Dr. David Weeks, Internal Medicine
The old-fashioned family physician doesn’t exist anymore but this is pretty close. I am so appreciative of Dr. Weeks and the other ARC doctors for moving things along so quickly and I am grateful that we have our energetic kid back.
When David’s 22-year old daughter, Mary, asked him to feel lumps she discovered in her neck, David was alarmed. The lumps were substantial. He called his ARC Internal Medicine primary care physician, Dr. David Weeks, for an appointment.
“Dr. Weeks saw Mary immediately even though she was not his patient,” David says appreciatively.
Mary had graduated from college with a math degree and was staying with her parents while seeking a placement with AmeriCorps.
Dr. Weeks examined Mary and immediately got her an appointment with Dr. Joseph Leary, an ARC Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. Mary had a biopsy later that week and returned to Dr. Leary’s office with her parents.
“When Dr. Leary told us that Mary had papillary thyroid cancer, Mary started to cry. I thought she was frightened of cancer,” David says. As it turned out, Mary was afraid she would have to turn down the AmeriCorps placement she had finally received.
Mary called AmeriCorps and explained her situation. “They were very understanding,” David says. Her placement was delayed for a couple of months.
Dr. Leary and Dr. Achal Dhruva performed Mary’s 4-hour surgery. Two hours into the surgery, they assured David and his wife that everything was going well. After the surgery, Mary had to go on a 2-week iodine-free diet and ingest a radioactive pill that kills any remaining thyroid cells. She then underwent a nuclear scan.
A couple of months later, Mary went to Maine to work on an organic farm, teach local school children about growing their own food, and sell produce at the farmer’s market. One year after Mary’s surgery, she a second radioactive treatment and nuclear scan and received good news. Mary was cancer free!
“I am so appreciative of Dr. Weeks and the other ARC doctors for moving things along so quickly,” David says. “And I am grateful that we have our energetic kid back.” David explains that Mary, who had been a very high-energy child, was tired and lacked energy for several years before the surgery due to the slow-growing papillary thyroid cancer.
Months later, Dr. Weeks asked David how Mary was doing.
“The old-fashioned family physician doesn’t exist anymore,” David says, “but this is pretty close.”
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