Nelson Medina, a triple-board certified physician in internal medicine, pulmonology, and critical care in his early 40s, is a local who came to us all the way from Puerto Rico, then New Jersey and finally Miami before settling in Lake Nona with his family to contribute his skill to the bustling Medical City.
His past five years in pulmonary and critical care departments have brought him to our region, where our medical efforts are widely celebrated and supported. To Medina, his specialty appealed to him out of passion and desire for a challenge.
“It allows me to help patients with chronic diseases, prolong their life in comfort, transition from life to death with dignity as well as help critically-ill patients make the next most logical decision about their steps,” Medina says.
Medina sought a challenge and was certainly met with many. At the beginning of his career, a 17-year-old boy was brought to Medina after being arrested at an airport. He was being used as a drug mule and carried roughly 90 capsules of heroin within his body. Medina and his team were responsible for saving the boy’s life by closely monitoring the young boy and extracting each capsule without bursting them – an effort that took four whole days. According to Medina, “It took patience.” His talent and dedication to his craft have been put to the test and come out on the other side, victorious, and he is a hero because of it.
COVID-19 has not made his career any easier, but it has allowed him to give back to the community in a wonderful way. Medina designed a special glass box that helps in intubating patients more effectively and allowing for more transparent communication as well as minimizing aerosol. Being in the midst of the medical field while the pandemic goes on around him is surely a large source of stress, but Medina recognizes the positivity in all of this: “Due to all the social distancing, we have noticed a significant drop in our outpatient visits and less chronically-ill patients with COPD having problems.”
Medina exudes passion for his work, his family, and his hobbies, which include exotic cars, music production, film and video creation, and being an influential father. He is a father to two beautiful children and is married to a terrific woman, Nadya, who matches his heroicness in her dentistry work and contributions to the community. He also notes the fifth member of his family, a cat, is one he must live with after his wife rescued it by surprise.
Nelson Medina’s goal as a professional in the Lake Nona community is to “see every healthcare professional step up their disinfection protocol, be very vigilant, and continue to be leaders for their community.” He hopes that a cure for COVID-19 will be found soon so that he may continue protecting and raising his family. Personally, Medina’s goal is to see his Facebook page “Rice and Beans Doctors” continue to grow in follower count so that he can continue to educate the public on medical concepts – “it’s as easy as cooking rice and beans!” as Medina exclaimed to me.
A strong, talented individual like Medina makes those in Lake Nona happy to have him serving the public health of our region. With his experience, innovations and commitment to bettering the world in which we live, we are proud to be in support of a hero.