Memorable Moments-Drs. Hawes, Janousky and Jaffe
We asked several doctors who appear on the Best and Top Doctors lists to share a memorable day or experience in their medical careers.
Dr. Robert Hawes
Medical Director, Florida Hospital Institute for Minimally Invasive Therapy
The worn, decade-old Peachtree Road Race T-shirt hanging in my office is a daily reminder of the impact we can have on patients. I didn’t run the popular Atlanta marathon, but one of my patients did. He was in his mid-30s when he was referred to me because his physicians were unable to find a diagnosis. Using endoscopic ultrasound, I found cancer in his pancreas, an unexpected diagnosis in someone his age. He went to surgery, the cancer was removed and he recovered. Less than a year later, I received a package from the young man. He penned a wonderful thank-you letter and included the shirt he wore while running the race. It is a true blessing to be in a profession where we can impact people’s lives and allow them to fulfill their dreams.
Dr. Stuart Janousky
Pediatrician, Physician Associates
When Lily Quintus came in for her 4-year-old check-up in April 2014, I never thought it would be the last time I would see her. The next day, Lily was killed when a car crashed into her daycare center. Her tragic death stunned all of us in my office. Disbelief turned into anger as we tried to make sense of something so senseless. Just the day before, Lily and I had been talking about how much we loved Star Wars. How could such a vivacious little girl be gone? As a pediatrician it’s my job to take care of my patients, but that day I couldn’t protect Lily. Her life, and unexpected death, taught me that the promise of tomorrow is not really a promise at all. It’s not a lesson that a doctor hopes to learn from such a young child, but it is a lesson that has changed me forever. I will always think of Lily when I first walk into an exam room as a reminder not to take anything for granted. Lily’s time on this earth may have been brief, but her memory will be with me forever.
Dr. Sharon Jaffe
Fertility Specialist, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Becoming a mother was always important to me. The morning after I gave birth to my daughter, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctors from several renowned cancer centers advised me against a future pregnancy based on medical knowledge at that time. I was devastated. I had wanted to have four children. But I quickly changed my focus. I was blessed with a beautiful daughter—now I wanted to remain alive. I underwent the most aggressive treatment so that I could be a mother to her. Pregnancy after cancer is a reality in the 21st century. As a fertility specialist, it is my privilege to help cancer patients preserve their fertility for the future so they have the hope of building a family. It is my goal to help all my patients become mothers. The reaction of my patient, the future mom, the first time she hears her baby’s heartbeat, is priceless. I feel grateful for the opportunity to help build each family. My husband always says that I have the best job in the whole world. He is right!