Dec 28, 2022 911 Dr. Victor M. Nava

No Greater Joy

Standing at the crossroads can be daunting, but help is only a prayer away…

When I was only eleven, my life was changed forever by a severe leg injury. Without reconstructive plastic surgery, I would have been permanently crippled. My admiration for my plastic surgeon fuelled my desire to follow in his footsteps so I could also help people in need. Performing reconstructive surgery in private practice and on medical missions satisfied this desire and I wasn’t keen to give it up as retirement loomed.

Long before I retired, I was already making plans to continue my missionary work and I also planned to volunteer as a hospital chaplain. Unfortunately, the Corona Pandemic threw a wrench in my plans. However, I remembered that Einstein once said, “When you stop learning, you start dying,” so I resolved not to fall into the temptation to become a couch potato.

I decided to take a spiritual guidance course. I soon realized that I had been looking for what I wanted to do, and not what God had in mind for me. Once I understood this, it didn’t take long for Him to answer my prayers for guidance and enlightenment. I received an email from the Sacramento Life Center, looking for a volunteer medical advocate and have been enjoying this work for the past year.

Volunteer medical advocates help out with a number of simple, but important tasks for patients in hospitals. Often, patients are just looking for a non-judgmental ear. Maybe they feel lost and are looking for information on referrals or other services. Sometimes they need some help getting basic baby needs such as diapers, baby wipes, formula, clothes, car seats, stroller, etc. Sometimes, they are simply searching for answers. The confusion and distress that patients experience when these needs aren’t met adds to their pain, and hinders their recovery, so these volunteers have a crucial role.

During my medical career, I had the opportunity to save and transform lives. Being an advocate can be just as rewarding. Sometimes, I meet people who are contemplating abortion. It is amazing what reviewing a little pregnancy physiology can do, especially if they think of the unborn child as a blob of tissue. When the sperm and egg unite, a new life begins. This is one of God’s greatest miracles. Only six weeks after fertilization, the patient can see and hear the unborn child’s heart beating through ultrasound. I show them life-size embryo models, as we marvel over the baby’s growth and development. “WOW, look at his eyes and ears and his little nose and mouth! His hands and feet have tiny little fingers and toes.”

Potentially, I could save three lives in one visit. Conflicted feelings after abortion can lead to suicide or broken relationships. The information and advice I provide, often leads to decisions that lead to life instead of heartbreak and guilt. When an abortion-minded couple comes into the clinic, but leaves having chosen life, I feel warm and bubbly inside. I thank God for His gifts and blessings that have allowed me to do His work.





Dr. Victor M. Nava

Dr. Victor M. Nava is a retired Plastic Surgeon with over 40 years of experience. Presently he is a Catechism volunteer teacher. He's also a volunteer Male Advocate at a Pro-life clinic. He lives with his wife, three children and four grandchildren in Roseville, California.

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