Amina, like many patients who finally arrive at Proton Therapy, endured a long and frightening medical journey from first symptom to diagnosis and successful treatment of her condition.
She first experienced pain in her ears along with dizziness. Amina went to an ENT specialist and was given medication to treat vertigo.
A few days later, she noticed dark blind spots interrupted her vision. Amina went to an ophthalmologist who said that her symptoms were probably related to dry eye syndrome. However, about six months later Amina’s colleagues told her that her eye was protruding. She made an emergency visit to her local physician who ordered an emergency MRI and non-contrast CT scan. The non – contrast scan indicated that another CT scan with contrast was needed. By this time, Amina was terrified of what the diagnosis might be and anxiously awaited the results.
The scan showed that something was growing behind Amina’s eye. When she talked with her coworkers about her condition, one of them referred her to a specialist at a private hospital. Amina scheduled an appointment with the specialist, who recommended that the growth be surgically removed. Based on this medical opinion, Amina traveled to Iran and to Jordan to meet with specialists and surgeons. When she asked about the success rate for these surgeries the physicians were unable to give her a specific answer. Despite the uncertainty and added fear, Amina moved forward with the surgery in Jordan in March of 2015. It was time to remove the growth behind her eye.
Amina was hospitalized for seven days post-surgery and was not allowed to travel for another week. After that, Amina was symptoms free, she could see and was able to return home. The results from the surgery confirmed that the growth that was removed was a benign tumor.
A few months post-surgery, Amina returned to Jordan for a follow-up visit with her physician. Things were looking good, but Amina was told that there was a possibility that the tumor could regrow and might require Radiation Therapy. It did, and two years later Amina began to once again experience dark blind spots in her vision.
This time, Amina sought the care of another specialist, who was extremely thorough in his examination and review of Amina’s medical history. He informed Amina that the tumor had recurred, and it was larger now than when it was surgically removed. The specialist explained to Amina that she would need proton therapy to eradicate the tumor and save her sight.
Following his recommendation, the Ministry of Health approved proton therapy for Amina through SAH Care. SAH Care has been facilitating proton therapy to patients from the Middle East in the United States for many years.
SAH Care’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Allan Thornton, was informed about Amina’s case and promptly began reviewing her medical history. He was able to confirm that she was a good candidate for proton therapy. SAH Care assisted Amina and her husband during this stressful time and offered the support they needed to travel to the United States to receive Proton Therapy.
Once Amina arrived in the U.S., she met with Dr. Thornton and was pleased with how informed and supported she felt. She was given all the information she needed to make a confident decision about her own treatment. Amina felt that she was in good hands. Her only regret was, “I wish I had heard about SAH Care and Proton Therapy earlier, before the tumor had a chance to regrow.”
When Amina reflects on her journey, she believes that medical treatment is not just about the skill of the doctors, but about the support that is offered as well. SAH Care provided both important aspects of care to Amina throughout her treatment; highly skilled, experienced physicians and committed, informative support. As a result of her proton therapy treatments, Amina’s vision is steadily improving and her prognosis is promising.