Franklin Square Hospital
This hospital treated the whole person not the patient. It was the doctors who looked first at my
husband and then at the chart and lab results!
Lee Rome 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 Baltimore's Johns Hopkins, Boston's Mass General and New York Presbyterian.
Brilliant doctors were at each one but it was at Franklin Square Hospital that the true brilliance came through.
First and foremost I had confidence in Dr. Joyce King and her staff who made 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.
It was benign but we were told we have to do the other two.
With tremendous force, I banged my fist on the doctor's 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 and enjoying each other and life. 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 as if ordering 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 those 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!
Hospital staff 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 just seeing a sick old man. That needed to change.
So 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 hospital room.
"Oh Mr. Rome, you were a hunk" " you were a hottie" " look how handsome" The staff looked at him in a different way. There was an immediate change in his condition.
This is one of the most important things I can leave you with.
Look at the person before the illness. Encourage family photos when the patient was well and vibrant.
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!
Dr. Joyce King
Thank you Dr. Joyce King and all the lucky physicians
who have the privilege of emulating this kind of care!
The 2016 Lee Rome Memorial Award is presented to
Dr. Jean Masoso
Congratulations to the Family Medicine Residency Class of 2016
Franklin Square Hospital