My name is Raymond. In 1994, my wife, Stella, and I immigrated to Richmond. We were excited to rebuild our lives in this inviting, new city. Everything was going well. Then, just two years later, I experienced a frightening unexpected medical crisis that could have ended my life.
I was feeling healthy and normal, but one day I went to the bathroom and was surprised to discover an enormous amount of blood in my stool. I hadn’t experienced any other pain or symptoms. Confused, I went to see our family doctor right away. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know how serious it was…
I’m writing you this letter because, without Richmond Hospital, I truly might not be here today. During medical emergencies, having quality health care nearby can be the difference between life and death.
Gifts from the community mean so much to those who are experiencing their own medical crisis. With your added support, Richmond residents can receive improved, lifesaving care, like I did. Would you please give today?
“The fast action and incredible care shown by the doctors and nurses gave me strength and hope.”
My family doctor, Dr. Pheobus Wong, referred me to Richmond Hospital for an immediate colonoscopy with Dr. Martin Fishman, one of the talented gastroenterologists Richmond Hospital attracted over the years. Just a few days later the results from Richmond Hospital’s laboratory were in. I remember that day so clearly Dr. Wong sat my wife Stella and me down and delivered the news that my laboratory results showed I had colon cancer. I was in complete shock. I was so afraid.
This was a very challenging time in my life, but the fast action, and incredible care shown by the doctors and nurses at Richmond Hospital gave me strength and hope.
We were quickly introduced to Richmond Hospital oncologist, Dr. John Yun, who was very compassionate and carefully answered all of our questions. He and expert surgeon, Dr. Don Brown, had discussed my case and were recommending a new surgical method called a partial colectomy. Approximately 25 percent of my large intestine would be removed, but reconnected, meaning I would still have full use of my bowels. They were optimistic and felt I was a good candidate for this procedure.
Given the severity of the situation, I was scheduled for surgery just one week later. In order to make sure the cancer did not come back, I had to have chemotherapy once a week for the next year. With all those treatments, we were very thankful our community hospital was a mere 15 minutes away from our home.
Stella and I spent many hours together at Richmond Hospital’s Cancer Care Clinic. I was grateful for the comfortable, warm environment there. Chemotherapy can be very unnerving and frightening, especially at first. As the medicine went in, I felt cold throughout my entire body. Small comforts like an extra blanket, or having someone sit during the treatment, made such a big difference.
Richmond Hospital’s staff went to great lengths to ensure my safety and comfort. I could feel how much they cared.
I specifically remember one nurse, Lynn. Even though she was busy, she paid very close attention to every patient, offering soothing words to help us stay positive. The other patients were also a big inspiration. After all, we were all fighting cancer together.
Throughout everything, my wife Stella was there by my side, always reassuring me that we were in good hands. After all those hours next to me, often admiring Lynn’s care, Stella decided she wanted to help others receive this comfort. My wonderful wife started volunteering in the Cancer Care Clinic. Stella likes to say we are all part of a big engine and for that engine to move smoothly, each person needs to do his or her part. Stella spent six years giving back with her volunteer work at the clinic.
I can honestly say it feels like yesterday that this all happened. Since my surgery back then, I’ve been coming to Richmond Hospital every six months for a checkup. And, for over 20 years I’ve been cancer free! I feel so connected to our community and so committed to our local health care here at Richmond Hospital. While our faith gave me hope and strength, the doctors and nurses here saved my life, and there are no words to say how grateful I am.
Your donation is so important. Your gifts ensure that Richmond Hospital can help improve the lifesaving services we all rely on. Please help keep our community healthy by giving today.
Supporter of Richmond Hospital
P.S. Please donate today. You could be saving someone’s life.