In November of 1995, Tom Gorman began to experience acute shortness of
breath and sharp pain in his left side that traveled up his back to the
base of his neck. On December 6, 1995, doctors at St. Rita's Medical
Center, in Lima, Ohio, performed a thoracentesis and inserted a chest
tube that remained in place for several days. Pathologists a the Lima
Pathology Laboratories in found no malignant cells. The doctors diagnosis
was left lower lobe pneumonia with pleural effusion. After prescribing
Mr. Gorman antibiotics they discharged him on December 16, 1995. On December
19, 1995, Mr. Gorman returned to the emergency room at St. Rita's
with increased left sided pain, fever, chills and night time sweats. The
doctors then performed a CT guided chest tube drainage and on December
20 performed a thoracotomy and decortication of the left lower lobe. A
tissue specimen was removed and analyzed and found to be non-malignant.
Mr. Gorman was then sent home again.
In July of 1996, the pain in his side was too much to ignore, Mr. Gorman
again went to the emergency room of St. Rita's. A CT scan of his chest
revealed a new mediastinal mass, pleural thickening and a pleural effusion.
Fluid was obtained and cytology tests were again negative. Mr. Gorman
was again sent home. The fluid in Mr. Gorman's lungs continued to
accumulate and the pain increased. Doctors at the Northwest Ohio Surgical
Specialist strongly recommended that the pleural mass be excised via open
thoracotomy. Nervously, the Gorman's consented. On December 11, 1996
Mr. Gorman underwent a left thoracotomy with rib resection and pleural
biopsy. The biopsy revealed diffuse epithelial malignant mesothelioma.
The local doctors advised Mr. Gorman that he was not eligible for aggressive
therapy or surgery. The Gorman family was in a state of shock. His own
doctor told them to get "his affairs ready". The doctors they
had turned to for help could only shrug their shoulders.
They knew that someone had to know how to help them fight this battle.
That is when Mr. Gorman's son, Glen, contacted us. Mr. Gorman and
his family wanted some answers or a point in the right direction. They
had never talked to a lawyer. They did not even know where to begin their
crusade to heal Mr. Gorman. They wanted to get the best possible treatment;
but did not know where to find it. We helped the Gorman family contact
Dr. Sam Hammar in Bremerton, Washington. They called Dr. Hammar's
office. Dr. Hammar returned their call while aboard a boat in the Pacific.
Dr. Hammar recommended Dr. David Sugarbaker at Brigham and Womens Hospital
in Boston, Massachusetts. Two days later, the Gormans were in Boston visiting
Dr. Sugarbaker for the first time. After an initial round of evaluations,
Dr. Sugarbaker schedule Tom for the famed "tri-modal therapy."
On February 20, 1997, Mr. Gorman had his left lung removed at Brigham
& Women's Hospital.
Tom went home on Monday, March 17, 1997. Since then he has been recuperating
under his family's watchful eye. Even though he is physically exhausted,
Tom Gorman knows he can win this war. Tom is positive and enthusiastic
about getting better. He knows there is always hope. Tom knows the day
cannot be far that he can declare himself the conqueror of mesothelioma.
Glen and his family can only say wonderful things about how they were
treated at B&W. According to Glen "Dr. Sugarbaker has quite a
reputation around here". He has given them hope.
*** POSTED APRIL 14, 1997 ***
Mr. Tom Gorman passed away on January 26, 1998