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Patient Stories

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Brenda's Story

My story, or more correctly, my husbands' story began with his diagnosis of lung cancer in November of 2010.

In March of 2010, prior to his diagnosis of cancer he had suffered a heart attack and was "dashed" to the cardiac cath lab with, what I was told later a "widow maker", a potentially lethal diagnosis. Thanks to the swift action of the nursing staff and the expertise of cardiologist, Dr. Mumma, his life was spared with the implantation of three stents.

Fast forward to November, 2010. Suffering with pneumonia, he was found to have lung cancer. In January he met with Florida Cancer Specialists' Dr. Brown who, in turn, referred him to Dr. Richard Hoefer, thoracic surgeon with a specialty in pulmonary surgery. My husband had a right thoracotomy (removal of his right middle and lower lobes of his lung.) He did well and returned home, able to go back to his job.

In March he was back in the hospital with what was diagnosed as a bronchopleural fistula (a leak or small hole in his lung), where the incision was from his thoracotomy.

Dr Hoefer, who was to be at his side throughout the next 8 months, performed countless surgeries and actually pulled him through many complications which would ensue. Infectious disease, gastroenterology and cardiology were all consulted. Always at the forefront, was Dr. Hoefer and the precious nursing staff on 5 East Tower. When countless problems arose, I was confident that I could call his office and receive instructions from Linda, his wife, who is a seasoned RN and manages the office as well. Dr. Hoefer is a true hero in our eyes, as he saved my husbands life. We thank Sarasota Memorial’s physicians, the O.R. Nurses, the RNs on the floor and the staff from dietary for their compassion and knowledge. It is a slow recovery for him but he is home and we thank God for Sarasota Memorial every day. As an RN who works on 7 East tower, I also would like to add that the support that I received from my co-workers and my director, Spencer Hudon, overwhelms me. They are my heart.

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