The Healing Hands of Tranquility

By Elana Pruitt © 2005 Editor

With open arms, empathetic eyes, and homemade chicken soup, the caregivers at Tranquility Respite Care in Beverly Hills, Calif. anticipate your post-operative needs. Founder Caroline Shrednick personally sees to it.

Following plastic surgery, such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck surgery, and/or liposuction, many patients seek aftercare assistance – individualized attention away from home. During a time when emotions may run amok, as excitement, pain, and sometimes, regret, tend to follow a patient’s experience with cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, professional nurses are generally of excellent service to your time spent at a facility. Tranquility Respite Care not only upholds that reputation, but here, patients immediately become Shrednick’s new friends.

“She really cares about people,” says recent patient *Sophie, mentioning that Shrednick’s calming tone immediately proved her sincere personality during their first phone chat. “We got on really well. I had a few options of other places, but I liked the sound of Tranquility – it seemed smaller and personal.”

Whether selecting care at the facility’s private, gated Beverly Glen residence, in the comfort of a personally-arranged room at a Beverly Hills Hotel, or at a patient’s preferred location, this retreat center offers its patients holistic renewal. While they can look forward to the security of 24-hour, one-on-one assistance, and provided transportation from surgery or going home, the unique qualities of Tranquility are grounded in the idea of “touch” and a healthy regimen.

“It is absolutely wonderful,” Jaya Roy says of her recent time spent at the residence, where she stayed for two nights. “From the way they feed and change you, to the way they touch you.”

After visiting two other recovery centers, she decided on Shrednick’s facility, a relevant move considering Roy works for renowned facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Paul Nassif, M.D. She explains that she heard about Tranquility because they routinely refer their patients to its services. She ultimately enjoyed “the care that is provided and the cleanliness of the place,” commenting that Shrednick and her staff “are literally angels from above.”

In fact, posted on Tranquility’s Web site among numerous patient testimonials, one anonymous letter addressed to Shrednick reads, “To My Amazing Florence Nightingale of Tranquility.” The staff consists of about 15 dedicated caregivers, including a dietician who will contact a patient ahead of time for favorite dietary requirements (from kosher to dietary preparations), and nurses with healing hands will help to ease your recovery through massage, acupuncture, and reflexology. While their clientele is commonly made up of VIP and entertainment stars in such industries like music and film, Shrednick makes sure that each patient is treated with love. “I think everybody is a celebrity,” she says.

With extensive training in the medical field, and in response to a life-altering incident in February 2002 – Tranquility was born in April 2003.

“The development of the facility was quite an embryonic experience,” Shrednick says, evidently full of pride and relief.

Born and raised in London, England, she trained for 6 years as a nurse, spending most of her time working in maternity units where she helped mothers care for their newborns. During that period, Shrednick also helped set up special home programs for disabled children and adults for the local government.

Immigrating to Los Angeles in 1978 to continue her medical career, Shrednick has worked in every aspect of medicine.

While fulfilling administrative and nursing positions for some of the most prominent Southern California physicians in areas like orthopedics, plastic surgery, and urgent care, she soon realized the importance of alternative medicine and the holistic approach to healing patients.

So when Shrednick’s life was disturbingly interrupted by a home invasion robbery three years ago, the debilitative experience prompted a “mid-life awakening.” For six months, she experienced “a total body breakdown,” eventually finding the strength to heal through her own faith, and with help from her family. As Shrednick pushed through her ordeal, she immediately knew her calling: to open an aftercare center that could nurture and assist patients back to health after surviving a major change in their life, like the emotional and physical adjustment of plastic surgery.

Creating Tranquility Respite Care out of an unjust situation – robbed of her most precious gems left from the disaster like her wedding and engagement ring, her grandmother’s diamond wedding bands, and her father’s trademark watches – Shrednick says she used her insurance money to help start “a tangible and worthwhile” place.

“It is impossible to get the care you really need at home. Nobody can give you 24-hour assistance,” Shrednick says, acknowledging her own family’s struggle in taking an incredible amount of time away from their lives to care for her. “Also at home, it is much easier to depend on medicine to feel better.”

As the driving spirit of Tranquility, Shrednick admits that certain medication may cause a patient to lose hunger. In order for them to get the right nutrients, she says that the benefit of having one-on-one care is not to dispense sleeping pills to their patients, rather to live with them through their pain. Whether encouraging regular meals like the beloved homemade chicken soup Shrednick believes in, offering early-morning hugs, and being that shoulder for a patient to cry on, the nurses of Tranquility are there to make sure the feelings of “connection and love” guide a person’s recovery.

“I was confident in the care I was going to receive,” Denise Kurtz says about her recovery at Tranquility. “I thought it was out of my reach financially, but then I spoke to her and booked my appointment time first. Caroline said, ‘I will take care of you whenever you have your surgery.’”

Kurtz, referred to “the idea of Caroline” by another post-operative patient, also believes in the importance of recovery facilities. “If you can’t afford aftercare you shouldn’t have surgery,” Kurtz says.

Experiencing Tranquility is unique to each patient who passes through its wings. For Kurtz, Shrednick was “a mother figure…spiritual,” while past patient Sophie took away valuable lessons about life from this retreat.

“I’ve learned that it is important to be more patient and to understand that there are some things we [patients] cannot do,” she says, remembering a rainy, post-surgical moment of needing help to open the hospital door, and one woman nearby simply would not help her. “There is an end to life – we should try to be happy, enjoy our time here, and enjoy our family.”

Under the healing hands of Tranquility Respite Care, recovery from getting a facelift, breast implants, or undergoing breast reconstruction may not be an easy journey, but it could be an unforgettable and indebted experience.