September 8, 2023

The Elliot Hospital Saved My Dad’s Life

In November 2022 Syd Thomson wasn’t feeling well and received an alert from his Apple Watch indicating that his resting heart rate had spiked to a dangerous level. He made the decision to immediately head to the emergency room at the Elliot Hospital.

Shortly after being admitted, he was diagnosed with the flu. The Elliot emergency department team took the extra precaution of sending him for a chest x-ray which showed an abnormal spot on his lung. Subsequently, a CT scan was done which showed a large mass in the lung and Syd was immediately referred to the thoracic surgery team at the Elliot Hospital.

“We met with Dr. Curtis Quinn and he pulled up the CT scan image of my Dad’s lungs, looked my Dad in the eye and said, ‘You getting the flu and going to the emergency department at Elliot Hospital saved your life’” says Syd’s son, Chris Thomson. “It was a powerful statement that put the situation into perspective. If the emergency department team didn’t push for an x-ray and CT scan, there’s a good chance the mass in my Dad’s lung would have never been found, until it was too late.”

Shortly after the initial appointment, Dr. Quinn performed a biopsy on the mass. confirming it was lung cancer. Syd underwent surgery in late January to remove the mass. Dr. Quinn was able to remove the entire mass, in conjunction with Cryo Nerve Block Therapy, which freezes the nerves around the surgical area. Instead of feeling pain post-surgery, the patient has a numbing sensation for a few months. This therapy has been invaluable to patients, reducing and often eliminating the need for opioid pain medication.

“My Dad had two thirds of his left lung removed and received no pain medication during the surgery or after” says Chris. “His recovery went remarkably well. The very day after he came from the hospital, he went for a three mile walk and about 6 months post-surgery he completed a seven-mile hike in the White Mountains. It’s an amazing story and hard to fathom. He is living his life as though nothing ever happened. “

During his last scan, all indications show that he is completely cancer free. While Dr. Quinn will be monitoring his health for a long time, we're all very optimistic. As Chris tells it, “The Elliot Hospital saved my Dad’s life.”


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