Lee Rome Memorial Award
Franklin Square Hospital...Superb Care!
From the moment we were greeted at the hospital, emergency room or clinic the kindness and care was evident. Everyone was working together to make LEE feel welcome acknowledging his condition and his feelings.
The nurses and the brilliant doctors worked together in unison.
The respect of the staff for each other was refreshing.
They were there to help the patient and family while helping each other as a team.
That level of care continued.
These words,"please let us know if you need anything'', were repeated by each staff member and they really meant it.
A lovely private room, with plenty of space, a large window, a bench that turned into a bed, and again the RNs, the technicians, the entire staff...made sure Lee had exactly what was ordered. They were so attentive.
But it was way more than the
facility... it was Family Medicine!
It was treating the whole person not the patient. It was the doctors who looked first at my husband and then at the chart and lab results!
He had a BIG diagnosis but he was treated first as a gentleman, a husband, a father, a business man and a friend to many.
Thirteen years before Lee died, we were told there was no chance of survival. We were in and out of medical facilities including Johns Hopkins, Mass General in Boston and New York Presbyterian.
Brilliant doctors were at each one but it was at Franklin Square that the true brilliance came through.
First and foremost I had confidence in Dr.Joyce King and her staff but it went much further.
It was making Lee and our family feel part of the treatment. I slept at the hospital every night Lee was a patient whether NY, Boston, Hopkins or Franklin Square.
It was here at FSH that I was made to feel really welcome and needed. Being a former RN, there was no way I was going to leave.
We had 13 years after that fatal diagnosis!
I remember when the doctor in New York said no to Chemotherapy.
With his diagnosis, the chemo would not have helped and would have just made him sick. Instead of hearing doom and gloom…I responded with 'Hey Babe, Great news'!
The New York doctor told us IF there was no lung metastasis..we could go for Proton Beam in Boston. I told him there was no Lung metastasis. He pointed out 3 nodules. He was adamant they were malignant. I was just as adamant they were not.
You see our Dr. King had done a PET scan and the 3 nodules were cold. He was not convinced and put little faith in the PET scan. I asked what do we need as proof. The answer.. lung biopsies. With this procedure only one nodule was reached.
Thank goodness it was benign.
We were told we have to do the other two.
With tremendous force, I banged my fist on his desk and said :
'No way! If one is benign they all are.'
We were both startled by my outburst.
We went to Boston for almost 3 months of Proton Beam Therapy.
Of those 13 years, so much was quality time. We were living a good life and Lee was still able to fly his plane, drive a car, play poker, travel and use his treadmill daily.
The positive attitude we adopted made things OK.
Complications were handled as needed. There was the recurrence after 5 years, (one doctor, not from FSH, said remove the leg including the pelvis.(he said this in the same tone one would say…you need a chest x-ray).
There was the wound that would not heal, the bone pain, the sleep apnea, the obstructions and the fluid in the lungs.
Dr. King answered every phone call and even taught Lee how to text.
Numerous times she stopped by our house just to see how we were doing.
During these 13 years we missed very few specialists.
Below is a partial list..
Family medicine, Oncology Surgeon, General surgeon, Orthopedic oncology, Pulmonologist, Cardiologist, Chemo-therapist, Radiologists, GU, GI surgeon, Renal specialist, Plastic surgeon, Inhalation therapist, Hypobaric Chamber, Wound care and Wound vac, Physical therapy, Psychiatrist (a very special one), Sleep apnea, Inhalation therapy, Oxygen therapy, Infusion platelets etc..
Like an orchestra leader Dr. King was personally in touch and in tune with each of them!
Everyone was very kind and attentive and giving the best care possible. But one time I felt no one was seeing my LEE ROME, they were seeing a sick old man.
I scanned a couple of photos onto my iPad. They were from our honeymoon..quite a few years ago. We were married almost 47 years 16,802 days…we counted each one. I shared the pictures with anyone who came in to the the hospital room.
The response "Oh Mr Rome, you were a hunk, you were a hottie, look how handsome. They looked at him in a different way. There was an immediate change in his condition. AMAZING.
This is one of the most important things I can leave you with. Look at the patient before the illness. Encourage family photos especially with the elderly.
That is what you do under DR. JOYCE KING.
You look at the entire person not just the sick part.
For that I will always be grateful!
Thank you Dr. Joyce King and all the lucky physicians
who have the privilege of emulating this kind of care!
Lee Rome Memorial Award was presented to
Dr. Eric Robert Swearengen
Congratulations to the Family Medicine Residency Class of 2015
Franklin Square Hospital...Superb Care!