Hispanic Heritage Month: Father of St. Jude patient joins hospital staff to help caregivers communicate with families

Hispanic Heritage Month: St. Jude father and employee

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - WMC Action News 5 has partnered with La Prensa Latina to highlight some outstanding individuals in the Hispanic community in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

La Prensa Latina
La Prensa Latina (Source: La Prensa Latina)

WMC Action News 5′s Briseida Holguin introduces us to a man who helps St. Jude families through something he experienced personally.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way when it comes to treating cancer and pediatric diseases.

With patients from all over the world, it takes thousands of employees to bring their mission to life and the Patient Family Outreach Team plays a vital role.

“Ensures that we’re touching families from all around the world,” Enrique Ramírez said.

Ramírez, part of the team, he’s a bilingual patient liaison.

“Being bilingual and helping families for what it is that we do, you see families let their guard down, and just feel more comfortable when you could speak their language,” Ramírez said.

Ramírez began working at St. Jude in 2016 as a marking analyst and for the last two years, he’s been working as a liaison.

“One of the big reasons they moved me over here is because before I started working at St. Jude, my daughter was a St. Jude patient. So, I actually walked those shoes of having to go through treatment and be in the hospital while my daughter was treated from 2009 to 2014,” Ramírez said.

Sadly, Arianna lost her battle, but Ramírez says St. Jude had a huge impact on his family.

“You know just everything that St. Jude does and everything it stands for and did for us, you know we’re forever grateful and indebted. I ended up, you know getting out of the Navy and coming working here at St. Jude,” Ramírez explained.

On top of being a patient dad, Ramírez also knows what it’s like to get bad news from a translator.

“When we found my daughter’s brain tumor, we were in Japan. We had to find out through a translator in a county where we spoke, we didn’t speak the language at all and that was terrifying, you know to be told through a translator, ‘Hey your daughter has a brain tumor,’” Ramírez said.

Ramírez also volunteers with the Make A Wish Foundation as a wish granter and is the only bilingual person they have.

“Fifteen years ago, I would have never told you this was my dream job, but looking back now I definitely do feel like it’s my purpose to be here and help families as much as I can,” Ramírez said.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.