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Johnny Mitchell's Story

Johnny Mitchell was the picture of health. At 42 years of age, he was enjoying his life with his wife and four children, and had, as he put it, "no worries." He had never experienced any health problems. Johnny assumed the blood he noticed was just a result of common hemorrhoids, and went on with his daily activities, not giving much thought to this minor symptom.

But when the traditional hemorrhoid treatment failed, and the problem got worse, Johnny's family physician recommended a colonoscopy. Colon cancer didn't run in Johnny's family, and he didn't have any other risk factors for the disease. But he and his physician decided it would be best to cover all the bases and rule out anything serious.

Johnny had his colonoscopy at Chelsea Community Hospital. The procedure, as he put it, was "painless." And then the crushing diagnosis came: he had colon cancer. A seven-millimeter mass had to be removed from his sigmoid colon.

When Johnny got the news, to say he was shocked doesn't begin to describe the emotional blow he received.

"I hit the wall. I hit the wall at a hundred and ten," he says. "I thought that I'd maybe never see my wife. I thought that I'd never watch my kids on the soccer field again... That was pretty devastating."

The next step was to decide where to have his surgery performed - and Johnny chose Chelsea Community Hospital. Within two weeks, Johnny was in the operating room. His surgeon removed eight inches of his colon and reconnected it using minimally invasive technology. When Johnny woke up after his surgery, he discovered a small incision on his abdomen less than three inches long, and he knew it was a success. A few minutes later, his surgeon delivered the news: he was cancer free.

"My surgeon at Chelsea Community Hospital was second to none," Johnny said. "She, her staff, her physician's assistant, even her nurse practitioner, came personally to my room and said, 'How are you?' The quality of care that I received at the Chelsea Community Hospital is beyond remarkable. When I needed something, when my family needed anything, they took care of us."

Johnny's friends and family didn't know that Johnny could have this advanced surgery done at Chelsea - and many were outright shocked when they heard his story.

"A lot of people, after I had been treated at Chelsea Community Hospital, said, 'You did what?' I don't think people truly realize what Chelsea Community Hospital can do. I said, 'They took eight inches out of my colon in Chelsea.'"

Though he says the quality of his care was "above and beyond," Johnny is most grateful for the outcome: his cancer is gone and he can focus on what matters most to him.

"To be able to have another day to be a dad ... to see my wife ...I can never repay Chelsea Community Hospital for what they did. They gave me a second chance at life."

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