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Prompt specialist care

June 12, 2015

Dr Orimoto assessing Kerry Sweeney

For nine months Kerry Sweeney experienced chronic sinusitis and nasal congestion.

“I wasn’t sleeping properly, I had a very sore and blocked nose and was getting headaches,” Kerry said.

Kerry woke up one morning and found the pain, congestion and pressure unbearable. Knowing she would receive specialist and expert care, Kerry presented to the Eye and Ear’s Emergency Department where she saw Dr Kumiko Orimoto, an Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Officer.

Using a nasal endoscope to look up Kerry’s nose, Dr Orimoto found a large growth.

“Dr Orimoto sat me down and clearly explained using diagrams, where she had found the growth behind my nose. She immediately referred me to St Vincent’s Hospital to get an MRI.”

After the MRI and a biopsy back at the Eye and Ear, it was revealed Kerry had nasopharyngeal cancer – an uncommon type of head and neck cancer.

“It was important for Kerry to come into the Eye and Ear when she did, because urgent action was required,” Dr Orimoto said.

Kerry was then referred to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she underwent five days of radiation for seven weeks and chemotherapy once a week.

“I was very lucky that the cancer was caught in time and very lucky that Dr Orimoto acted so promptly,” Kerry said.

Thankful that she can breathe and sleep properly again, Kerry praised the Eye and Ear’s Emergency Department.

“Everyone was kind and helpful, and I have been in a lot of Emergency Departments because my daughter has a heart condition, but everyone here at the Eye and Ear was fantastic.”