A Patient Story – Geralyn

A Patient Story – Geralyn

In April of 2018, Geralyn fell and suffered a concussion. When she began experiencing migraines a year later, she knew there was reason for concern. At 62 years old, Geralyn is the oldest in her family to survive with aneurysms. She explained how her life was turned upside down when her mother died suddenly, at the age of 52, from an aneurysm. “Most of my family died in their 40’s from fatal aneurysms,” she said. “I felt like I was a ticking time bomb.”

In September, Geralyn was referred to Dr. Keith Woodward, neuro-interventional radiologist with Visa Radiology, for further evaluation. The migraines were not normal for her and she knew with added memory loss that there was a problem. Dr. Woodward discovered three aneurysms in her brain. He presented several treatment options to Geralyn, yet her decision to proceed was met with great anxiety and fear. “I was so worked up about the situation. My daughter encouraged me to take it one day at a time,” she shared.

With her daughter by her side, Geralyn underwent surgery to repair the aneurysms on October 31, 2019. After three hours, Dr. Woodward was able to fill the three aneurysms with platinum coiling, but in the process discovered she had a total of six. Afterwards, Geralyn felt great. “I felt like myself – and was not scared anymore,” she shared. Dr. Woodward will continue to monitor the remaining three sites over the next year to determine if additional surgery is needed.

Following the surgery, Geralyn told her daughter, “It was scary, but worth it!” The sense of relief that she overcame the condition that has taken so many of her loved ones gave her great peace. “When I saw Dr. Woodward for my follow up, I just broke down and cried,” said Geralyn. She continued, “You saved my life!”.

Physician Highlight: Fred McLean, M.D.

Physician Highlight:
Fred McLean, M.D.

Fred McLean grew up in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC. His father was a physicist and his mother a chemist, so a pursuit in a scientific area seemed like a natural path to pursue. But he enjoyed building relationships with people and wanted a career that would allow him to combine science with human interactions. Sitting at a bus stop one day, he asked himself, “What do I really want to do?” he thought, “I want to become a doctor.“

After medical school and radiology residency training in South Carolina, Dr. McLean completed his fellowship in neuroradiology from Wake Forest University school of medicine in 1995. Shortly thereafter, he moved his wife and two small children to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Dr. McLean was grateful to find an opportunity to practice in Oak Ridge, just a short drive from his wife’s hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.

In 1997, Dr. McLean’s practice merged with Vista Radiology and his role expanded. At Roane Medical Center, Dr. McLean performs interventional procedures as well as a broad range of imaging services including: vascular access procedures, spine injections, image guided biopsies, bone densitometry, joint injections, breast imaging, CT scans, and MRI studies. Dr. McLean enjoys the diversity of his work at Roane Medical Center. “It’s a nice balance. Radiology offers a lot of technology advancements that are challenging and interesting. I also enjoy the variety of patient interactions in my day,“ explained Dr. McLean.

In his spare time, Dr. McLean admits, “I enjoy golf a little more than I should.” He and his wife have a son and daughter. They love traveling and caring for their garden. When he has time, he likes to escape with his favorite books.

A Patient Story – Jane

A Patient Story – Jane

It was Thursday morning and Jane was sitting at her kitchen table.  She had just finished breakfast when she lost her balance and fell off her chair into the floor. Jane tried to pick herself up but was unable to move. She had difficulty breathing and told her husband to grab the phone from her pocket.  Jane, age 77, is the primary caregiver of her husband, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. With her urging, he went to a neighbor for help.

When the EMT personnel arrived, they knew immediately that Jane was suffering from a stroke.  She recalled the paramedic announcing, “She has to go to Knoxville,” bypassing the local hospital. Jane does not remember many details but recalled that a nurse, from the stroke team, advised her to be very still because it was an emergency.  During the procedure Jane heard, Dr. Keith Woodward, Neuro-Interventional Radiologist with Vista Radiology, announcing, “We got it. You had a blood clot.” Jane could feel pain near her right ear as the clot was removed.  Following her procedure, she experienced some drawing on her right side but was talking and alert.

After discussion with Jane’s family, the doctors learned that earlier that week, she had a routine tooth extraction.  Jane was advised to stop her normal blood thinning medication.  She decided to wait until the following day to restart because the bleeding was so heavy.  Three days later, she suffered the stroke.

Jane is back to one mile walks three mornings a week and is able to care for her husband again.  “The Lord had everyone lined up for me that day,” said Jane.  When she met Dr. Woodward for a follow up visit, she expressed her extreme gratitude.  “I gave him a big hug for saving my life,” she exclaimed.

Physician Highlight: Robert Santee, M.D.

Physician Highlight:
Robert Santee, M.D.

Robert Santee realized that he wanted to pursue helping others early in life. In middle school, he discovered a love of science which ultimately led to his pursuit of a medical degree from Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Following a four-year residency in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Santee completed his Body Imaging fellowship at LSU.

Dr. Santee moved to Sevier county to be closer to family, in 2003, when he joined Vista Radiology group. At LeConte Medical Center, in Sevierville, TN, he holds several key positions including Chief of Staff, Medical Director of Imaging and Radiology Safety Officer. Dr. Santee oversees a wide variety of specialized radiology services offered at LeConte from women’s imaging to biopsies to interventional procedures. “I enjoy the variety of my work,” said Dr. Santee. He went on to explain, “I especially appreciate the direct interaction I have with my patients. The most challenging aspect is when I have to deliver difficult news.”

When describing his experience working with the 3rd largest radiology group in Tennessee, he explained why he chose to partner with Vista Radiology. “I value collaboration within our team. Our interventional radiologists provide training for new procedures so that I can offer more specialized services at my location which makes treatment options more convenient for our patients.” Dr. Santee shared how important community is to him in his role. “When I began working with Vista, I made a commitment to not only work but live in Sevier County. I wanted to be part of the community,” said Dr. Santee.

In his spare time, Dr. Santee enjoys spending time with friends. He loves being outdoors and hiking in the nearby Smoky Mountains. One of his favorite destinations is Biltmore Estates and Gardens in Asheville, NC. When he’s not on land, he can be found underwater scuba diving with his high school friends in Belize, Aruba, or the Cayman Islands.