San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Thanks to Friends and Vivian Pellas Hospital

Dear Nica Times:

The New Year was just around the corner, so it was time to do my success evaluation for the year. I have done this every year for the past 40 or so years, as a way of determining where I stand in the world.

I remember the year I said: “It can’t get any better than this past year.” I was the first working woman on the New York Stock Exchange Trading Floor. Big time success.

I also remember the year my little manufactured-housing company in Utah made $475,000. Again, that year I thought: “It can’t get any better than this past year.” Big time success.

What the hell was I thinking? I was using someone else’s measuring stick. I found out this year what true success is, and, folks, it has nothing to do with money or power.

Let me digress. I woke up one day recently in a totally white room, everything was white, it was so bright it hurt my eyes. I thought I was dreaming.

So I did a quick evaluation of my body: My right hand hurt – do you hurt in dreams? I quickly decided no. Oh my god this is not a dream, everything white and I’m in a bed, I must be in a hospital.What happened!? What day is it and where the hell am I?

To tell you the truth, I can’t remember if that was on a Monday or Tuesday.What I do remember is a little group of rag-time angels in blue hospital gowns coming in one at a time, looking scared, but whispering words of encouragement and starting to fill in the blanks for me.

I was flabbergasted. I learned that sometime on Dec. 30 I had passed out and fell on the floor, blackening my eye and putting a bump on my forehead. I found out later that I had gone into a comma after going into diabetic shock.

My guys found me unconscious early morning New Year’s Eve and the chain of events locked in place. Luís called my friend Carol, and she ran to the local hospital and took charge of getting me to Managua and checked into VivianPellasMetropolitanHospital.

My friend Helen got on the phone and tried to locate my family in the United States. She was also interacting with my primary doctor there, getting all the medical information.

At some point in time a 50/50 prognosis was given.

Friends Marcia and Sharon were right there, holding my hand and not letting me get away from them. They were my “angels with anchors” – I love that image of them. Manuel came to task by toting people to and from hospital. George and Alejandro visited and picked me up five days later, and bought groceries for the house.

Luís took the bus to the hospital twice from the market in Granada, just to touch my fingertips and assure me all is well at the house.

Friends Madaline and Ron visited, as did Timothy, and, of course, Janice was there too.

This year is my most successful evaluation to date. I have been taken care of by loving people who were not afraid to step up. I have been shown the true face of friendship. And I am humbled by it.

I told my sister that if I were not flat on my back, I would have been brought down to my knees by this selfless acknowledgment of friendship.

I am very successful and I am challenging you all to look at your measuring stick. I wish you all angels with anchors. I know that I would not be here without them, one and all. At last true success.

The care I received at VivianPellasMetropolitanHospital is above reproach. I was two and a half days in the ICU, most of that time unconscious.

Every level of employee from doctor to nurse to orderly were top notch.

All was done with the thought in mind of the best care possible. My other two and a half days in a private room was the constant hubbub of care-giving, all done with a smile.

I’m so happy I joined the Health Club program and was treated at Vivian Pellas. A big “thank you” to all.

Julia Porth



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