Family-focused surgeon and nurse build home on Beverly Drive
It’s perhaps no coincidence dynamic doctor-and-nurse Park Cities couple Dr. Mazin and Mari Foteh first met at the Heart Hospital of Austin.
“We were working together, he was being very kind, and I was being kind of a snooty nurse,” Mari recalled. “We were friendly for about six months, then a mutual friend put bugs in our ears about each other, ‘He’s single. She’s single.’ And here we are.”
One of four boys, Mazin was born in Houston to Palestinian immigrant parents.
“Neither one of them finished high school,” Mazin said. “Three of us went to medical school. Growing up in an immigrant family, being a doctor is sort of the biggest achievement you can reach.”
After an undergrad degree at A&M, med school at UT Houston, and a residency in Dallas, Mazin wound up in Austin.
A vascular surgeon and endovascular specialist, his deep interest in complex aortic work necessitated a position supported by a hospital system interested in program building that could support the work.
“We looked around and felt that Dallas offered the most geographical opportunities, opportunities for our kids,” he noted. “I had a chance to work for Baylor Scott & White and decided to take a leap of faith and come back.”
From Beeville, Mari is the youngest of four in a supportive Latino family. After UT Health Science Center San Antonio, a position in a surgical trauma ICU, and travel nursing, she found herself working in a recovery room with new surgeon Mazin.
“Like Mazin, I was the first generation to graduate college,” said Mari, who has taken a break from nursing.
“I’ve been grateful to have the time to stay home with the kids,” she said. “We only have one bringing a set of germs home instead of two. The only nursing I do right now is when someone gets sick in my household.”
Mazin added, “After we got married, we realized it wasn’t necessarily a good idea to work together in the same place.”
But their shared medical backgrounds do prove helpful.
“Now that I’ve taken a step back, the conversation gets very interesting because he can explain things to me without breaking it down in layman’s terms,” Mari said. “We understand each other’s frustrations. And I think I’ve made him a little softer on the nursing side. Surgeons can be kind of black and white, and nurses are sort of in the grey area.”
“And she checkmates me,” Mazin joked.
The busy Fotehs are building a house on Beverly Drive.
“We’ve been surprised how welcoming people have been, considering we’re not from the Park Cities,” Mari said.
Their son, Cristiano, attends Bradfield, and their daughter, Alessandra, will attend Christ the King next year.
“We love how warm and private it felt,” she said of Bradfield. “And we also love the diversity.”
“We’re very loud people, and we both have large families,” she said. “We were both raised Christian, and that was a grounding force for us.”