As I think back on the many patients I have cared for, none stand out more than a young man named Brandon. I met Brandon while working in a cancer center south of Atlanta and during a time that I was very accustomed to seeing sick patients.
Prior to our meeting, the day started like any other. I can remember reviewing CT scans with the radiologist in the morning and we noticed Brandon’s CT scan was particularly bad. His scan showed a very aggressive looking esophageal mass with probable malignant spread to the liver. Walking back to my office, I was focused on what I had just seen and what might be our next steps.
Later that day, Brandon arrived in my clinic. I walked into the room and there seemed to be a mistake. The people in this room were young and healthy-looking.
“Where is our patient?” I asked. Brandon smiled. His wife kindly spoke up, but with a tear in her eye. “This is my husband, Brandon. Your new patient.” I couldn’t speak. The nurse dropped her clipboard.
Brandon was newly married and his wife pregnant with their first child. He was athletic, a former college athlete, and very fit and active. He wasn’t the kind of person I expected to see.
He told me his story. He was having swallowing problems for several months and on one occasion, a steak dinner became lodged in his esophagus turning into hours and hours of retching and vomiting. He was seen in a local ER and underwent an upper endoscopy. A large tumor was identified, partially blocking the esophagus. Additional testing confirmed that Brandon had developed esophageal cancer. In hindsight, his only medical history had been chronic heartburn and indigestion.
Over the next year, I spent many days with Brandon as he went through cancer treatments. Through it all, he remained so positive, so interested and inquisitive, constantly asking for updates about new technologies and research.
Often, he would ask me how this happened. For that, I never had a good answer. Sadly, Brandon passed away after a year-long battle. A tragedy to his family, friends, and the community.
Following his death, I began to wonder how many Brandons might be out there. People who seem healthy, but have some minor physical complaint that was a warning. I started to think about the stories I had heard many times from my colleagues – someone seemed perfectly healthy until they weren’t. Families destroyed. Dreams lost.
So what is the answer? What can we do to make a difference?
- Perhaps much earlier medical screening and check ups
- We should use technologies like genomic science to identify an individual with unusual risk
- Be more proactive and do earlier testing to evaluate even the mildest of symptoms
- Closer monitoring
- Referral to other experts when needed
- Start working on lifestyle and diet to reduce risk to reduce risk
These are just a few of the many ideas that have led to the creation of Neighborhood Gastroenterology & Nutrition. The science of preventing medical problems is an ever evolving field. We are dedicated to working with you to provide the most proactive, holistic, and cutting edge technogies to preserve your good health. Maybe we can even prevent the next Brandon. I know he would be very pleased by that.
We appreciate your trust in allowing us to be part of your journey.
Best of Health and God Bless,
Your Treatment Is Tailored To YouThere are many factors that impact your digestive health; being holistic and proactive is our approach to care. With a little extra attention to details and early testing, we will work to get you back on the road to health.
Our team cares about putting you on a genuine path to healing and optimal health. We aren’t happy until you are happy. We want long-term relationships with our patients, making important health journeys with them.
We Want Your Feedback
This practice was designed for you. Your insights, experiences and impressions will help us grow and improve. Our business model is to create services that you love and need. Please help us do that. You will be given multiple opportunities to share your thoughts and ideas for things you would like to see. Based on your feedback, we are already designing several projects for this year including a dedicated service for weight managment and nutrition, predictive medicine , research and creating more educational content.
ABOUT DR. LYDAY
Dr. William Lyday
Physicians go back many generations in Dr. Lyday’s family. His great grandfather, known as Dr. Bill, was a general medical doctor in Brevard, NC. He rode his horse drawn buggy, making home visits throughout western North Carolina. He was a colleague of Crawford Long, MD in Atlanta and was the first to offer modern anesthesia in his region.
Dr. Lyday’s grandfather, Charles Emmet Lyday, was the Valedictorian of his class at Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons, now known as Emory University. He served in France during WWI and later in private practice as an OB-Gyn in Gastonia, NC.
Dr. Lyday’s father, a thoracic surgeon, also served as an Army surgeon following WWII. He practiced for five decades in Charlotte, NC.
However, the most famous Lyday physician was John Lyday, MD in Greensboro, NC. He was the inspiration for the character known as Trapper John MD from the TV show MASH which chronicled his experiences in the Korean War.
You could say the medical profession was a deep tradition in the Lyday family.
After completing his undergrad degree at the University of Georgia, Dr. Lyday returned to North Carolina for medical school at UNC Chapel Hill with the intention of becoming a surgeon like his dad. To his surprise, gastroenterology became his passion. His father forgave him and teased “At least you didn’t become a psychiatrist!”
“Seeing medicine and how it was practiced by so many dedicated, hardworking men in my family gave me a strong sense of duty and a desire to maintain their very high standards. In my family, medicine was a profession, not a business.”
Following his fellowship at the University of Nebraska, he returned to Georgia highly interested in all the new technology being introduced in the Atlanta area. Dr. Lyday’s focused much of his efforts on cancer prevention, nutrition, research, and innovative procedures. Dr. Lyday is board certified in Gastroenterology. Over the years, he’s enjoyed many affiliations, including with Atlanta Health Institute, Atlanta Community Clinical Oncology Program, Georgia Institute of Technology, He served as the founding director of Gastroenterology andNutrition at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He’s currently affiliated with Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital, Northside, and Piedmont Hospitals.
When he’s not working, he enjoys fitness, golfing, and comedy clubs. (Sometimes laughter is the best medicine!