By: Nairi Arabatyan
Featured Father: Dr. Garo Arabatyan || Dentist, Husband, Father, Friend
One of the most inspiring people in my life is my husband, Garo (Gary) Arabatyan. The first time I met Garo, at St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco, it was very clear to me that he has incredible determination and a positive, faithful outlook on life.
Garo immigrated from Gyumri to Los Angeles just one year after the 1988 Earthquake that shook Armenia. He found himself at Hollywood High School not speaking a word of English. That intense determination to succeed lead him from ESL his Sophomore year to AP English his Senior year, then on his way to UCLA with honors and UCSF Dental School.
Ten years ago Garo opened Sutter Dental his successful Cosmetic and General Dentistry Practice in San Francisco. He specializes in working with patients that have anxiety in the dental chair. He has introduced “Dental Chair Yoga” to his patients. There he teaches deep breathing to his patients to help them stay calm and comfortable. He understands patients fears and works with them more like they are a close friend than a patient in a chair.
At the same time that Garo opened his practice, we had our first child, Raffi. Six months later we found out our baby had a brain tumor. Raffi is now almost eleven and he has been battling his tumor his entire life. As the parents of a child battling something like this, you have to be able to adapt and stay strong in every way for yourself and for your family no matter how difficult it might seem. Garo has been my guide to do just that during this journey. He has had unwavering faith in God and has kept so positive. I hear the familiar chant most days, “Carpe Diem Nairi! Seize the day and enjoy the moment! Don’t let it pass you by!” Garo keeps things in perspective and wakes me up with his words. He does the same for Raffi on a daily basis. Raffi loves seals and Garo does a special “seal call” with him. This is a special father/son chant that immediately puts a smile on Raffi’s face and comforts him no matter what the situation.
Garo has such instinct and awareness to know hat works and what people need when – whether his patients or his family.
The amount of genuine love he shows towards his whole family especially all our kids: Raffi 10, Zareh 8, Areni 6 and Gayane 4 is so significant, I can see it molding them. Garo is an amazing father and wonderful husband and I am blessed to have him by my side in our life journey.