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A Patient’s Story

After 52 years in New England, I chose to move to Florida. Why is this important?  Because I am NOT supposed to be here, not in Florida, not among the living.  In July of 2008, I walked into the Emergency Room with what I thought was a hernia. Turned out to be stage 2 colon cancer.  Several surgeries and interventions later, I had cancer again. This time stage 4 – terminal, incurable, inoperable.  My doctor gave me a number:  2 years.  
How is it that I have more than doubled my life expectancy?  It was an amazing combination of wonderful, supportive friends and family, spiritual reawakening and the most amazing medical care I could have hoped to receive…

  • Michelle, a nursing assistant, left a note for me while I was sleeping one night.  If you think that the little things don’t matter. It’s been five years and I still have that napkin note!
  • I discussed experiences I had with cancer on an emotional level with Laura. One amazing student from her art class made an extraordinary three-dimensional art project which gave vision to those words and let me view, touch and hold those thoughts in my hands. 
  • I began searching for affordable health insurance seven months before I became ill. But even with the highest deductible, I could not swing it.  Yet when I walked into York Hospital’s emergency room, my health and comfort came first. I was told to just concentrate on healing!
  • During my 66th chemo treatment, a shift in weather meant that we’d be getting 13” of snow. I was to drive to South Berwick to have my chemo pump removed, but called to tell them I couldn’t make it.  John was heading to York Hospital and would stop by my house—10 miles out of his way in snow up to his ankles.  Not sure he knew how grateful I was to not have to see another day attached to that chemo pump.
  • I had no idea how much pain could dominate your mind and body. I told my nurse I had enough. The other nurses on her shift absorbed her patient load and she spent the night by my side. She calmed my fears and soothed my pain.  I’m not sure I will ever forget that night.
These are in addition to all of the wonderful long-term care I received from Dr. Jonathan Eneman and Nurses Nancy Douglas and Jon LaChance.  Is it any wonder that when I look back on this most unpleasant period in my life I can muster a smile? You know, in some aspects, “exceptional” sells York Hospital short. In every breath, every ray of sunshine, each breeze I enjoy, I do so in honor of your extraordinary staff!    

~BDP, Bradenton, Florida

This is an excerpt from our quarterly community newsletter, "York Hospital is Your Hospital."  To be added to our mailing address, please send us an e-mail at

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