In April 2016, I started to experience severe abdominal pain. One morning, the cramping had become so bad that I asked my wife to take me to the emergency department. The previous year, I’d had a heart operation, so at first, I thought I might be having related complications.
The hospital staff worked quickly to complete thorough testing of my heart. Initially, everything appeared normal. But when the emergency physician asked, “How much weight did you weigh before heart surgery? How much are you now?”, I realized my weight had inexplicably dropped dramatically from 85 kg to 65 kg in less than a year, and I had some concerning symptoms in the last few months.
Alarm bells went off.
The emergency physician immediately admitted me for further examination—these were all indications of possible colon cancer. I was referred to Dr. Martin Fishman from the gastroenterology department.
The doctors at Richmond Hospital set me up for success by catching my cancer right away. Hearing my official diagnosis of colon cancer was one of the hardest moments of my life. Dr. Fishman answered every question patiently, making me feel deeply supported. I felt that he was a good and trustworthy doctor.
Dr. Fishman created a comprehensive and detailed treatment plan. Considering the ability of my heart, he consulted with the doctor who had performed my previous stent operation. After many discussions, he decided to add another stent before the operation to ensure my safety. I knew I was in hands of the experts. Dr. Sharadh Sampath, an extremely talented general surgeon at Richmond Hospital, joined the team as my surgeon.
Feeling the overwhelming support from my team of doctors and nurses at Richmond Hospital gave me the strength I needed to fight for my life.
The operation went very smoothly. I felt so grateful. I carefully followed the doctor’s advice and walked around as much as possible following the surgery. It helped me to recover quickly and I was discharged on the fourth day. The doctor came to see me before I was discharged and gave me a thumbs up. “You Win!” he said. I replied with my two thumbs up, “We Win!”
I am forever grateful to the team of doctors at Richmond Hospital. It was their care and fast action that helped diagnose my colon cancer and get into immediate treatment.
Over the next few years, I was carefully monitored. As the 3rd anniversary of my surgery approached, a recurrence of colon cancer was quickly diagnosed and I was scheduled for my second surgery. My heart sank. I had to get ready to fight for my life once again.
Before the operation, Dr. Sampath told me that the condition was more serious this time and the cancer showed signs of spreading. Only after surgery would we know what the next steps would be.
Dr. Sampath and his team were able to once again remove all of the cancer during this second surgery. Thanks to his skill and expertise, I would not have to go through chemotherapy.
For follow-up care, I have been under the watchful eye of Dr. Jeremy Ho, Oncologist at Richmond Hospital, who I see every three months. The care, compassion, and expertise I’ve personally experienced from the doctors at Richmond Hospital give me great confidence for the best possible outcome.
My health journey has made me realize how critical it is for all of us to support our local hospital.
We never know when we might encounter illness or an accident. Richmond Hospital is here for us—providing the best quality of local health care 24 hours a day. That is an invaluable benefit to our community.
There is a joyousness in coming together to create a life well-lived. Joyful giving is joyful living. Please join me and donate today.
Yi E Chen
Donate now to Richmond Hospital Foundation