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
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