Skip to Content
Worthington & Caron, PC Worthington & Caron, PC
Get Empowered! 800-831-9399

Fighting The Battle


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