Erma Billingsley felt awful. She had a pain in her stomach, and had been lying around feeling sick for several weeks, unable to care much for herself or her big cat Buttercup.
She had gone to an urgent care center where they told her it was constipation. They sent her home with a laxative.
Her condition continued to worsen. With help from her granddaughter, the 83-year-old came to Swope Health Services.
That’s where Ms. Billingsley saw her primary care provider, Dr. Ratnesh Kumar, who realized that she wasn’t just feeling bad. He found a serious problem – a mass in her abdomen – and sent her immediately to the hospital for emergency care.
It turned out to be a tumor. Cancer.
Ms. Billingsley was admitted to the hospital and was in surgery the following morning. Her surgeon removed both her appendix, which was leaking and damaged, and the tumor near her colon.
“I’m really pleased with Dr. Kumar,” Ms. Billingsley said. “He helped save my life. I’m now cancer-free. I praise God that everything came out all right.”
Ms. Billingsley spent about a week in the hospital before she was released. She had a second surgery a couple of weeks later, which confirmed that she was cancer-free.
She praised Dr. Kumar for his care, as well as Research Medical Hospital and Bishop Spencer Place during her rehabilitation.
“I was in the intensive care units and I really appreciated the care I got,” she said. “And at rehab, too. Everyone – from my therapist to the housekeeper – was just great.”
Ms. Billingsley said she is grateful for the care she continues to receive from Swope Health Services and Dr. Kumar.
“Everyone is so good to me,” she said.
At SHS, we welcome new patients and want to help you be healthy. Call 816-923-5800 to make an appointment, even a same-day appointment.