Our Digestive Patients

St. Vincent's treats patients who suffer from a wide variety of digestive issues. These are their stories.

Lisa M.

Lisa M. may not have much, but what she does have is family.

“I have a pretty tightly knit family,” Lisa says. “We’re real close.”

Two sons, three daughters, one sister, a brother and a couple grandchildren make up Lisa’s clan, and she says they’re the ones that keep her going every day.

Indeed, it was their love and support that kept Lisa afloat when the 47-year old was diagnosed with colon cancer last September.

“I wasn’t feeling well—I had real bad stomach pain and I felt nauseous, so my sister took me to the doctor, who then sent me to St. Vincent’s Riverside. I had some tests done and received a blood transfusion.”

Dr. Abdi Abbassi, a gastroenterologist who works with St. Vincent’s, performed an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and discovered the terrifying cause of Lisa’s discomfort.

It wasn’t the first time Lisa had encountered the villainous disease. Her father and sister passed away from cancer and her other sister who is still alive defeated lung cancer but currently battles breast cancer. As Lisa recalls, her diagnosis felt like a nightmare.

Surgery was planned to attempt to remove the cancerous tissue. Dr. Abbassi recommended Dr. Javier Herrera, a general surgeon who works at St. Vincent’s, to perform the procedure. The only remaining hurdle was financial.

“I didn’t have any insurance, and I definitely didn’t have the money to cover my surgery,” Lisa recalls. “Thankfully, St. Vincent’s HOPE Program was able to help me out.”

With HOPE on her side, Lisa had surgery about a month after her diagnosis. 36 inches of her colon were removed and with it the nefarious cancer cells. Thanks to an early diagnosis and swift action, Lisa was free of the disease.

The moment she was told the cancer was gone was overwhelming for Lisa. Today, she’s still cancer-free and is just getting back to living life. She’s thankful for her family’s enduring support, guidance from God, and everyone at St. Vincent’s for taking care of her.

“We may live in Waycross, but anytime there’s anything wrong with my family, we go to St. Vincent’s,” Lisa says. “My family has had several procedures at St. Vincent’s, and we’ve always been blessed to receive the best care.”