As unlikely as this may seem, room 8209 at the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital was a very lively and entertaining place to be a few weeks ago.

LaVada Clark is a remarkably youthful, enthusiastic, and strong-willed 83-year-old adolescent who has a quick wit, a positive outlook on life, a hearty laugh and a wonderful sense of humor.

Her first visit to Eskenazi Health (then named Indianapolis General Hospital) occurred at age 16, when she accepted a job working in the student’s dining room serving nurses and doctors, along with patients on the various wards. 

Her first child was born in 1955 at Indianapolis General Hospital, as were four of her total of five children. For many years she remained - along with her children - patients of General Hospital, which became Wishard Memorial Hospital in 1975.

Clark moved away from the area in 2013 and then moved back near Eskenazi Health in 2019, where she was admitted on July 6, 2020 with pain in her upper stomach. 

It didn’t take long for Eskenazi Health physicians to discover she had pancreatitis, which is an inflammation in the pancreas. The pancreas is a long, flat gland that sits tucked behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. 

After going through a CT scan and an MRI, Clark had gall bladder removal surgery on July 10. The surgery was a complete success and Clark is feeling much better now, and she’s very happy to express how well she was treated and cared for at Eskenazi Health.
  
“Can I go on national TV primetime and talk about how great an experience this was,” she said. “Everyone at Eskenazi Health was fantastic and I feel that the excellent care that was given to me during my hospital stay played a very important role in my recovery.” 

Clark is grateful to her medical team that included internal medicine specialist Khurram Siddiqui M.D., and many others on the Eskenazi Health staff who contributed in a variety of ways resulting in her successful procedure and recovery. 

“Everything was wonderful and I know I was very sick,” Clark said. “I said it to my family and my friends: ‘Who goes into the hospital and comes out talking about how they had a good time?’ That would be nobody but me, because I did. It was really nice.”

Now that Clark has returned to residing in close proximity to Eskenazi Health and is regularly seeing senior care physician Jennifer Carnahan M.D. (who she adores), she’ll never wander away again. 

“I came back and I’m glad I did,” Clark said. “People talk about good service, but how often do we get it? I always get great care at Eskenazi Health and I know they’ll keep up the good work for me and all their patients.”

headingtoline link-1-arrow minus next-arrow plus prev-arrrow radio-off select-icons radio-on