From Heartbreak to Heyday
When people ask me why I helped create Heyday Health, I’m reminded of one of the most heart-breaking patients I ever took care of. I was working in a hospital and she had been admitted with concerns for chest pain. After a heart attack was ruled out, we were trying to figure out what exactly was going on.
I met her leaning over the edge of her hospital bed. She was impossibly thin and looked older than her 71 years, but she was upbeat and shared her story freely. It wasn’t until I examined her that I understood why her scans were so unusual and why she was hurting so badly. Behind her right breast was a grapefruit sized tumor that was beginning to push into her lungs.
I asked her when she noticed this. Two years ago, she replied. But why didn’t she say anything? And this is what tore me apart, she said, “Who would I tell? I haven’t seen a doctor in 25 years because we couldn’t afford it, and well, no one ever asked me to see one, anyway.” And there it was. An entirely preventable cancer that could have likely been detected early and, if not, at least treated before it became incurable.
I still can’t help but think that it didn’t have to go this way. That if she had providers who cared to ask, who offered her a mammogram, who took the time, that she wouldn’t have had to suffer in the same way. What she needed, what we all need, is someone who cares.
That’s the why of Heyday Health. To know each of our patients deeply, to give them a team they trust, and to always put care first.