MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As William Shakespeare said: “The course of true love never did run smooth.” Two physicians at Jackson Health System know that to be true. However, they also know that good things come to those who wait.
Dr. Rodrigo Ruano and Dr. Flavia Fairbanks-Ruano could be considered a “power couple.” They are both doctors at Jackson Health System.
They sat on a bench, holding hands, and all smiles as CBS4 spoke with them about their love story.
It did take them a while, though, to get to this point, with time and distance fighting to keep them apart
“We met in medical school,” said Dr. Ruano.
Back in the early 90s they were studying in Brazil.
“We dated during our medical school. What? 20 years ago?” asked Dr. Ruano.
“Twenty-five years ago,” noted Dr. Fairbanks-Ruano.
The two dated for about three years. Fairbanks-Ruano stayed in Brazil. Ruano was headed to the United States. They parted ways, not knowing if they would ever see each other again
“We were always thinking about each other,” said Fairbanks-Ruano. “I was always thinking about him
About two decades later, an alumni Facebook page with some familiar pictures brought up familiar feelings.
“I thought ‘Wow! It’s my Rodrigo!’” laughed Fairbanks-Ruano.
“She was finishing her PhD when we reconnected via internet,” said Ruano
In those 20 years apart, both Fairbanks-Ruano and Ruano had each been married and divorced. Both had two children.
After online communication, they arranged to reunite in person when Fairbanks-Ruano had a medical conference in Canada.
“When I saw her, of course, she made that smile. That smile like she’s doing!” Ruano said turning to her. “She didn’t change. Still the Flavia I met many years ago.”
That began a very long-distance relationship.
“We tried to see each other once a month,” said Dr. Ruano. “It was not easy for four years.”
“And a half!” Dr. Fairbanks-Ruano added.
Then the pandemic happened, and they had to go nearly a year without seeing each other.
That’s when Ruano decided he would move so they could be together. However, he wound up getting a call from Jackson Health System, wanting him to be their Division Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Director of UHealth Jackson Fetal Care.
He nearly turned it down.
”I said ‘It’s OK. I’ve just decided to go back to Brazil to be with Flavia.’ They said, ‘Well, why not bring her here?’”
“It was like a dream,” beamed Dr. Fairbanks-Ruano, who accepted a position as a Gynecologist at UHealth.
They relocated to South Florida and got married in June of 2021. Now, they are finally all together as a family.
“It’s very important to have someone supporting you every day,” said Dr. Ruano. “Because we want to build something different, something special here in Miami.”
“Always follow your dreams,” said Dr. Fairbanks-Ruano when asked the advice she would give to other couples. “This was my dream, and I never gave up.”
Even though they were married last summer, they never had the chance to celebrate with family and friends because of the pandemic. This June, they plan to have a ceremony on the beach and a reception with all their loved ones.