Dr. Gandhi empowered us with knowledge

Myla Kovacic, Family Member

Over the Christmas break, my son, Mitchell, went on a ski trip in northern Michigan with his two older brothers. Over the ten-hour drive, Mitchell mentioned he felt something in his leg, but he didn’t think much of it. He spend the next few days skiing and hiking in the cold and the snow. At the end of their trip, they decided to drive through the night to get home faster. When the boys returned at 5 a.m., they all looked exhausted, which was to be expected. On Saturday, they had a Christmas party to go to, but came home early so they could rest up.

On Sunday, everyone seemed to be better. However, on Monday, the two older brothers looked fine, but Mitchell had dark circles under his eyes and he said, “Mom, my chest kind of hurts. It’s fine, but it just feel like it’s heavy.” Mitchell is a healthy 18 year old and has never had health issues before, so we weren’t too worried. We figured it was just stress. Three days later, Mitchell woke up and the skin below his eyes was purple. I immediately called his primary care office, Bronson LakeView Family Care – Paw Paw (Suite G), and they set him up with an appointment on the following day. We knew we needed to get him seen, but we didn’t think it would be anything serious.

I accompanied Mitchell to his appointment, where he met with Dr. Nilay Gandhi. He introduced himself and started asking a set of questions. As the questions continued, they got more specific, which made me think that this was a more serious issue than just stress. At the end of his appointment, Dr. Gandhi ordered some blood work and a D-Dimer test. I didn’t know what a D-Dimer was, so Dr. Gandhi walked me through it (it’s a test that looks for a protein that is found in blood clots). He was very calm when explaining what was happening and what we could expect pending the test results.

When the D-Dimer results came back, Mitchell’s levels were a slightly elevated. We spoke with Dr. Ghandi who said that given the results, since Mitchell had been dealing with pain in his leg as well as chest pain,  he recommended a CAT scan. It was alarming to hear, but Dr. Gandhi was quick to calm my nerves and tell me not to worry. Mitchell’s levels were only slightly elevated, but it was important we follow through just to make sure everything is okay.

Because it was after hours, Mitchell completed the CAT scan at the Bronson LakeView Hospital Emergency Department. Sure enough, the scan showed he had a tiny blood clot in the end of a segmented branch in his left lung. Everyone – Mitchell, me, our family, the staff – were shocked. Here is a very healthy young man who is very physically active, and he has a blood clot in his lung.

When Dr. Gandhi found this out, he worked closely with the emergency department doctor, and before we left they agreed to put him on a certain medication, which he took at the hospital. It was 12 hours later and Mitchell looked like night and day. There was no purple!

It was a scary situation, to say the least, but when Mitchell and I look back on everything, we are in agreement that Dr. Gandhi was so helpful in explaining everything step by step. He put everything in simple terms that helped us understand what was happening and made us feel like we were a part of the treatment plan. Dr. Gandhi empowered us with knowledge.

Dr. Gandhi made Mitchell a referral to specialist for further testing. When we got there, the hematologist praised Dr. Gandhi, because he did everything a doctor should do just to make sure everything is okay. Because Mitchell is so young, we’re waiting to see if what Mitchell has is hereditary.

I am grateful for the outcome, and that it was not worse. I have had a lot of experience with the caregiver-physician relationships with lots of doctors from different health care facilities, and Dr. Gandhi really stands out. I appreciate that he was very informative. He let me know if something was going on and was proactive in checking further, which it’s a good thing he did. I am just so happy that we went to him.