When Jason Bacon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2014, many acquaintances encouraged him to seek treatment from a big city hospital.
Bacon rejected the suggestions to travel far from his home in New Haven, Vermont where he and his wife, Pauline, enjoy stunning views of the Green Mountains. “I like sleeping in my own bed,” he explained with an easy smile. “So I decided to stay here, and I’m very glad I did.”
Oncologist Marc Greenblatt, MD, set up an aggressive course of chemotherapy for Bacon. That shrunk the tumor enough to allow Bacon to have the Whipple procedure, a common surgery to remove the tumor and often part of the pancreas and surrounding tissue.
Bacon learned that his surgeon, James Hebert, MD, performs the Whipple more than 20 times a year and teaches it across the country. “I don’t think I could have had better treatment anywhere else,” he said.
During his post-surgery stay at the UVM Medical Center, Bacon shared a room with a man who suffered an accident in Stowe and needed to be carried to the bathroom because the space couldn’t adequately accommodate his physical condition. “I realized there was a need for single rooms and handicapped-accessible bathrooms,” Bacon said.
After his recovery, he sang the praises of his caregivers to a friend who serves on the UVM Medical Center board of trustees which led UVM Medical Center CEO John Brumsted to meet with Bacon about plans for the new Miller Building private inpatient rooms.
Bacon needed little convincing to pledge his financial support. “They kept me alive,” he said. “It meant something to me.”