A Man Recreates An Iconic Photograph From His Childhood

CHICAGO (CBS) – A man recreated a photograph of him and his father, 37 years later with the help of Rush Hospital and the luck of finding an old car.

Dr. Shyam Puppala, was a physician from Hyderabad, India who immigrated to Chicago in 1976. After arriving in Chicago, Puppala received his first job at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in the cardiovascular surgery department.

Puppala had two sons, Ramana and Vinaya, both born at Rush.

After Puppala’s first son was born, he brought him to work to see his pediatrician. After that appointment, Puppala’s wife took a photograph of Puppala and his son, Ramana, next to his brand new 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme at the top floor of the Rush parking structure, with the Chicago skyline in the background.

Shyam Puppala and son, Ramana Puppala take photo with their 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme on the top floor of Rush Hospital's parking structure. (Credit: Ramana Puppala)

Shyam Puppala and son, Ramana Puppala take photo with their 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme on the top floor of Rush Hospital’s parking structure. (Credit: Ramana Puppala)

Rush hospital was a major part of the Puppala family. Their immediate family received all of their major health care at Rush. Ramana Puppala graduated from a Rush obstetrics and gynecology residency in 2005. His brother, Dr. Vinaya Puppala, graduated from a Rush general surgery internship in 2009.

“Rush provided me and my family our health, education and livelihood,” said Ramana Puppala. “We would not be here without Rush.”

Ramana Puppala found the photograph in an old family album 20 years after it was taken.

“I wondered if I would ever be able to recreate it,” Ramana Puppala said. “My father is my inspiration. I look up to him, and I desired to follow in his footsteps. I wanted to become a doctor, work at Rush, have a child and find that same car so I could recreate that photograph.”

Ramana Puppala did almost just that.

Ramana Puppala and his wife had their first child just over eight months ago. After decades of searching and shortly after the arrival of his son, Ramana Puppala located a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme – same color and all, as his dad’s – the one in the photograph. The car was on auction outside of Philadelphia. Ramana and his brother, Vinaya, could not believe they found the car and had to buy it; and carefully transported the car to Chicago.

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With both a son and the car, all that was left for Ramana was to recreate the photograph, this time showing three generations, with his father, son and himself.

Ramana contacted Rush Hospital and they helped make his dream become reality.

Ramana Puppala and son recreate photo with a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme at Rush Hospital.  (Credit: Ramana Puppala)

Ramana Puppala and son recreate photo with a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme at Rush Hospital. (Credit: Ramana Puppala)

Ramana Puppala chose to go into private practice after completing residency at Rush. Although he is not a doctor at Rush, he still believes he followed in his father’s footsteps and was able to recreate the magic that Rush has left on the Puppala family.

‘If it was not for Rush, I would not be here,” Ramana Puppala said.

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