In the last year, 56-year-old finance professional Diane Kovacs has had a lot to be thankful for. After enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with family in 2015, Diane didn’t feel well and knew something was wrong. Soon after, she had her husband drive her to a nearby hospital, where a CAT scan revealed a tumor in her left lung. At that moment, Diane was referred to her lifeline and her biggest patient advocate, Nina Maouelainin, DO, interventional pulmonologist at Grand View Health.
Dr. Maouelainin was Diane’s trusted guide on this unexpected journey. Using the latest diagnostic technology for detection and identification of lung cancer, Dr. Maouelainin performed an Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy, navigating through Diane’s airways to locate the tumor. She then used an Endobronchial Ultrasound to get accurate samples of the lung tissue and lymph nodes. The tests confirmed that the 30-year smoker had stage 3A lung cancer.
Through physician collaboration, Diane’s treatment plan was mapped out for chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Dr. Maouelainin ultimately referred Diane to a skilled thoracic surgeon in the region who removed her left lung and saved her life. Two months later, Diane was cleared to go back to work to crunch numbers and count her blessings. “I don’t know what I would have done if Dr. Nina’s name had not come up,” Diane reflected. “She gives you hope, compassion and assurance that your diagnosis is a journey and that no matter what, you wouldn’t be alone. I owe my life to her.”