FRESNO, CA – Divulging too many details about your personal life or whereabouts are often frowned upon by many but it turned out to be a path to glory for 46-year-old Victor Reyes who won the first Elite Member Award given by the website Yelp for most check-ins into a single business location in one calendar year.
It all started when he was surfing the internet on the free hospital Wi-Fi connection sitting in room 402 at the local Regional Medical Center. While on Yelp looking for a good pepperoni pizza to be delivered to his room he read about the Elite Member Award.
What had actually happened is Victor, who suffers from end stage kidney disease, decided he did not actually want to go for his dialysis sessions “because the other patients at that dialysis center are old and boring.” To kill his boredom he just walked into the ER saying he missed his dialysis and was short of breath resulting in him being admitted to room 402. While ordering pizza he “checked-in” into that room for the virtual world.
He then realized he could do it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and get 3 check-ins every week and become a serious contender for the award. Besides he would also get, as he put it, “good service by friendly good-looking nurses.” Sometime in July he realized he was lagging by a few check-ins to a man in Florida prompting him to strengthen his game. He then decided to check-in on additional days and stopped taking his four blood pressure medications as well as insulin to make his hospital admissions worthwhile and authentic.
“I understand the meaning of true hard work and did not want to win by compromising my integrity so I put my blood pressure, kidneys and diabetic ketoacidosis on the line. For this achievement I would like to thank my ambulance driver for always getting me to the hospital even on Christmas, the house supervisor staff for honoring my wish to go the same room every time and my nephrology office staff for making dialysis really boring and inspiring me to go to the hospital instead,” said Mr. Reyes as he placed the print out of his award on the cabinet next to his right leg prosthesis.