A ministry of healing: Jim gets his life back
Nashville is his community. This is where he attends church. This is where his home and family owned business are located. And thankfully right here is where Jim Ragland received the care he needed.
Normally healthy and active, Jim was feeling ill enough one Friday that he allowed his co-workers to drive him to the Saint Thomas Hospital ER.
“I just noticed I wasn’t feeling well, maybe a little more cloudy than I get accused of being anyway,” recalls Jim with a laugh and smile.
Regrettably, it was more serious than a senior moment.
As Jim reflects, “Who would have thought… it was a mass on the back of my brain.”
The mass was, in fact, an aggressive, cancerous tumor. Jim asked the questions that we all would ask. Can the tumor be removed? Will it affect my mobility? Will I lose my ability to talk? Will I still be me?
Looking at Jim smile six months later, it is obvious his worst fears were never realized. He was truly lucky. Jim had access to the most ground-breaking technology and comprehensive care team available – and it was all less than six miles from his home.
Jim Ragland was one of the very first patients to benefit from the new Unity System at Saint Thomas Hospital. The Unity System integrates new surgical and imaging equipment so physicians can work corroboratively in real-time for optimal treatment.
For patients fighting brain tumors, this greatly increases the amount of tumor that can be removed surgically. Unity also includes the most advanced radiotherapy technology in the world, delivering treatments with pinpoint accuracy.
Most importantly, every treatment stage is designed to limit injury to key brain functions, giving patients like Jim a future for building more memories with family and friends.
“Everybody, from the surgeons at Saint Thomas Hospital to the therapists at Baptist Hospital… they couldn’t have been nicer," Jim said. "And I just couldn’t be more grateful for everything that they did.”
Throughout his treatment, Jim was always mindful of how fortunate he was to receive such excellent care, so close to home.
“The whole process is amazing to me... when I think about it… I realize I could be dead, I could be in a wheelchair, I could not be able to talk… but it didn’t happen," he said. "I got my life back.”
The Saint Thomas Hospital Unity System was made possible, in part, by donations to the Foundations of Saint Thomas Health. For more information about the Foundations, please visit www.stthomas.org/foundation. To make an online donation, click here.