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December 7, 2021

Manuel’s Story: An Angel Cured My Twins’ Hearing

by Amelia Garrison

When Manuel’s twins had not spoken at 20 months, he knew they needed a miracle. At Venice Family Clinic, he found an angel. He was referred to Pacific Head & Neck’s Dr. Chester Griffiths, who performed a life-altering procedure to cure their hearing, allowing the boys to begin speaking.

Finding a miracle

In 2012, Manuel Ortiz moved to Los Angeles with his family from Chile to pursue a PhD in psychology at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA). Although he was excited to begin his academic adventure, he was concerned about his twin boys Mateo and Julian, both of whom had not spoken at 20 months.

Manuel and his family thank Dr. Griffiths.

Manuel and his wife wondered how they could receive help for their children, praying for a miracle. After countless hours of stress and worry, they visited the Venice Family Clinic, a clinic dedicated to ensuring that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care across Los Angeles, California. At the clinic, they were referred to Pacific Head and Neck’s Dr. Chester Griffiths, an expert otolaryngologist at Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI).

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Griffiths is an expert in the field of otolaryngology. He volunteers at the Venice Family Clinic, treating the uninsured both as a consultant and performing surgical procedures pro-bono.

A compassionate approach

Manuel and his wife were confident that Dr. Griffiths could help Mateo and Julian. Their intuition was right. Dr. Griffith’s cured their hearing with a life-altering procedure, allowing Mateo and Julian to begin speaking.

Dr. Griffiths approached the case of Mateo and Julian with compassion and care, an approach that he maintains for all his patients. As a medical professional, he is dedicated to advocating for his patients and finding a cure.

“What is most gratifying to me is taking care of patients in a compassionate and caring manner, performing research and discovery to try to find new answers for patients, and taking care of the less fortunate and disadvantaged in our community.

Dr. Chester Griffiths
Manuel and his twins, Mateo and Julian.

A grateful father

Today, Manuel is a professor of psychology at the Universidad de La Frontera in Temuco, Chile. Mateo and Julian attend the 6th grade, and neither of them has had trouble speaking or hearing in the last ten years.

Manuel recently wrote a letter to his “angel” Dr. Griffiths to thank him for his compassionate approach to treatment, which positively impacted the lives of his twins and family.

“Dear Dr. Griffiths, 

This is Manuel Ortiz, writing from Chile. I don’t know if you remember me, but I am the father of Mateo and Julian, twin brothers that were your patients at Venice Family Clinic.

 I was looking at old files on my laptop and found a video that was shown in a fundraiser, the Silver Circle Event 2012. We have come back to Chile, after I got my PhD at UCLA, in 2014, and since that year I’ve been working as a full-time professor at Universidad de La Frontera. 

Mateo and Julian are now 12 years old, they are in the sixth grade, very happy, and so talkative. I remember that when we saw you for the first time, at age 2, they were not talking at all, and we were so desperate, but because of you, we could change their trajectory. So this message is to again show you our appreciation. You’ll always be in our hearts. 

Manuel S. Ortiz, PhD, Head of the Pschology Doctoral Program, Universidad de La Frontera.

Read more PNI grateful patient stories here.

More information: 310-829-8701

About Dr. Chester Griffiths

Chester F. Griffiths, MD

Chester Griffiths, MD, FACS, is board certified in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has extensive 25 years of experience in endoscopic endonasal sinus surgery for skull base tumors and pituitary tumors, sinonasal cancers including mucosal melanomas, and in the treatment of facial and nasal trauma, cosmetic deformities, sinus infections, and disorders of smell and taste. He treats sleep apnea, snoring, difficulty breathing, disorders of the larynx, thyroid tumors, and other head and neck cancers with an emphasis on viral HPV-related cancers.

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About the Author

Amelia Garrison MPhil

Amelia Garrison

Amelia is the Coordinator of Marketing & Communications at Pacific Neuroscience Insitute (PNI). She leads the PNI blog, newsletter, and digital communications.

Last updated: January 6th, 2022