I Got My Life Back

Catherine Holland
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“The doctors at AdventHealth gave me back my life when I thought there was no hope.”– Catherine Holland

Written by: Joy Payne

Early February 2018, Catherine was admitted to the AdventHealth Hendersonville Emergency Department with lower left abdominal pain and a high fever. After a CT scan, blood tests and a full exam by her primary care physician, she was diagnosed with a diverticulitis flare with a perforated sigmoid colon and was immediately scheduled for surgery with AdventHealth Medical Group physicians, David Onofrey, MD, FACS and Demetri Poulis, MD, FACS.

Diverticulitis is a serious disease that involves the inflammation of small pouches called diverticula that develop along the walls of the intestines causing intense abdominal pain. In addition, because of the surgery that this disease calls for, diverticulitis can sometimes lead to individuals requiring a colostomy.

When Holland was told that it was likely she would need a colostomy, she was devastated. As a psychotherapist in private practice, having to deal with this additional health burden would make her professional and personal life more difficult. After her initial surgery, Catherine was referred to AdventHealth Medical Group Surgery Specialist, Pierre DeMatos, MD, FACS, to discuss her concerns. With his help, along with Drs. Onofre and Poulis, she only had to have a temporary colostomy for a brief period.

Catherine says, “During my health process, I felt secure knowing that my doctors were on top of everything and would prepare the best treatment plan for me. I experienced AdventHealth care when I had thyroid cancer in 2017 and knew that they were dedicated to getting me back to feeling whole. I feel blessed to have had such skilled and compassionate doctors heal and help me through that difficult period.”

According to Dr. DeMatos, Catherine’s diagnosis was complex, but he was determined to help her get her life back.Dr. DeMatos says, “I treat my patients as if they were my family. Their whole health matters. I knew that Catherine’s colostomy was not what she wanted, so I committed myself to find a way to help her recover as soon as possible.”

Dr. DeMatos’s dedication to giving Catherine whole-person care – mind, body, and spirit, exemplifies the heart of the AdventHealth Medical group surgery Specialists team. Every person matters. Every time.No matter the diagnosis.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, even a little bit scared, when it comes to having a surgical procedure. That’s why everything in our AdventHealth care facilities are designed to help settle your mind and ease your spirit. For Catherine Holland, this meant transitioning her off a colostomy, so she could get back to what she loved most: hiking with her husband and dog, creating art, and being a skilled therapist for her clients.

Somewhere along your wellness journey, you may face surgery. And when you do, it’ll be an important step along the way, but not the finish line. At AdventHealth, our goal is to deliver expert whole-person surgical care, before, during and after any treatment. From elective to urgent surgical procedures, outpatient to inpatient, let us help you charge forward, combining the most advanced science and the least invasive techniques —including robot-assisted surgery — with kindness, compassion, and comfort.

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