Both my sons were born at St. Mary's

Doreen Ferraro 
Patient (1970's-late 1980's) 

Congratulations to St. Mary's Hospital for 150 years of providing excellent, high quality and much needed services, to people in the Rochester area! From the early 1970's until the latter 1980's I was a patient in the OB/GYN wing of St. Mary's Hospital on at least 5 occasions. I was seen in the emergency room a couple of times as well. One of those times I was rushed into emergency surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy directly from my doctor's office in the medical building next door. I have nothing but good things to say about St. Mary's and truly appreciate the fine care I received over the years. My doctor, the late J. Bruce Iuppa, M.D. was the head of the OB/GYN department during that period. Unfortunately, I experienced several miscarriages and other OB/GYN related problems...fortunately, I was taken good care of at St. Mary's Hospital! I was a rarity among my friends and family in that I praised the hospital's food (which was quite good, in my opinion). The hospital was always clean and my needs were tended to in a professional yet friendly and caring manner. Both my sons were born at St. Mary's. Jason on Halloween in 1975, delivered by Dr. Louis Iuppa since Bruce was on vacation when Jason chose to arrive 3 weeks early. Joseph was delivered on September 27, 1979 by Dr. J. Bruce Iuppa. In both cases C-sections were done...Jason because he was presenting buttocks breech and Joey because dilation was not progressing as it should have. Jason developed jaundice and, while it frightened me somewhat, I never doubted he was receiving the best and most loving treatment in the special care nursery. My sons' births necessitated a longer than usual hospital stay for us and since I'm Jewish their ritual circumcisions (Briss) were performed at St. Mary's in a small room next to the nursery (the room where newborn bath demonstrations were done, among other uses). If I'm not mistaken Jason's circumcision was a first and very new experience for St. Mary's and it drew a small contingent of hospital staff who were curious about the celebration...though we kept it low key. When Joey arrived 4 years later, once again we needed to plan a hospital Briss. Dr. Iuppa even attended this one since he'd never seen the ritual done before and was out of town at the time of Jason's birth. The day before Joey's Briss a member of the hospital's newsletter came to see me to ask if they could do an article about this very unusual event in the hospital's history. My mom was bringing loads of sweets and beverages to share with those in attendance, including the hospital staff. As Rabbi Solomon and my family members arrived the following morning a photographer came to my room to take some photos to go along with the article. (To my knowledge no pictures were taken of the actual circumcision) The picture selected to appear along with the article was one of my dad holding his precious, newest grandson. That photo is one of my favorite remembrances since the look on my dad's face as he held Joey is (and was) one of indescribable love and adoration. The copy I was sent of the St. Mary's newsletter holds a treasured place in Joey's baby book and the memories of that day will always have a special place in my heart. Tragically, Joey died on June 23, 2000 from meningoccal meningitis at the age of 20. At the time of his death he was an active, healthy RIT student studying film and video with a criminal justice minor. Jason, who will be 32 on October 31st, received his Master's degree in English from SUNY Oswego in the spring of 1999 and, although he misses his brother more than words can express, he's doing well. I have a few more pleasant and/or amusing anecdotes about St. Mary's but one that stands out is when Jason had his badly infected tonsils and adenoids removed in December 1980. Dr. Rehke decided to keep him overnight, for some reason, and around 4am Jason woke crying and asking for something to eat. The hospital was eerily quiet and not wanting to disturb anyone I took him with me to the vending machines on the first floor and he selected beef boullion. As we returned to the 4 bed room we had to ourselves on the 4th floor a nurse approached and asked where we'd been. When I told her she was a bit shocked but laughed at our little escapade. Jason's fondest memory of St. Mary's was that he had his pick of the items in the Eddie Mead toy closet and since St. Mary's no longer had a pediatrics ward the nurse let him choose 2! Kudos to everyone involved with St. Mary's Hospital for a job well done for the past 150 years. May you continue to thrive and successfully provide services for another 150 years, at least! With gratitude, Doreen E. Ferraro PS: I should mention that I currently live in an apartment on the Unity Health campus, next to Unity Hospital. A side note to Dr. Putnam: My younger son, Joe, was a patient of yours when he was a toddler. He was born with an undescended testicle and as he approached his 3rd birthday it was felt he needed to have it surgically brought down. Both Dr. George Branch, our pediatrician, and Dr. Iuppa highly recommended you and shortly afterwards you performed Joey's surgery at Rochester General's outpatient surgical unit in either August or September of 1982. Sadly, Joe died from meningococcal meningitis in June 2000 at the age of 20. He had been on a trip to Israel with a group of college students from RIT (his school), U of R and several other universities and colleges from the northeast. But whenever I think of that surgery and your excellent, caring, compassionate care I do it with a smile and the fond memories of Joey calling you Dr. Putoom.