Carolyn Pappas is a proud member of a large, close-knit Greek-American family who has a longtime relationship with New England Baptist Hospital. Four generations of the Pappas family have received virtually all of their health care at NEBH.
The first to receive care at the Baptist were Mrs. Pappas's grandparents, who emigrated from Greece in 1901. Her parents, who are now in their '90s, have been cared for by NEBH physicians since the 1950s and "wouldn't dream of going anyplace else," says Mrs. Pappas. The same holds true for her immediate and extended family.
But probably more than anyone in her family, she has come to know the Baptist particularly well through her various roles as a Corporator, member of the NEBH League and member of the Board of Visitors. Although she has been a patient at the Hospital herself, it was the illnesses of her late husband, John C. "Jack" Pappas Jr., and eldest son, John Charles III-both of whom were treated at NEBH for cancer-that gave her the most intimate view of the Hospital.
After her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his care was coordinated by the couple's longtime physician, NEBH internist and cardiologist Gerald Izzi, MD. The complex surgery Mr. Pappas required was performed by a talented team that included Roger Jenkins, MD, Sotiris Diamandis, MD, and Stephen Camer, MD, Chair of the Department of Surgery. When it became clear that a cure was not possible, the only course was to ensure that Mr. Pappas would have good quality of life. "Jack and I were able to enjoy our remaining time together," says Mrs. Pappas.
Her husband had one final request. "He wanted to die at the Baptist, rather than at home or in a hospice," says Mrs. Pappas. "The Hospital did everything possible to make certain Jack was comfortable and that our needs were met. They simply couldn't have done more for us."
Just two years after her husband's death, Mrs. Pappas learned even more about the special quality of care that the Baptist provides. Though seemingly healthy, her son, John, then barely 40, was diagnosed with liver cancer, which was successfully treated with surgery performed by the same specialists who operated on his father.
"Dr. Izzi saved my son's life, as he absolutely insisted that John undergo the thorough testing that revealed the cancer," says Mrs. Pappas. From these and numerous other experiences, she knows that her family's steadfast loyalty to the Baptist and its physicians is well-founded. Echoing the sentiments of her parents, she says, "We wouldn't dream of going anyplace else."