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Kenna Higley

Kenna Higley
Posted on: 03/14/2022
“I don’t think you get treated as a patient [at Brigham City Community Hospital]; I think you get treated as a friend.” – Kenna Higley, patient

They treat you as a friend

Since Kenna Higley was a child, she has received premonitions before major events, whether good or bad. So, when bowel issues started troubling her a year after her husband passed away from bladder cancer, Kenna already had a feeling about what it meant.

Kenna called her trusted primary care provider, Dr. David Wilding, who ordered a colonoscopy. The screening verified her intuitions: colon cancer.

“I know I’m weird, but the whole thing didn’t phase me. I get these feelings, and I just felt like because my mother had it and my grandfather had it, I was going to have it too,” Kenna said.

A friend of a physician

Kenna also knew the surgeon she wanted to entrust with her treatment. Dr. Derrick Walker, a surgeon at Brigham City Community Hospital had cared for her late husband; she trusted the physician’s skill and appreciated his kindness.

“Dr. Walker is like a friend – he’s there for you when you need him. He remembered me and made me feel special. Plus, he doesn’t panic or give you a run around about what you have,” Kenna said.

Dr. Walker recommended a minimally invasive robotic surgery to remove the cancerous colon section. With smaller incisions, robotic surgery can reduce complication rates when compared to large incision or open surgery. Plus, the robot’s navigational tools, miniature instruments and better-than-human dexterity allows for a finer dissection of the colon in the tight space where it’s located.

A robotic surgery success

To access the colon for Kenna, Dr. Walker created six small abdominal incisions. Then, utilizing the benefits of the Da Vinci Surgical System, Dr. Walker removed 1.5 feet of colon from Kenna’s body.

“I never did see the robot, and I don’t remember anything about the surgery at all … but one doctor told me I came through it like a 20-year-old,” said Kenna, a nearly 82-year-old.

Kenna spent two days at Brigham City Community Hospital, then a few days at a rehabilitation facility. Now she’s home and cancer free.

The hospital where you’re treated as a friend

Throughout her lifetime, Kenna has had experiences at a variety of hospitals – but she says Brigham City Community Hospital is her first choice.

“I don’t think you get treated as a patient over there; I think you get treated as a friend,” Kenna said. “I say, ‘Take me to Brigham City Community Hospital’ because I love the people there. At times, I thought I was the only patient in the hospital because they took such good care of me.”

Kenna Higley
Posted on: 03/14/2022

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