From the Battlefield to a Family

By: Thomas Cardona Tollinchi

Thomas Cardona Sosa, 47, retired United States Army soldier, manager, and father of two, works for Edwards Lifescience Sarls. He served his country for five years as an infantry soldier (as a groundwork specialist).

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Thomas Cardona came from a very simple, friendly, calm, happy neighborhood. He lived with his parents Marcelina Sosa and Thomas Cardona, and his two sisters Rose Ortiz and Wanda Cardona. Marcelina Sosa owned a restaurant just a few blocks down. She loved to make her special cream of potato soup, it was her specialty. She specially loved to help those less fortunate and offered them food every day without charging them any money. Helping others brought her the greatest sense of satisfaction.

Thomas Cardona loved waking up in the morning to take his morning jog, smell the warm, honey bread they baked every morning on the bakery next to his house and greet the neighbors that were awake at that time. “I don’t have much to say about my childhood, other than I didn’t like school. The only thing I can honestly say I liked is to run track and play baseball.”

Continued his studies, in Hicksville Senior High School. Curricular activities didn’t interest him, he only focused on sports. “My passion was baseball, I really didn’t care about school.”

Graduated from high school and immediately went to work at Sears as a catalog representative. While he was working there one of his coworkers spoke to him about the U.S. army. Three weeks later he left to the army. “I remember the day I left, I didn’t tell my parents. I wanted to find myself, I didn’t know who I was. I left a note saying that I have left to the army and that I will call as soon as I could. It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made.”


Cardona Sosa wanted something exciting , something fun, hard, challenging. His recruiter Sargeant Miller, showed him some videos of an infantry soldier in action and all the specialties of an infantry soldier. Immediately got admitted to boot camp. Boot camp it’s a training, in which they teach you warfare, for example: shooting, throwing grenades, camouflage, cold weather training, and many more.

After boot camp, Cardona Sosa was sent to Camp House Korea, where there was more training. Played softball representing his camp, winning the championship undefeated. Finished all is training, and they made a calling for war in Irak. The camp stood in standby for three weeks until they called it off, due to the war had finished.

After that moment of suspense everything went back to normal, and all the soldiers continued with their respective trainings. Once he finished his overseas tour in Korea, Thomas Cardona got reassigned to Fort Polk Louisiana and continued his training there for one year.

After Louisiana, he finished his term as a soldier and returned to Puerto Rico due to his father’s sickness. He had liver cancer. Landed a job as a production specialist, at Edwards Life science Sarls in Añasco. He has worked there for over 20 years. He designs a very special device, for example: during an operation, if the heart gets erratic, the device gets inserted through a catheder, into the heart and it will be given an electric shock to calm the heart down, reducing stress, reduce the chances of going into shock, not making the patient go into cardiac arrest. “ The development of this device has changed the way we see medicine. It has revolutionized the way we think, letting us feel more challenged and accomplished of the job we do.”

Theres another device that has been created for when a vane or artery gets clogged with fat, this devices purpose is to burn the area letting blood flow normally. These devices took three years for research and development, and it’s been in production for over 12 years. This product is sold Worldwide. Europe is one of their main customers. “We are hoping on creating new machines to help the future development of science and medicine. It brings me a good feeling knowing that what we are doing its saving lives and creating a better world.”

After he got his job, he met María Tollinchi Ruiz. She is the manager of Island Finance, located in Lares, Puerto Rico. She has worked there for over 25 years. They met while she was still studying  in college.

In 1993 they got married. Had two kids, Thomas Cardona Tollinchi and Kimberly Cardona Tollinchi. “ Getting marriedand having my two beautiful kids are the best thing that have ever happened to me, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”


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