Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chesapeake Bay Lilac Painting and the Story of the Doctor Who Saved My Sister's Life

Chesapeake Bay Lilacs by Nancy Medina

Chesapeake Bay Lilacs is the newest work in the studio, after a day that held a very pleasant surprise. I went for my annual exam today and when I walked into the examination room, I looked up and there was my original geranium palette knife painting. This painting was a gift to a very special doctor who saved my sister's life. It was a wonderful gift to me, to see it again, and be reminded that the world is, indeed, filled with kind people.

Five years ago, my youngest sister Jackie had gone without an annual exam for some time, because she and her husband had no health insurance. When she visited a clinic, a nurse there conducted a pelvic exam and was extremely concerned about what she found. She urged Jackie to see a doctor immediately. She had deduced, correctly, that Jackie had advanced cervical cancer. That evening I made a call to my own ObGyn's office. I explained Jackie had no insurance, and I shared the concerns of the nurse who had examined her. Cynthia Mace-Motta, my doctor, said to bring her first thing in the morning. She said not to worry about the insurance, or payment, but to just be sure she was there when the doors opened.

Dr. Mace-Motta was equally concerned when she examined Jackie, and referred her to a friend and colleague who is a surgical ObGyn oncologist. He, too, insisted Jackie come in quickly, and told us not to worry about the cost. Jackie was diagnosed with Stage 4 cervical cancer. He, too, charged nothing for his treatment and his exam. A week later, Jackie had an hysterectomy at a hospital in Dallas, and she has been cancer free ever since.

The next time I had an appointment with Dr. Mace-Motta, I took an old shopping bag and squeezed a painting into it. I did not have a nice box or wrapping paper, and it looked extremely awkward when I brought it into her office. I gave it to her as my thanks for saving my sister's life. Since that time, Dr. Mace-Motta has moved to new offices and had all of her walls repainted in lovely earth tones. She hung the painting in her exam room, where the nurses said patients always remarked on it. I thought it looked great, too, but not as great as the photo of a cowboy they had taped to the ceiling above the exam table to keep their female patients distracted!

Chesapeake Bay Lilacs on the easel today

Barbara, Dr. Mace-Motta's nurse, with the
painting I gave Dr. Mace-Motta for saving
my sister Jackie's life


Anonymous said...

what a wonderful gesture,, I did a painting so much like that,, your work is beautiful,, I hope someday to paint as well as you,, just amazing,

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Dear Auntie Nancy
The painting is so beautiful.
And isn't it so wonderful to know that there are very caring people in the world who offer to help?
Your doctor is a "gem". And those others who helped out, are "gems" too. What a beautiful story.
And the gift that you gave them,,, so touching

Deb said...

I lost my friend last year to cervical cancer. Wonderful that they caught it in time for your sister. Lovely painting. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x4

AutumnLeaves said...

The lilacs are just beautiful, Nancy! The geraniums and the doctors? Even more so. It is so wonderful to know that some doctors care more about their patients than they do about money.

Ruth Welter said...

Nancy, this story is a tear jerker for kind and generous of the doctors who helped your sister, this is an amazing story. What a beautiful gift for the doctor and so deserving too. In a world where medical care is all too often just about health insurance, this story really touched my heart.

I honestly didn't know there were such doctors in the world, thanks for sharing this positive story. Glad you sister is ok.

Your artwork is as always, gorgeous.


Nancy Standlee said...

Wonderful inspirational story and thank God for doctors who go beyond our expectations and for artists who remember them.

Amy Kenyon said...

That was such a beautiful story Nancy! Very touching! And I love the Lilac painting! Gorgeous!

Marilyn Hantla Russell said...

Thank you for sharing your sister's story. I am a nurse and it is gratifying to have the nurse's role mentioned. I am also a painter and think the gift for the doctor was such a brilliant idea. Your work is lovely. Keep painting!

Vikki Bouffard said...

What a wonderful story and wonderful outcome. I'm so glad you still have your sister and that she's cancer free. It's sometimes hard to remember all the good, kind, generous and loving people in the world when you see all the disturbing news in our society and others. Thanks for sharing your story and by the way, the painting is pretty terrific also!

Cozy Little House said...

How wonderful that doctors (some, anyway) will still do things like this out of the kindness of their hearts. And save lives like your sister's. But then what the doctor got in return is worth its weight in gold in my estimation!