When Mark Stratton, 12, started having mild abdominal pains after meals, his mother, Julie, wanted to give it a while to see if it would resolve on its own. Julie was worried that another trip to the doctor’s office could mean huge medical bills that she couldn’t pay. But after the pain persisted for two weeks, it was clear they needed to see a doctor.
They were directed to Dell Children’s Medical Center. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the doctor emerged with the news no parent wants to hear – Mark had a rare form of pancreatic cancer called islet cell carcinoma. “At first I was devastated”, she said. “But the doctor quickly reassured us that this was a highly treatable form of cancer”. But Mark would need to undergo a major operation, referred to as the Whipple procedure. “The thing I worried most about was the pain. They had to open him up, god I didn’t want to think about that”, she says, holding back tears.
Luckily, Julie was connected with a team of anesthesiologists from the Capitol Anesthesiologist Association. They assured her that with a professional team carefully administering the agent Propofol, that Mark would be unaware of anything during the operation.
The operation was a huge success.
“I was really scared”, said Mark. But when asked if he was in a lot of pain, he said, “yeah, but mostly when I got home and didn’t take my pain meds”.
Today Mark is cancer free and both he and Julie are grateful for the expert services of the Capitol Anesthesia Association.