Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017. 10:38 a.m. CST.
By Margaret Mena: On June 16, 2017, my father, Dr. Jose Mena, won Physician of the Year for Ochsner Health System. Josie, as I fondly call him, is the best father a girl can ask for. He is kind, loving, and funny in his own cute, five foot four way. But what you may not know about Josie, a cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, is that he came from very humble beginnings.
From the small country of Belize, he lost his father at the age of ten, his family’s hotel and way of income burnt down, and his mother, my Cita used to sell things at markets to support her six children. He told me they bought toilet paper by the roll not in a pack because that is all they could afford. He also told me that at his high school, children came without shoes and they had no water fountain, just one big hose. Through hard hard hard work, Josie overcame obstacles and became the most brilliant surgeon ever. Okay… maybe I’m a bit biased! But he still is still one hell of a doctor, especially to win Physician of the Year.
I cannot tell you how many times he will be back at 2:00 am and leave around 6:00 am to start it all over again. He misses Christmases, Easters, Thanksgivings, New Years. But through him, I have learned that sacrifice, in order to support your family and help other people, is the greatest gift. But what I am most proud of my dad is how kind he is. I cannot tell you how many times I will talk to people who work at the hospital or work with him as nurses or physicians and they always tell me how loving he is. Patients will tell my family how they just love my dad because of his sweet demeanor and care.
I am so proud of my hero of a dad. I love him, and after four years of being nominated, Josie, or Susan Lucci as we call him, finally made it like Leo DiCaprio!
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