go ahead with our beautiful married life, through this successful operation.. ”

  • Country: Estado Anzoátegui – Venezuela
  • Pathology: Prostate cancer
  • Procedure: Robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy
  • Date: January 2015.

I’d address such a distinguished and excellent professionals, especially Dr. Rene Sotelo and his wonderful team: Luis Hernandez, Elias Fernandez, Leonardo Brunacci, Nelson Ramirez and Oscar Martin, all holders of these valuable gifts that characterize: great professionalism, ethics and a true human quality. All of them represent the branch of medicine of Urology at Unit Urology in Clínica La FLoresta, so on behalf of my wife and myself, both parents of two wonderful children and with nearly 30 years marriage, we express our greater sense of appreciation and affection from the bottom of our hearts for letting go ahead with our beautiful married life, through this successful operation. We received from you a great deal together to Dr. Alexis Sánchez, in addition to its administrative department: Zaida , María Auxiliadora, and Sary, and all of accommodation equipment in its peaceful and comfortable hostel and nursing staff represented by Ms. Ana Regino. Thank You! Really, thank you very much for those attentions which made us feel so special and like part of a family. Therefore, we wish to continue successes throughout their careers; people like you is what our nation needs Venezuela, both inside and outside. Francesco Leopardi M and María Conchita de Leopardi

Humberto Elías – Sexuality after 50 years

“…My sexual activity was activated again, without noticing any difference whatsoever, regarding my previous life. I feel that the decision I made was the right one … ”

  • Pathology: Prostate – Prostate Cancer
  • Procedure: Radical Prostatectomy Laparoscopy Assisted By Robot
  • Surgery date: November 29,2010
For 20 years I had been monitoring my prostate until the antigen had rates that suggested a biopsy. The result showed prostatic hyperplasia, prostate carcinoma. What to do? I consulted a friend, a medical radiologist in the United States. He is currently director of a cancer center in Michigan. After studying my case, and several options, including robotic surgery, radiation, brachytherapy and Cyber knife, each associated with their advantages and disadvantages, I decided on robotic surgery. I thought that with it, I would get an immediate response and the safest solution for my problem. Where to have the operation, here in my country or abroad? Having had a meeting with Dr. Rene Sotelo, I made the decision to have the surgery in my country. The choice of the United States, was not unlike that offered me at CIMI and here I had the advantage of being in my own environment, with my family, my friends and my doctors. The results of the intervention could not have been better. At night I got up from the bed and walked, the next day I was discharged. The post operative discomfort was insignificant. Four days later the drain was removed and that same day I returned to work. A short while after the probe was removed I had almost total control of my urination (pre-operative exercises of the pelvic floor, are very important) and within forty-eight hours my sexual activity was fully activated again without noticing any difference whatsoever, compared to my previous life. I feel that the decision I made was the right one and the results are so spectacular, they have led me to henceforth affectionately call my esteemed, Doctor Rene Sotelo, Doctor Marvelous. And if there is anything I can contribute, it is to recommend to all, continuous monitoring of your prostate after forty years old, and when the disease is present, take the decisions quickly and in time, as this will save your lives.

Antonio Rodríguez González – Do not be afraid of the prostate exam

“…No man should be afraid to have his annual prostate exam, thanks to this I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and thanks to the surgery by Dr. Sotelo, today I do not have cancer …”

  • Pathology: Prostate – Prostate Cancer
  • Procedure: Radical prostatectomy robot-assisted laparoscopy
  • Surgery Date: October 15, 2010
The dreaded biopsy. I have to say that having it turned out to be far less traumatic than I had read on the internet, as I mentioned, magnifying my terror. No man should be afraid to have his annual prostate exam. Thanks to this I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and thanks to the excellent recommendation and surgery by Dr. Sotelo, today I do not have cancer. I can say that I had no symptoms. I do my urological check annually. PSA was high, that’s where the terror and my fear began and I started to investigate and search the internet and consult doctors until I finally came to Dr. Sotelo, who correctly explained my problem to me and the actions that should be taken in my case. The first was my biopsy to find out if I had cancer. I confess that this examination terrified me because of what I had read online at the website of the Colombian doctor. Dr. Sotelo patiently explained everything about the biopsy and dispelled my fear. I have to say that the performance of the biopsy proved to be far less traumatic than I had read on the internet, as I mentioned, magnifying my terror. The same day of the biopsy you are operational and the expected result was “prostate cancer”. Dr. Sotelo gave me hope and explained to me the options for my problem with their pros and cons. Some were palliative and the only curative was radical prostatectomy. I made that decision. The day of the surgery with the Da Vinci robot arrived. Thanks to being in expert hands, today I have no cancer. The recovery was very fast, the 2nd. day I went home, walking by myself towards my normal activities, so much so that 12 days after they took out the probe I had to go to meetings at work without problems and in the 4th week I was swimming and going on with my personal and professional activity in a completely normal way. Throughout this process the human part of the medical team who treated me had a great influence. They provide a first rate service, with 24 hour care, dealing with all my doubts and queries in a very expert manner and very importantly, efficiently, immediately and politely. My recovery has been excellent ! My friend, I repeat, do not fear the “biopsy”.

Brothers with Prostate Cancer

“…Today I took the Prostate Specific Antigen test and I am completely healed, have no side effects, I feel nothing and I am grateful to the services of the clinic …”

  • Pathology: Prostate Cancer
  • Procedure: Radical prostatectomy robot-assisted laparoscopy
  • Surgery Date: August 7, 2009 and June 29, 2009 respectively
“We are the Roman brother, Federico and Jorge. I am Jorge, the oldest, and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 5 months ago. 4 months ago I went to the Instituto Medico La Floresta. I underwent surgery by Dr. Rene Sotelo and his valuable team with the help of the Da Vinci Robot and my recovery has been successful. Today I took the Prostate Specific Antigen test and I am fully healed. I have no side effects. I feel nothing and I am grateful to the services of the clinic. I am Federico, the youngest, and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer seven months ago. I went to the La Floresta Medical Institute with Dr. Sotelo and his valuable team for treatment and they operated on me 120 days ago. Today I am fully cured and the antigen in the prostate postoperative is zero. We express our gratitude to this great medical team and confirm that it has fulfilled the saying that “cancer is curable if diagnosed in time.”