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He who saves one life, saves the whole world

“He who saves one life, saves the whole world”


By switching, at the last minute, from Law to Medicine on the entrance exam registration sheet, teenager Isabela traced a destiny of great dedication and giving, crowned by the generosity and kindness learned from birth, values transmitted by her parents. “I found myself, it was a good choice. I was the first in my family to become a doctor”, says today Dr. Isabela Rangel, Medical Director of Pro Criança Cardiac, whom our blog honors on Cardiologist Day, August 14th.

Isabela is from Rio de Janeiro. She was born in Rio, near the Engenho Novo neighborhood, in the north of the city. She is the firstborn of Antônio Teixeira and Mercês Marques Teixeira, Portuguese immigrants who met in Brazil. The couple’s second daughter is named Ana Lúcia. “I had a very happy and very united childhood, a family with many cousins. Sundays were always expected, so everyone could meet up”, says the doctor.

Family ties remained strong. “I have a very close bond with my parents, we are always together. Just like my husband has with his parents. On weekends, we usually take turns and spend one day at my in-laws’ house, another with my parents. I also get along very well with my brothers-in-law. Furthermore, I currently see my father every day in the morning, because I am going to examine him and, of course, also play my role as a daughter, since he is 94 years old and has some health issues.

Her husband, Cláudio, is also a doctor. They met as soon as Isabela graduated. They have been together for 29 years and have three children, all adults, today: Juliana, 27 years old; Pedro, 22; and Gabriela, who turns 21 in November and chose her parents’ career.

And how did Dr. Isabela arrive at Pro Criança?

Working in a Neonatal ICU, she had her first contact with Dr. Rosa Célia. “She was going to give opinions in this ICU and I liked watching her do the exams, outline the course of action… That was when she invited me to join a group of intensive care doctors who would work in the post-operative period of children’s heart surgeries at the Pró-Cardiaco Hospital. To take on the new position, I left Casa de Saúde São José and Cardiobarra, where I worked.”

Then, a new invitation was made and accepted: to be part of the team at Dr. Rosa’s private practice. “I helped the children so that they would be as healthy as possible for heart surgery. I became enchanted by the area and, with a lot of support from Dr. Rosa, I decided to do a new specialization, this time, three years of Pediatric Cardiology at Hospital Pedro Ernesto, at the service of Dr. Luiz Alberto Christiani”, she recalls.

And he adds: “I participated in the creation and construction of Pro Criança Cardiac, since Dr. Rosa began dreaming of not only treating, but operating on, needy children whose families came to her office looking for help. I am very honored to have followed all of this.”

And ping-pong time has arrived! Let’s ask Dr. Isabela…

What is your favorite movie?

A film impacted me a lot. It’s “Schindler’s List” (Steven Spielberg/1993). It shows how, in the midst of so much cruelty, it is possible to find a lot of love. There is a quote in this film that also stuck with me, towards the end, when the main actor receives a ring on which is inscribed “He who saves a life, saves the whole world”. I believe in this, in the chain of good that is formed when a life is saved. The people around are infected by your gesture and commit to saving more lives.

I would also like to highlight one of my favorite books. It’s called “Night Train to Lisbon” (philosophical novel by Pascal Mercier published in 2004). It’s a shame the film doesn’t even come close to the book…

What food makes you sigh?

I love chocolate, it’s my weakness, but not just any chocolate. It’s one to taste.

In your free time do you like….

Read good books. I read a lot. That’s when I relax. Even going to the bookstore and smelling that book smell I like. I also love traveling and, for longer trips, the preparation is already a super program: studying customs, typical foods, cool places… I also really like taking short, last-minute trips, when we don’t work on the weekends. Going to the cinema is also a habit, but with the pandemic I never went again.

What person do you admire most?

My parents. I admire them so much for the courage they had to leave their country, still young, without knowing what they would find. They taught me the great values of life, from an early age they showed the importance of being kind, generous, perhaps even because of all the difficulties they had when they arrived here, a different culture, I don’t know if that’s why they always tried to help others. My sister and I saw and lived with their generosity. I hope one day I can be, for my children, what they are for me.

What dream of yours has already come true?

Discover Boston’s Children Hospital, in the United States, a reference in pediatric cardiology. I always wanted to go there, it was a huge accomplishment. The way the trip happened was also exciting, as I competed with other doctors and was approved for the visit.

What dream do you want to fulfill?

I want to be able to help Pro Criança become a reference in pediatric cardiology at a national and international level. This is a professional and personal dream, after all the institution has been in my life for so long… As a person, Isabela, I think I am already well fulfilled. With family, with work.

What do you like most about yourself?

My mother side.

What phrase inspires your life?

The Dalai Lama says: “Give those you love wings to fly, roots to return to, and reasons to stay.” I think this is the family basis. For those who are mothers, this is very important, knowing how to love without suffocating their children, making them grow within your love. It is necessary to give people the freedom to make their own choices and, at the same time, feel safe that they have a real home there. If you always do this with your friends and family you will always be surrounded by love.

Helping others is…

It’s essential.

Working at Pro Criança is…


by Pro Cardíaca
Interactor at thedotgood.

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