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Role Reversal

A longtime patient is inspired to become a physician

Kika was inspired by Dr. Matthias Donelan.

Guadalupe, who is called “Kika,” sustained a severe burn injury as a baby in Mexico. Frustrated by the quality of care and treatment options there, Kika’s parents searched for alternatives outside their country. At hospital after hospital, they were told there was nothing more that could be done to help their daughter, until they found Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston.

Life-changing care

Kika made her first trip to Boston, Massachusetts, when she was 6 and returned for care for several years. The course of her treat­ment included more than 20 rounds of plastic surgery to her face and nose to undo the negative effects of earlier procedures, correct breathing problems and reduce scarring.

“The care I received at the Boston Shriners Hospital was nothing but the best that any human being can ask for,” Kika said. “The detail, their care, their love, their hospitality, and the most import­ant thing, is they managed my pain. Not once did I ever feel pain or discomfort,” she added.

“I am especially grateful to Dr. Matthias Donelan, who is and will always be my rock star.”

Paying it forward

Now 28, Kika recently completed her final exam and is officially board certified as a medical doctor.

Her dream is to become an emergency room doctor, and she attributes her experience at the Boston Shriners Hospital as one of the most significant factors =behind her decision.

“My whole life I have been in and out of the hospital. Ever since I was little, I always wondered how the doctors managed to know so much and help so many children. So I decided that my dream was to be like them,” she said. “With every patient I meet I will always remember Shriners Hospitals.”