Lila’s Story

Lila Elias, former patient at Highland headshot_lilaHospital, shares her story about being hit by a car while riding her bike home. She shines light into the quality of care she received from the doctors and nurses at Alameda Health System, as part of the Foundation’s end-of-year appeal.

This is her story:

My name is Lila Elias and I am 19 years old.

Alameda Health System has made a huge difference in my life.

On July 5, 2011, I was hit by a car while riding my bike home from the grocery store. I remember my body breaking so easily upon impact. I felt pain unlike any I had ever experienced. Strangers rushed to my aid and called 911. A woman lent me her cell phone to call my dad to tell him what no parent ever wants to hear from their child:

“I was hit by a car and I am lying in the street. Please come.”

Within minutes, paramedics and my father arrived at the scene of the accident. I could hear them discussing which hospital to take me to. They quickly agreed that Highland Hospital was the best option.

They took me to Highland Hospital’s world-renowned Trauma Center.

There, the highly-skilled doctors and nurses gently explained the extent of my injuries—a broken wrist and leg, shattered cartilage, and a detached ligament in my knee—and treated me with great care and urgency.

The surgeon who reconstructed my leg was amazing; he did a perfect job with a very complicated surgery. The nurses were incredible and always made sure I had everything I needed. The physical therapist who guided me through months of rehabilitation was so supportive in helping me regain the strength to move without the help of a wheelchair or crutches.

Fortunately, I had insurance. Even so, the out-of-pocket costs were enormous. Because Alameda Health System is a safety net provider, the costs were manageable for my family. For so many in Alameda County who lack health insurance or who can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs, Alameda Health System is a true lifesaver.

The generosity of community members helped guarantee that I had access to the best quality of care.

Today, I am a sophomore at New York University and will graduate in 2015. My passion has always been in arts and theater and there was a period of time when I thought my injuries would put a stop to my dreams.

Thankfully, they did not. Even while I was in a wheelchair, I continued to act in school plays. Because I received the best treatment possible, I am now walking and dancing again, and am able to push through tough workouts 4 to 6 times a week as I pursue an acting career.

By donating to the Alameda Health System Foundation, you support Alameda Health System’s mission of Caring, Healing, Teaching, Serving All. Your contributions provide much needed support to patients like me. I was 16 years old at the time of my accident and never thought I would go through something like this. No teenager plans on spending several months lying in a hospital bed or enduring months of grueling physical therapy.

Your gift will help make it possible for all residents to have access to the same excellent care that I received.

Please consider a year-end gift to the Alameda Health System Foundation’s annual fund. Your tax-deductible gift will support programs and services of greatest need so all community members will have access to the health care they need, when they need it.

Lila Elias


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