Gave Child with Cancer Second Chance at Life

Richard Banchs, M.D.

Richard Banchs, MD
Anesthesiologist, Chicago

It was supposed to be a routine procedure. But minutes into the operation, things went terribly wrong. The patient’s blood pressure plunged, and she began bleeding profusely. The surgeon called on the anesthesia care team — two residents and me — for emergency support.

We had seconds, and every second counted. We immediately gave the patient blood and performed a number of procedures to resuscitate and stabilize her. The surgeon completed the operation, and the patient survived.

Her name is Nora. She’s 9 years old.

She’s a beautiful little girl with big brown eyes and an engaging smile who had been to see her doctor after she’d fallen. During the exam, the doctor discovered a lump in Nora’s tummy. The surgery was to remove a tiny piece of tissue for a biopsy. Sadly, the results came back positive. Nora has cancer.

Nora is receiving chemotherapy and looking forward to getting better and getting on with being a kid — something that might not be happening if a team of anesthesiologists hadn’t been ready when a routine procedure turned into a life-threatening emergency.