Routine procedure helps Jonesboro man detect uncommon form of cancer
It started with a routine colonoscopy. Jonesboro resident Robert Smith, now 43 years old, had a history of chronic ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease which made routine colonoscopy screenings a necessity, even from a young age. This time, the results showed there were cancerous cells. Surgery to remove his entire large intestine was Smith’s best option. After he was sent home after surgery at Piedmont Atlanta, it wasn’t long before he had to be taken back for severe dehydration that caused his organs to shut down. Smith would have two more surgeries before being declared cancer-free. Smith credits his support system, mainly his wife and family for helping him beat cancer and has offered to be a resource for patients needing to undergo the same arduous surgery he had in order to beat cancer.
One year later: Two McDonough men at center of live tweet kidney transplantation
John Hembree came in secret to Piedmont Atlanta to see if his kidney was a match for fellow church member David Edwards after hearing Edwards had been placed on a transplant waiting list. Hembree had only met Edwards once. When tests confirmed Hembree’s kidney was a match, he sent a handwritten letter to Edwards offering his kidney. On December 14, 2012, Hembree and Edwards took part in the state’s first-ever “live tweet” of a robotic nephrectomy and living donor kidney transplantation at Piedmont Atlanta. Minute-by-minute updates, photos and videos of the two men’s surgeries were shared with the public via five of Piedmont’s social media outlets. Today, both men are well and their families have become advocates for living organ donation.