StoryCorps at SHC: Eric Escobedo-Wu and Fouzel Dhebar

You know, as we continue to get older, sometimes the shiny bells and whistles aren't as important as they used to be.


Fouzel Dhebar (FD): What experiences from the military have you brought to work and how has that influenced you?

Eric Escobedo-Wu (EEW): My military career was one of the best parts of my life, where I was able to be a highly functioning clinician, and at the same time, throw a grenade in a testing environment. Never in a live environment, only a testing environment, but to be able to have those combat skills in addition to such astute clinical skills. I think was just a wonderful experience.

FD: Yes. Switching gears a little bit, I just have so much respect for you as a son, and an employee and a friend and a colleague. So how are you doing?

EEW: You know, Fouzel thank you for identifying that because this summer was definitely very challenging for me. I remember receiving a phone call on a Friday morning as I was on my way up here to Stanford. And it was my brother calling saying that my mother was unresponsive. And I said, "Well, have you called 911? What are we doing? What's going on?" And I'm trying to remain calm thinking like a nurse. And he said, she tried to commit suicide by an overdose. And my whole gears just switched. And I went into a big panic state at that time. And before I knew it, I was on a flight back home.

And it was a very emotional experience until I got to see her. Thankfully, my mother is alive and she's doing well. And it's been a very long road of intensive therapy and a lot of love and support, but that would've never been possible without my Stanford family who have just rallied and showed me that support to say, take care of your mother, take care of yourself, do what you need to do, and we will help keep the ship running.

It was so comforting to know that this is not only my employer, I just don't receive a paycheck here, but I can look back at the end of the day and say, this is my family as well my extended family. And I'll never forget that. So, I'm forever grateful for that support.

FD: So at this time in your life, what nourishes your heart and soul?

EEW: You know, as we continue to get older, sometimes the shiny bells and whistles aren't as important-

FD: So true.

EEW: ... as they used to be, but more so going back to the fundamental things. Being able to sit on the sofa with a cup of tea and just talking with my mother.

FD: That's right.

EEW: I don't have my father with me anymore, but just looking through a photo album and seeing him on his chopper and just remembering him, cranking that engine, laughing about things like that with my mother. It's really just being thankful for the little things that aren't so little. So many things that I'm just grateful for. So at the end of the day, when, sometimes I may think that my glass is half empty, I start to think about all these wonderful things and realize my glass is overflowing.

FD: Yes.

EEW: So I'm very, very thankful.

FD: Yeah. Thank you for sharing.

EEW: Thank you.

Sound Editor: Carolina Correa

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