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My ‘medical miracle’

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A surgical mishap that inadvertently destroyed a Southampton man’s tumour has been hailed as a “medical miracle”.

Reginald Raynor, 59, was on the operating table at a US hospital when certain equipment failed.

Doctors later discovered the faulty procedure had removed a tumour from Mr Raynor’s colon, eliminating any need for the possibly risky procedure to go ahead.

Mr Raynor said he’d only learned of his condition back in March, after his wife, Pam, urged him to get a thorough check-up.

“I am forever grateful to my wife and to the local doctors that identified the problem,” Mr Raynor said.

After losing three brothers in two years — two of them to cancer — he was shocked to learn he had a lesion on his left kidney, and a potentially dangerous growth in his large intestine.

Mr Raynor, proprietor of a Rubis Station on Middle Road, Southampton, admitted: “I didn’t have any symptoms. I felt fine, was swimming and exercising almost every day.”

To his relief, tests showed he was cancer-free. Although benign, the tumour was blocking 40 percent of his colon.

Surgeons at the Philadelphia branch of the Cancer Treatment Center of America recommended that it be removed.

“What stuck with me was the risk the doctors told me about,” Mr Raynor said. “It bore very heavily on me. I didn’t feel too comfortable knowing there was a risk of getting a burn or a hole in my colon.”

In rare cases, removing an intestinal polyp can result in perforation of the bowel wall, a possibly lethal complication requiring emergency surgery to repair.

The couple of seven years had some trepidation when they arrived for Mr Raynor’s one-hour procedure at 7.30am on May 15.

After two-and-a-half hours, Mrs Raynor said, “I thought that maybe they’d had to do the surgery like they’d said.”

Mr Raynor said that recalled that after he regained consciousness, he “saw the two doctors, and from looking at their faces I could see that all was not well”.

According to the couple, they were told that for the first time in the history of the Eastern Region Medical Center, the equipment had malfunctioned.

“The machine broke down, and they couldn’t get it started,” Mr Raynor said.

Five days later, the Raynors had to return for the procedure. This time a medical technician was on hand in case of further problems with the device.

Mrs Raynor’s wait was shorter than expected: doctors found no surgery was necessary.

Mr Raynor said: “They explained that, on the 15th, they had put the metal snare around the tumour and then the machine had cut out.

“While they were trying to get the machine started, the metal snare had cut off the blood supply, and the tumour naturally died.”

During the wait for repeat surgery, the growth inside Mr Raynor’s body had shrivelled away.

“They were amazed,” he said. “Doctors don’t like to say it’s a miracle; they look at things in a technical way. But my wife and I as Christians look at it as the hand of God.”

He said he’d shared his story to reassure others facing surgery.

“They may just need to know that miracles still happen,” Mr Raynor said. “God has wonders to perform, and his ways are not always our ways.”

He thanked Pastor Pedro Castro of Vernon Temple for his support, as well as cousin Clarke Raynor and close friend Anthony Outerbridge.

“I appreciate the whole community and my customers that learned of my plight,” Mr Raynor added. “They were very enquiring, and they prayed.”

It’s a miracle: Pam Raynor gives her husband Reginald a big kiss as the two celebrate the operation that never was. (Photo by Glenn Tucker)
It’s a miracle: Pam Raynor gives her husband Reginald a big kiss as the two celebrate the operation that never was. (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 30, 2013 at 9:54 pm)

My ‘medical miracle’

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