When Kuakini patients come in for a CT (computed tomography) scan in the Imaging Services Department, they may also get a short pep talk from Ferdinand Badua, CT Technologist and Employee of the Month for March, because he knows what it’s like to be a patient getting a scan.
A recent lymphoma survivor, Ferdinand has gained a new lease on life and a clearer purpose. “Maybe God helped me survive so I can tell patients that there is a purpose for their survival,” he said. “When you are given a second chance, you take life more seriously, you try to live life more productively and you (have) more gratitude. I am now more thankful for the things I have.”
He talks to patients and shares his story because sometimes, he said, they feel helpless. “I tell them that there is hope in treatment, that they can beat the disease, that it’s not the end of the road and there’s purpose. I let them know that there is a reason for everything and encourage them to never give up,” he said. “I see them as people, not as patients or bodies.”
Ferdinand joined Kuakini in 1995 as an X-Ray technician in the Imaging Services Department. After six years, he became a CT Technologist. His main responsibility includes using the GE LightSpeed Scanner to perform CT scans. He received his associate’s degree in radiology from Loma Linda University in Southern California where he worked for one year before moving back to Hawaii.
When Ferdinand found out about his nomination, he wanted to give the award to somebody else who was “more deserving.” He said he was not a solo act and that he would not be able to do his job well without other people’s help. “I think everybody plays a role, not just one person, because we work as a team. If someone would get the award, it should be the whole team.”
Ferdie (his nickname) is a “true inspiration” to the department, said his supervisor Chris McIntire. “He leads the department in positive patient responses and performs all duties flawlessly. We are a better hospital with Ferdie doing his thing. Everybody loves Ferdie.”
And Ferdie loves Kuakini. “It’s like family here…It’s small but we have a family work environment,” he said. “This makes it better for patients because they feel the closeness of the people from Kuakini. It makes them more comfortable, and the interaction with them becomes more personal.”
Ferdie likes going to the beach to surf, mostly on the south shore. During his free time, he enjoys working in his yard and walking his dogs.