"I have been delighted with what she did for me"

About: St James's University Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Having discovered three tumours in my only remaining kidney in January 2014, I was told I would lose the kidney and have to accept dialysis. My oncologist felt otherwise and wanted the largest tumour surgically removed and the remaining two to be frozen. After a great deal of very stressful meetings, the surgeon finally agreed to operate. This took place in January 2015. Of course, during the year of arguing, the tumours were growing and in July 2015 (18 months after they were deemed a risk) I was told my local hospital did not feel able to ablate them as one of them was too hard to access and too near the lung. I asked for a second opinion and was eventually referred to Dr Tze Wah at St James in Leeds and in January 2016 she ablated the trickiest of the tumours and in May she did the remaining tumour.

From the moment my wife and I met Dr Wah and her PA Janette, we felt at ease. Dr Wah oozes confidence and compassion. She takes time to listen and even more time to carefully and honestly explain what she can do and what the likely outcomes will be. I have been delighted with what she did for me and will be forever grateful for the dialysis free time she has bought me. I would also like to acknowledge the nursing care I received. It was top rate. So was the follow up. DR Wah and Janette were on the end of the phone when needed. These people are what the caring profession is all about.

In conclusion, I would like to make a very important point. Had my wife and I not insisted on a second opinion and had our original doctor who was not prepared to do the ablation been prepared to do the research that found Dr Wah, I would not be in the fortunate position I am today. The NHS seems to operate in silos and is very territorial. Who knew this wonderful doctor was in Leeds and able to do such tricky ablation surgery? We didn't and I don't think many medics do either. So the question is how many other patients with one kidney are about to lose it because they do not know Dr Wah can possibly help with her advanced ablation skills? How many kidney cancer patients have a kidney removed when ablating the tumour might be a better solution?

My message to other cancer patients is never give up. Do your own research. Ask questions. Demand second and third opinions if you have to. Be aware the NHS is not truly "national". You have to make it that way. Look outside your immediate geography. Help the medics help themselves by keeping track of appointments, letters etc as these people are busy and need prompting and reminding so you don't fall between the cracks of the various departments.

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