Surgeon steps up for cancer patient undergoing scan alone due to social distancing rules

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Even though doctors are swamped fighting coronavirus, they’re still going above and beyond to make sure every patient is taken care of.

As the world focuses on COVID, millions of people are also fighting other illnesses every day. Now that battle is even more difficult.

“For our cancer patients it’s another level of, or another obstacle to take on. It’s almost like running two marathons.” Dr. Claudia Perez, a surgeon at Rush Hospital, said. “The fight against COVID and the fight against cancer.”

Social distancing means it needs to be done alone.

“The thought of walking into that hospital for those terrifying scans that were going to tell us whether or not I have cancer, it just felt like too much,” patient Jessica Roubitchek said.

Worried her breast cancer had returned, Roubitchek couldn’t wait to get the scans. This time, her family could not be with her.

But, her doctor wouldn’t let her go through this alone. Even though Roubitchek could not bring visitors to her scan, Perez told her she would be there.

“It was a small thing,” Perez said. “It was something that I thought was the right thing to do and as a human, I think all of us would do that if we could.”

The entire team at Rush has been working, some from home, to make sure every patient is given care.

“My appreciation was just, I mean, I can’t even describe how grateful I am and how grateful my family was that she did that for me,” Roubitchek said.

Her daughter Eliana said it feels good knowing someone is going to be there for her mom.

Roubitchek did learn her breast cancer returned. But she says knowing her doctors are going to be there with her through it, puts her mind at ease.

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