Jack's Story

The following is a letter written by the mom of a patient who underwent care at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. It is being shared with permission of the family. 

My son was injured on January 24th out of state that started a long journey which required three surgeries, many tests and doctor visits, and a whole lot of stress and worry. When we investigated where to go for orthopedic care at home in Chicago, everything pointed toward Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. We drove eight long hours from Kansas City with our 23-year-old in the back seat in excruciating pain with rods screwed into the bones of his left leg and were grateful to be connected the very next day with the amazing Dr. Jorge Chahla and his incredible PA, Mary Kate Walsh.

Prior to getting into their office, however, we were greeted at the door by the most amazing man who now tells us every single time we see him that we “are family”. And he feels like our family!! His name is Ibrahim Benadada, and he is the valet supervisor in the downtown orthopedic location. We started going there with rods and pins, and then a heavy cast, wheelchair, crutches, pillows, etc. Getting Jack in and out of the car was a major ordeal as he was in so much pain and we were incredibly overwhelmed. Ibrahim truly gave us hope, encouragement, and just took such incredible care of us every time we saw him. Jack said every single time that seeing Ibrahim was the highlight of his week as he was so warm and funny and loving.

When you start with care like that at the door, you can’t imagine that it could be as good inside the building. But it was! Dr. Chahla and his team are beyond amazing. Every single one of them! I have never had an email, or a phone call not responded to within a few hours, whether it was about something clinical, DME providers or just FMLA forms. Everything single thing that caused us stress regarding his care was taken care of by that team seamlessly.

As I type this, I am feeling emotional as I remember how frightened we all were. As a nurse, I know that the important thing is to have clinicians that are experts that can “fix” the problem. We certainly had that with Dr. Chahla and his team. That said, the part that felt the most important was the warmth and kindness that we were given in some of the scariest times in our lives. Dr. Chahla and Mary Kate met us, explained everything (at least 10 times!), wrote down a detailed plan, and instilled a feeling of comfort that I can’t explain. We were petrified yet felt throughout the last few months that we were in a big virtual hug as they helped us navigate Jack’s recovery.

I will never forget the time Dr. Chahla spent with Jack, his father and me after a long and complicated surgery and the big hugs he gave me as I cried with the wonderful news of its success.

I will never forget the time Dr. Chahla spent with Jack, his father and me after a long and complicated surgery and the big hugs he gave me as I cried with the wonderful news of its success. The many post op FaceTime calls from Dr. Chahla were so very reassuring. In addition, the importance of the frequent emails and long phone calls all along the way with Mary Kate that kept this frightened Mama in a good mental place cannot be overstated. I truly don’t know what I would have done without both of their expert medical skills, but equally important, their warmth and compassion. It is truly remarkable.

I would be remiss to not mention the amazing support that we were given from Dr. Jourdan Cancienne who worked alongside Dr Chahla in surgery, as well as called me and talked me off a ledge several times in those early days! He is a gem. Last, but definitely one of the main support players for me in the beginning was Liesl Giermann, Dr. Cancienne’s administrative assistant. She was always there in the beginning to answer any question, big or small, and I will be forever grateful.

At this point Jack is doing well and has a very long way to go. But he is walking! He remains in intensive physical therapy and he will be seeing this team for a while. As his devoted and caring mother, I am slowly transitioning all of the communication to him and taking my appropriate place. I didn’t want to forget to acknowledge this team, though, so I thought it best to write this now.

Our entire family will forever be grateful to Dr. Chahla, Dr. Cancienne, Mary Kate Walsh, Ibrahim Benadada, Liesl Giermann, and the many others that have supported us along the way. I hope that they will be recognized by your administration as important players in making your medical center one of the best — you are lucky to have every single one of them!