Drs. Worth and Mussalli:
The last two times you helped us bring our girls into the world, they were marked with glaring and concrete examples of the unparalleled contributions both of you make as doctors each day. With the first, you saved mom’s life and avoided a debilitating c-section. And as we learned 14 months later with the second, your efforts on the first’s birthday made her possible – a fact mom was reminded of as she listened to her roommate, who had different doctors, cry over her hysterectomy under conditions dreadfully similar to those that mom had endured just 14 months before that. With the third, a baby that flew into Doctor Worth’s hands with just one push, there is time to focus on other things. When I reflect on my work as a litigator, I am immersed in complaints about others. Writing brief after brief, my charge is to take the words of others, often in email, quote them in a brief, and use them as ammunition. Seldom do the words that I read in emails and letters move me to praise. But in the hours leading up to the birth of our third daughter two mornings ago, I found myself immersed in one email that represented the lifeblood and essence of your practice, who you are as people, and why we adore you both so. At 12:31 A.M., after kicking off yet another of our famous late-night inductions, Dr. Worth wrote as follows:
I am here at Sinai. Staying here for u. I Will check on her every couple of hours. So excited for you. Dr. W
4 brief words, “Staying here for u,” one barely spelled out, but summarizing perfectly a relationship with two people that have changed our lives, and blessed us with gifts we never would have received in different hands. Four months after baby #2 was born in 2012, our cousins had a 3-pound baby and her doctor was nowhere to be found for the entire labor or at any time thereafter. How they would have dreamed for a person to write, “I am here…staying here for u.” It seems as though we always quote Star Trek 4 after our babies are born…But quoting Saavik is so simply perfect is this case – and I think it makes Dr. Mussalli chuckle. Before the crew leaves Vulcan to return to Earth to stand trial, she says to Spock, “May your journey be free of incident.” We will never forget the night in 2011 when mom was in excruciating pain, every doctor refused to give her an epidural, and the nurses refused to administer pain medication, and, at 3 A.M. Dr. Worth came to the hospital to hold mom and keep her calm until she found doctors and nurses who would. We will never forget the night in 2012, at 2 A.M., when Dr. Mussalli came to personally start mom’s second labor and make sure that Dr. Worth didn’t have to hug anyone suffering from pain at 3 A.M. But most importantly, we will never forget the night that was, in fact, free of incident and still when Dr. Worth managed to put us at ease and move us with two simple sentences. “I am here…staying here for u.” We do still and will always love you both.
With gratitude, E. and D.