Fountain benefits from keen eye
Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023
What was believed to be a routine vist and ultrasound turned into a lifesaving event for Hugh Fountain.
Fountain, who is the head football coach at W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, visited D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital’s ultrasound department in the fall of 2022. During that visit, the keen eye of an ultrasound technician proved beneficial — and lifesaving — for the coach.
Ashton Cary, the ultrasound technician on duty when Fountain visited the department for the test she would perform.
On the recommendation of Fountain’s primary care physician, Dr. Dan Raulerson, a visit to the hospital’s testing facilities was the best course of action, Fountain said.
“I didn’t come in for a kidney scan,” Fountain said of his visit. “I came in for a scan on my liver, because I had lost a lot of weight. So I did what my doctor recommended.”
Doctors say that after losing weight very quickly, it is possible to have fatty liver deposits. People who are overweight are subject to having fatty liver disease. Dr. Raulerson wanted to see if the weight loss had improved Coach Fountain’s liver condition or if more steps were necessary to improve his condition.
An ultrasound is one test that can be conducted to evaluate the liver for fatty liver deposits.
It was during this procedure, Cary noticed a mass on Fountain’s kidney and as a result, he was required to have a surgery to remove it.
“This is a great example of how we pulled together for the benefit of our patient,” stated Stacy Hines, Hospital Administrator. “Coach Fountain worked with his primary physician, who ordered a procedure at our hospital. The results of that procedure prompted a consultation with one of our visiting specialists who, in turn, completed the surgical procedure.”
Fountain mentioned that it was a major surgery, because when he went, the physicians were unsure whether they would be able to save the kidney. Fountain was very appreciative of the care he received. Coach Fountain ended up losing 10 percent of his kidney during the procedure, but because everyone acted quickly, the cancer was removed and unable to spread further. Coach Fountain was cured from his cancer.
“I really want to thank Ashton for doing her job,” Fountain said. “You know, sometimes people can be sloppy with work, and my life counted on, my children and my wife, they counted on her finding that out. And I just thought that was great that she did. So I just want to tell her thank you.”
Fountain expressed his thanks to the hospital for being a vital part of the community as well.
“We have a hospital in our community where we can come in and have all these things done that really, we wouldn’t be able to do if we didn’t have our hospital. We are very fortunate, a lot of small communities they don’t have hospitals anymore.