Mahmood Saeed - Patient Story
“I wouldn’t be here today without Dr. Reddy, without my wife, and without my faith."
— Mahmood Saeed
In the summer of 2003, Mahmood Saeed was enjoying a typical day in his native Pakistan, playing a round of golf with friends on a sunny day, when he was suddenly overwhelmed by shooting pain in his abdomen. Having passed out from the pain, he woke up to find himself in a hospital. Doctors immediately diagnosed Mahmood with severe pancreatitis and he went directly into surgery. But what the surgeons found was much worse than pancreatitis - cancer had spread throughout Mahmood’s kidney. He was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma and surgeons removed the kidney immediately.
Eight years later, Mahmood, age 50, and his family had all but forgotten his traumatic illness. However in March 2015, pain began to flare up, once again, in Mahmood’s abdomen. He knew something was wrong and his suspicions were confirmed when doctors diagnosed him with necrotizing pancreatitis. Surgeons opted to perform surgery and debrided the necrotic portions of his pancreas. While in surgery, doctors found that the cancer had spread through Mahmood’s abdomen- forming several tumors. After the surgery, Mahmood dealt with numerous complications, including a bleeding tumor.
Later that year, Mahmood and his wife, Zahra, moved to the United States, settling in Philadelphia where Zahra had family. After visiting a few different cancer centers in the area, Mahmood decided on Fox Chase. “One of my cousins had a tumor removed at Fox Chase and he recommended that we try them,” says Mahmood.
In August 2015, Mahmood found something unexpected. Amid countless procedures, diagnoses, unanswered questions and severe pain, Mahmood found hope. After meeting with Sanjay S. Reddy, MD, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase, Mahmood felt hope for the first time since this whole ordeal began.
“I am so fortunate to have met Dr. Reddy,” says Mahmood, “He refuses to give up.”
For Mahmood and Zahra giving up was not an option, although it had been presented to the couple many times.
“Some of the doctors recommended I sign up for hospice care, saying that I only had a five percent chance of survival,” says Mahmood, “but not Dr. Reddy. He refused to give up and he inspired me to do the same.”
To reduce the size of the tumors, Joshua E. Meyer, MD, a radiation oncologist at Fox Chase, ordered five rounds of radiation. After three months, scans showed that not only did the bleeding stop, but the tumor was completely gone and the other tumors had shrunk in half.In three months, Mahmood’s health had completely changed. He credits his success to Dr. Reddy and all of the staff at Fox Chase.
“It really is a team mentality and I believe that’s what saved me,” says Mahmood, “From day one, a team of doctors were assembled who worked on creating a treatment plan just for me.”
Along with Dr. Reddy and Dr. Meyer, Mahmood is also treated by Daniel M. Geynisman, MD, a medical oncologist and Jeffrey Tokar, MD, a gastroenterologist at Fox Chase. With help from nurses and staff, Mahmood has an amazing and devoted team working on his treatment. After several surgeries, multiple diagnoses, and numerous other procedures, Mahmood is on his way to recovery.
“I wouldn’t be here today without Dr. Reddy, without my wife, and without my faith,” says Mahmood.
For the Saeed’s it wasn’t just one procedure or one doctor that led to healing, it was the culmination of a healthy diet, support from family and friends, a positive attitude, and doctors working together as a team. Now, you’ll find Mahmood exactly where he left off- on the golf course. He and his wife take full advantage of living in Philadelphia, eating out, exploring the city, and biking as much as possible.Mahmood intends to enjoy every aspect of life as he continues to fight for his health.
“Without her [Zahra] it would have been impossible. Without Dr. Reddy and his team it would have been hopeless,” says Mahmood.