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Patient Story: Laurie Gerchy

I personally think we had a miracle here

Colonoscopy detects Sauk Rapids woman’s tumor

Laurie Gerchy feels blessed for the routine colonoscopy that saved her life. Laurie Gerchy was just 18 years old when her mother died from cancer at age 47. Today, Laurie thanks God that a routine colonoscopy detected a mass that could have claimed her own life. 

“I knew what it felt like to grow up without my mother,” Laurie said  through tears. “I didn’t want my children to live through that  experience. I just feel a huge relief and so blessed that it was caught  early. I personally think we had a miracle here.” 

Gastroenterologist Scot Hutton, MD, performed Laurie’s colonoscopy  at CentraCare Digestive Center, shortly after the Sauk Rapids  woman turned 50.  

“As soon as I saw Dr. Hutton sitting next to me following my procedure,  I knew something was up,” Laurie said. “He explained that he had  found a mass larger than four centimeters. That was very scary.” 

Laurie saw Interventional Gastroenterologist Mark Virtue, MD,  just a few days later to have the mass checked and removed. She  was impressed by both physicians. 

“Dr. Hutton called me at night so that we could both sleep better.  He informed me that my final blood work and biopsy were good,”  Laurie said.“Dr. Hutton and Dr. Virtue went above and beyond. They called to check on me, were great with follow-up and kept me  informed. I feel so thankful.”  

Laurie described her colonoscopy as quick and painless. “Just finding a time on your  calendar to schedule it is probably the worst part. They were so helpful and  nice at the Digestive Center, offering me warm blankets and always  making sure I was comfortable.” 

Laurie advises others not to hesitate when considering a colonoscopy,  especially those with a family history of cancer.“You just wake up  and you’re all done. Just do it. I now know that my children have  to receive preventive colonoscopies, and I’ll be proactive for them. Thank God we  found this before it was cancer — I would be looking at something  much more serious otherwise.” 

Talk to your health care provider to determine if you need a colonoscopy.

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