What I'm Seeing Now


"Miracle Surgery"

We’ve been in Chattanooga TN since Sunday for my wife to have a serious surgery. It was to repair problems to a previous surgery caused by a car accident she was in three years ago. The previous surgery, in Oct 2000, a breakthrough surgery then, was performed by Drs. Harry Reich and C. Y. Liu, both pioneers in laparoscopic surgery. The car accident pulled some of those things apart and damaged others, so a fix was in order.

Two top doctors in Washington DC and one at Johns Hopkins said that what needed to be done could not possibly be done laparoscopically. One said it would be a “miracle surgery” if it was.

Well, her miracle surgery was done yesterday. She is fine, swollen, bruised and sore, but fine. Usually she only has two holes in addition to the big one in the navel. This time she has twelve. It was deemed a terrific success.

The other “miracle” is that Dr. Liu came out of semi-retirement to perform this surgery. It is said to be his last. How fortunate for my wife. Because it was using breakthrough technologies and techniques, my wife said she met a bunch doctors from all over the country who came to Chattanooga to watch it being done. We’re told that some of them are familiar with my wife from medical textbooks and JAMA articles she has appeared in. When you sign that piece of paper allowing that, you don’t know what might come of you!

My wife says Dr. Liu brings in his special equipment to do all this and that the operating room looks very sci-fi and futuristic. Much of what he uses is of his design and invention. Even the operating table is different.

He truly is the best in the world.  We are grateful and thankful for his service to us.

The team and staff at Parkridge East Hospital in Chattanooga are terrific. They are competent, helpful and friendly at the same time. All in all, this is a very friendly town – I have been called “Hon,” “Darlin’”and “Sweetie” more in the last few days than in all of my life previous! I bet if I asked for a pina colada (virgin) and a foot massage, they would somehow accommodate me.

And this hospital is so proud to have Dr. Liu operate there they can hardly stand it. He puts them on the map. When he walks down the hall it is with Rock Star status! He has invited many Fellows here to study with him. One of the Fellows who participated in this procedure remembers reading about my wife in med school. That is both interesting and weird at the same time!

If you Google the Women’s Surgery Center in Chattanooga, virtually everything on the left-hand navigation was redone or repaired. Pelvic floor reconstruction is a complex surgery by any measure, especially when it is coupled by so many other procedures.

After it was done, Dr. Liu gave me my DVD of the operation, a little over 4 hours. He always gives me one. I have many others, from many other surgeries! It’s quite a collection. You might say I am one of the few spouses who can really say that he knows his wife inside and out. He won’t allow me anywhere near the surgery because he says I am “too jocular.” Can you believe that? So he makes me DVDs. Well, better than nothing I guess… I know, having a DVD of an operation sounds like a big yuck, but it is really interesting to see.

Dr. Liu is a very matter-of-fact person. He is not one to joke around. But I got a smile out of him when I thanked him for putting her in room 207 because of the good feng shui. He smiled and shot his hand upward at an angle, demonstrating that he understood. It is good feng shui to have numbers that go up and not down… don’tcha know.

Now it’s careful recovery and a hopeful return home on Monday. That will be difficult as well. That’s when the real fun begins. Wish us luck!

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 18 commentsJay Markanich • September 24 2009 05:57AM


Nice post, Jay. Thanks for sharing. you are so fortunate to have had such a positive experience. I'm glad things went well and best wishes for the recovery.

I was amused when you said you know your wife, "inside and out," and I like your clever blog header!

Posted by Leslie Helm, Real Estate For Trail Riders (Tennessee Recreational Properties) over 11 years ago

Jay, Amazing story and amzing what kind of technology is being used today.  Thanks for sharing and good luck.  We will be following her progress.  Keep us posted!

Posted by Marcia Hawken, Naples Luxury Specialist (WILLIAM RAVEIS ) over 11 years ago

I'm very happy for you and your family. . I wish her a happy recovery. . 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 11 years ago

Jay, that is an amazing story----all the best to your wife---hope you are all doing well. 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 11 years ago

Jay, what a great account of her progress. We have all been thinking about your wife. Please send her our wishes for a successful recovery. Kate

Posted by Kate Kate over 11 years ago


Seems like you must be pretty pre-occupied with all this. Good luck to both.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Thank you to everyone.  We came here with much, much trepidation.  Not that we did not have confidence in Dr. Liu, but in the difficulty of what needed to be done.  She is up over 30 surgeries at this point, which takes it out of a person in every way imaginable.  But, she is doing so much better today.  It truly is amazing.  Just this morning she was groggy, slurring and drugged.  This afternoon is a different story.

Here's how I can tell she's back:

The doctor wants her to walk.  The first one was very difficult, understandably, late this morning.  She did a half lap around the floor, cutting through the nurse's station in the middle.  As she was coming through, with a nurse on each side, she asked me to help her instead.  She did not notice but the nurses shooed me away.  So I stood there.  That inaction got me "the look."  You know what I mean.

Then she said how poorly she feels and probably looks and doesn't think she should walk so far.  I said she looked great and was doing fine.  She said, "Why are you being so argumentative?!"  Argumentative??  I thought I was being complimentary! 

So I said, "The doctor thinks you should walk another 3 or 4 times today and a little further each time.  I agree."  That got me a second, more strident LOOK.  Even I did not know until then that that is facially possible.

She's baaaack......

This place is wonderful.  I went to the cafeteria for lunch and got a salad to take back to the room to eat.

I made my way through the line to the cash register.  The lady behind the counter addressed me.  Here is the conversation:

"Weryew fruuum?"

"The Washington DC area."

"Ah nohwed yewernt frmeer cuzyer acsaynt aint raut."

"Yes ma’am. I wasn’t aware that I have an accent."

"Oooohyays yewduuu!" (Toothless grin…)

"Yes ma’am."

Then, typical of the people I have met here so far, she says -- "Wyntcha go ngitcha sumpin moor? Ah wohn tayl nohwn."

The people here have been an absolute delight.

I think they will release her to come back to the hotel tomorrow and we are scheduled to fly home Monday afternoon.  That's if the doctor says she can.  I hope so.  This has been an ordeal for us both!  But so far, so way good...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Jay, what a wonderful story!  Dr. Liu sounds like a great surgeon who might even have a sense of humor!  You and your wife are so fortunate to have him.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Patricia - he is a terrific surgeon and a wonderful person at the same time.  We consider ourselves very fortuneate!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Hey Jay,

I'm glad things worked out. Times like these helps us to see the really important things in life such as our health, and family. All the best.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 11 years ago

Thanks Eric.  We are doing well, finally.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Hi all - a great update.  Wanda had some serious setbacks the last couple of days.  She experienced a collapsed lung, which began filling with fluid, two different infections, serious fever (due to all of the above), and things were tenuous for a while.  It did not look like we were leaving on Monday after all.

Last night she had a miraculous recovery and today the doctor released her from the hospital.  She is in the hotel now and we are planning to fly out tomorrow.  It was a terrific turn around.

Thank you for all your comments, prayers and off-line emails.  They are all very appreciated.  We are doing well.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Hi Jay,

This is quite a great and positive account of your wife's medical ordeal. It sounds like in spite of a not so great situation you and your wife have had a good experience.

I wish your wife a speedy recovering.

btw the I see "the look" from my wife as well. Must be a universal wife thing ;)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 11 years ago

Thanks James.  We are home and Elvis is in the house, and I will come out with a post to that effect.  She has been real sick for many years.

The look 'tis universal.  'Tis...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

All the best to here -- and you -- -we have you in our thoughts.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

Thanks B & C!  We are home now and recovering.  Loooong week.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

My goodness Jay...I guess I haven't stopped by for a while and didn't know of your miracle...and am sooo happy for you that things have turned out so well...I'd have been there with chicken soup ...and I would still send it if I thought it would survive the trip....Best healing wishes !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 11 years ago

S&D - the hospital told me they had wi-fi.  They did not!  I went stir crazy...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

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