Jian was thrilled at the idea of becoming a mother. Suddenly, in her second trimester, she began to experience complications. At just 23 weeks and four days, Jian delivered a wonderful baby girl at El Camino Hospital. Those first days of life were a test of will and fortitude for her daughter as well as Jian. Through many ups and downs, her daughter fought hard during those early weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She continued to grow and become stronger as the weeks passed. Finally, after five months in the NICU, Jian’s daughter was able to go home. She had cleared a major hurdle. But Jian also had other health matters to address.
During her stay in Mother-Baby, Jian learned even more stressful news. Doctors discovered excessive fluid around her heart and quickly arranged to have it drained and sent out for analysis. As it turns out, Jian had stage 4 lung cancer. “I couldn’t believe I had cancer. I ate healthy, I exercised, I was young,” Jian recalls, still with a degree of disbelief. Soon after giving birth, she began four months of chemotherapy. Her tumors began to shrink thanks to her treatment. With her mind preoccupied with her new daughter and her body worn out from fighting cancer, she was ready to begin healing. That is, until the fluid around her heart returned.
Jian’s cardiologist suggested surgery to drain the fluid, and she agreed. A few days after a successful procedure, something unthinkable happened: Jian had a major stroke. She was unable to walk, talk or take care of herself. “My whole right side was paralyzed,” she says. The needs and challenges were numerous, but with support from her loving husband and her parents, Jian slowly headed towards recovery. “My parents came here from China to help us. It was a very, very hard time for all of us,” she remembers. Jian also a valuable stretch of three weeks in the inpatient Rehabilitation Center at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos where she began the process of learning to talk and walk again. After six months, Jian was able to walk on her own. “I didn’t expect that I could recover so well because I had a really bad stroke. But I knew I had to get better for my daughter, my husband and our family,” Jian says courageously.
Almost 100 people, including doctors and nurses from El Camino Hospital, helped Jian and her family recover, and Jian is grateful to them all. “Every doctor and nurse is so professional. They treat every patient like a human being,” she says with a smile.
Today, Jian’s daughter is thriving. And Jian is happy to be cooking again, taking care of her garden and writing a blog to give hope to patients like her. Jian appreciates where she is and how far she has come: “I think with love and support from everybody, and the care from El Camino Hospital, my future will be brighter. And I think it’s a life worth living.”