Lucas' Story

In October of 2018, Dr. Anthony Sheyn of Le Bonheur Children's Hospital received an email from a St. Jude colleague saying that a 10-year-old boy in Peru had been diagnosed with an aggressive Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma. The tumor extended into his skull and optic nerve. Although the tumor was aggressive and lethal, it was not cancerous so St. Jude couldn’t accept the case. The tumor was one of the largest that Dr. Sheyn and his colleagues had ever seen, and they felt confident they could safely remove it.

They took the case to Meri Armour, Le Bonheur Hospital president, who agreed to do the case pro-bono, providing they could find a local sponsor to cover food and transportation. All of the physician groups, including Semmes Murphey Clinic, Pediatric Anesthesiologists and University Clinical Health, agreed to do their part pro-bono as well.  After casting a very wide net, a local church agreed to sponsor the patient, Lucas, and soon after, travel arrangements, multiple clinic appointments, and many details began to fall into place.

On November 2, Lucas and his mom, Paola, arrived in Memphis. During the course of his two-month stay, Lucas had three surgeries. The first surgery was performed at Methodist University Hospital by Drs. Lucas Elijovich and Sanjeet Rangarajan for a 10-hour embolization. After surgery, PediFlite transported him intubated and sedated to the Neuro ICU at Le Bonheur.  The other two surgeries were coordinated and performed at Le Bonheur by Alyson and Mary Cline, Drs. Rangarajan, Sheyn, Madison Michael, and Paul Klimo. After many hours, the team successfully removed the entire tumor.

So many Semmes Murphey, Methodist, and Le Bonheur associates went above and beyond to help this precious family. Semmes Murphey is proud to have so many partners in the Memphis area who are just as passionate as saving lives and improving quality of life for patients as we are.