Cancer. A menacing word and the last diagnosis you want to be given. In February of 2015, Saraswoti Ghimire was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at only 45 years old. She immediately underwent surgery and started available treatment, beginning her battle for survival. In 2016, an estimated 22,280 new cases of ovarian cancer are expected in the United States and an estimated 14,240 cases of ovarian cancer will result in death. Because there are currently no accurate screening tests for the early detection of ovarian cancer, only 15% of patients are diagnosed in the early stages, which is vital for successful treatment.
Saraswoti focused on staying strong and endured the painful side effects of chemotherapy, but her treatment was interrupted by complications that required surgical intervention. Some types of chemotherapy may cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or reproductive system. Saraswoti was told by her doctors that there was no additional treatment available and was offered her final treatment in August of 2016, only eighteen months after receiving her initial diagnosis.
Despite the grim outlook given by Saraswoti’s healthcare providers, the Ghimire family was not willing to give up. The family reached out to Dr. Rosenberg at Advanced Medical Therapeutics of Boca Raton. They specialize in treatment for cancer using low dose chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs combined with other off-label treatment options to boost immune system and improve quality of life. Once Saraswoti was accepted into Dr. Rosenberg’s facility, the family now faced the difficulty of figuring out how to transport her there.
Saraswoti’s husband, Madhav, contacted Charity Air Ambulance in the hopes of getting his wife a fighting chance. He was pleased at our willingness to help and our words of encouragement and finally felt that his wife had someone on her side. We worked closely with the Ghimire family to ensure they were informed every step of the way in the transportation process.
Just over a week after reaching out to us, Saraswoti was transported by air ambulance to Dr. Rosenberg’s facility and would begin treatment in two days. Unfortunately, she never did get her chance for that specialized treatment, her condition worsened over the remainder of the weekend and Saraswoti passed away with her husband by her side. This devastating diagnosis has claimed another life, a beautiful wife and mother that will never be forgotten.
This unfortunate turn of events is not uncommon. Many patients are deterred from seeking alternative treatments that could possibly prolong their lives due to their insurance companies denying them. Some insurance companies will veto a doctor’s orders if they feel the treatment isn’t necessary or consider it experimental and are quick to deny coverage for newer treatments, especially those for cancer. This can leave patients and their families feeling lost and out of options. We at Charity Air Ambulance encourage patients and their loved ones to never give up. We will not only fight to transport patients to get them to the treatment they deserve, we will fight the insurance companies to cover the treatments they may have initially denied. Not every transport we support will have a happy ending but we are here to fight with our patients and their families until the very end.