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Frances Barnett – Spiral Endoscopy Success Story

Bronchial thermoplasty helped Jayne Jones overcome asthma

Frances Barnett

Frances Barnett knew something was wrong. The energetic cook started having back pains then she became tired and weak. "I thought it was because I was doing a lot of lifting," says Barnett, who cooks for 400 to 500 people each day at a state facility in Benton, Arkansas, where she lives. "But I'm a person that is used to going and going and going, and it had gotten to the point where I just couldn't go anymore."

Taking a look

Barnett went to see her doctor in Arkansas, who ordered a colonoscopy and CT scan — and even a pill capsule test — but none of the tests revealed the source of the problem.

"I had to be given two pints of blood every 14 days," says Barnett. "But the problem was they could not see what was going on inside my small intestine."

Since there was no one in Arkansas who could perform the small bowel endoscopy that she needed, Barnett was referred to Methodist Charlton Medical Center, where Randal Macurak, MD, an independently practicing gastroenterologist on the medical staff, performed the procedure. The endoscopy revealed a tumor that was depleting her blood.

Back to normal

After the tumor was removed, Barnett was able to return to her normal activities.

"The staff at Methodist Charlton was wonderful," Barnett says. "Remember, I was from out of town and had to incur additional expenses for a hotel, etc., but they registered me immediately and got me in as soon as possible."

Barnett reminds others who may have a problem similar to hers that is difficult to diagnose and advises them to not give up. Despite what she had been told previously, she knew that there was a problem.

"You know when something's not right," she says.

From the fall 2010 edition of Shine magazine.