Dr. Lily Sood, Pediatrician
I don’t know if I had the presence of mind to tell Dr. Sood how important she was to me all those years ago, but today when I see young moms I think ‘I hope you have someone as nurturing and caring as Lily Sood in your life.’
When someone is sick in Ann S.’s family, they say they have “bad bunnies.” Ann explains that this family lingo goes back twenty-seven years to when her children were small and saw Austin Regional Clinic Pediatrician, Dr. Lily Sood.
When the girls had earaches, Dr. Sood would ask them if they had “bad bunnies” in their ears. “She did that with sore throats and other aches, too,” Ann says. “It was great because being sick wasn’t scary for the girls. It was just those mischievous bunnies making trouble again.”
“Lily was thorough, nurturing, and kind,” Ann says. “She was a part of the family and part of our parenting team.”
Ann remembers when her eldest daughter, Franny, was an infant and suffered from recurring earaches. “I was an exhausted, clueless mother,” Ann says. “One morning, after a particularly bad night of ear tugging and rocking and warm ear drops and baby Tylenol,” Ann, who was stressed and frazzled, arrived with her screaming daughter for an early morning appointment. “I had to get to work and I’m sure the tension was palpable.”
Dr. Sood took Franny from Ann’s arms to weigh and measure her, quietly handed Ann a box of tissues and left the room. It was Ann’s first peaceful moment in days and she had a much-needed “good cry.” Dr. Sood calmed Franny down and brought her back to Ann.
“In that act of kindness, Dr. Sood showed me that in order to care for my child, I had to take care of myself,” Ann says. “It was the first time that I realized that a good pediatrician takes care of the parent as much as the child.”
Ann continued to rely on Dr. Sood to help her through the parenting process. “I didn’t have family nearby so I trusted Dr. Sood to give me advice. My girls loved her. She was always fully present to us and when she saw the girls, they were always the most important thing in that moment.”
Ann is still a loyal Austin Regional Clinic patient. She adores Dr. Michelle Markley who regularly hugs her patients because she believes that “touch is a part of healing.” She is also impressed with the “remarkable culture” at ARC. “Everyone I have encountered at ARC connected with me as a person—from desk staff, to the after hours phone nurses, to my physical therapist, to the person who draws my blood.”
Ann’s daughters, Franny and Mattie, are now 28 and 23 and they live in California and Dallas. “I don’t know if I had the presence of mind to tell Dr Sood how important she was to me all those years ago, but today when I see young moms I think ‘I hope you have someone as nurturing and caring as Dr. Lily Sood in your life.’”