Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Healthwatch Fall 2008
Crucial Leukemia Diagnosis and Treatment
Now Cancer-Free, Brian Is Looking Forward to a Bright Future
Brian's abdominal pain brought him to the emergency room of a South Florida hospital twice in one month. Both times, the 4-year-old was diagnosed with constipation, nothing more.
The third time Brian needed to go to the ER, his mother, Nancy, followed a hunch and drove him to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital so he could see a different doctor. Mario Tano, MD, Chief of the Department of Medicine at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and pediatric gastroenterologist on the medical staffs of Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital Miramar, suspected there was something more to Brian's symptoms, so he ordered additional tests to look for the underlying cause.
The diagnosis? Leukemia.
"I can't express how strongly we feel about Dr. Tano," says Brian's father, Patrick. "He's really a hero to us."
Choosing the Right Hospital
Before putting Brian on chemotherapy, his parents did their homework to ensure they would be selecting trustworthy doctors and top-notch facilities.
"Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is one example of how you'd like the healthcare system to work in this country," says Patrick. "Not only are the doctors good, but the nurses are, too. They were funny, upbeat and cheerful, and knew how to keep Brian calm. These little things make a difference."
The family appreciated the hospital's patientand family-centered care principles.
"All the doctors at Joe DiMaggio really respected our input as parents. They told us, No one knows your child like you do,'" says Patrick.
"It's always helpful when parents are involved in their child's care. That was definitely the case with Brian's family," says Brian Cauff, MD, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist on the medical staffs of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital Miramar. "When we are able to openly discuss a child's treatment options and get parents involved in the decision-making, it creates better outcomes."
Three years later, Brian is cancerfree and his parents are much more informed about hospitals. "When you go through these things, you find out that the quality of care is not uniform across the country," says Patrick.
"We really love Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital because of how they cared for our son."
For referral to a physician for your child, please call
To find a Memorial physician who is committed to patient- and family-centered care, call Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Physician Referral Service toll-free at (866) JDCH-DOC. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.