When Archie Vereen was met with the news that his annual physical was anything but routine, he began a complicated journey to find a way to follow his religious beliefs and find healing. Dr. Jaspreet Singh, a board certified urologist affiliated with St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, took full advantage of the innovative surgical techniques available to meet his patient’s needs while treating Vereen’s prostrate cancer.
Vereen presented with elevated PSA (prostrate-specific-antigen) levels. A resident of Beacon, he was referred to Dr. Singh in Newburgh for further evaluation. A biopsy confirmed the cancer diagnosis, one which usually means surgery as part of the treatment plan.
Vereen is of the Jehovah Witness faith and does not believe in using blood transfusions, which are part of any traditional surgery. Dr. Singh respected his patient’s beliefs and worked with Vereen and his wife, Rachel, to develop a treatment plan that would meet their health needs without compromising their faith.
Archie Vereen says, “He didn’t treat me as just another number. He treated my wife like she was family. He would always ask her if she had any questions. The hospital did the same when we went through everything before the operation. They made sure that she understood everything that I was going through, and that made her feel at ease.”
Dr. Singh performed a robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, drastically reducing the amount of blood loss. Doctors used finer instruments in a magnified way to perform the surgery. His team also used a Cell Saver machine, which delivers any blood loss back to the patient. The surgery successfully removed the cancer and did not require any transfusions.
“It definitely saved my life,” Vereen says. “I’m cancer-free today. I’m not even worried about it coming back anymore.”
St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit healthcare system committed to serving the needs of those in the Hudson Valley. With dedicated staff, modern facilities, and high-quality care, SLCH provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services to the community. SLCH is a Level III Trauma Center and operates one of the busiest Emergency Departments between New York City and Albany, with just under 5,000 visits per month at the hospital’s Newburgh campus.
In 2014, SLCH became the only hospital in New York State to achieve the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award for four years running. SLCH was also named one of the Top Hospitals in NYS by U.S. News & World Report. As healthcare delivery continues to change, SLCH is focused on the Triple Aim: learning to work more efficiently, better coordinating services among providers, and delivering safe, high-quality care within the walls of the hospital and out in the community.
St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital
70 DuBois St.
19 Laurel Ave.
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