Doctor Receives Heartwarming Responses After Posting About the Struggle of Losing Patients

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Source: Humans of New York

Source: Humans of New York

Being the chief pediatric surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center isn’t an easy task. Just ask the man.

During his post as chief of surgery, Dr. Michael P. La Quaglia has performed numerous operations on children with aggressive cancer over a 30-year career. Overall his medical career has been very successful. His track record of helping patients is almost flawless, only losing five patients during surgery. However, in a post shared on the Humans of New York Facebook page, La Quaglia explained the hardships of his job and how much losing a patient can take a toll on him.

“The absolute best thing in the world that can happen to me is telling a parent that their child’s tumor is benign. I live for those moments. And the worst thing that can happen to me is telling a parent that I’ve lost their kid. It’s only happened to me five times in thirty years. And I’ve wanted to kill myself every single time. Those parents trusted me with their child. It’s a sacred trust and the ultimate responsibility is always mine. I lose sleep for days. I second-guess every decision I made. And every time I lose a child, I tell the parents: ‘I’d rather be dead than her.’ And I mean it. But I go to church every single day. And I think that I’m going to see those kids in a better place. And I’m going to tell them that I’m sorry. And hopefully they’ll say, ‘Forget it. Come on in.’” ———————————————————– As we learn these stories, we are trying to raise $1,000,000 to help the team @sloankettering in their fight against pediatric cancer. Thanks to the 17,000 people who have contributed so far. We’re over 60% of the way there. Please consider donating. Link in bio.

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A photo posted by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

The post explains:

“The absolute best thing in the world that can happen to me is telling a parent that their child’s tumor is benign. I live for those moments.

“And the worst thing that can happen to me is telling a parent that I’ve lost their kid. It’s only happened to me five times in thirty years. And I’ve wanted to kill myself every single time.

“Those parents trusted me with their child. It’s a sacred trust and the ultimate responsibility is always mine. I lose sleep for days. I second-guess every decision I made. And every time I lose a child, I tell the parents: ‘I’d rather be dead than her.’ And I mean it.

“But I go to church every single day. And I think that I’m going to see those kids in a better place. And I’m going to tell them that I’m sorry. And hopefully they’ll say, ‘Forget it. Come on in.’”

The tear-jerking post sparked numerous responses, including many comments from former patients thanking La Quaglia for his work and showing how much they appreciate him.

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Even a colleague reached out and wrote a touching piece about La Quaglia and how he is a “miracle man.”

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

The photo even sparked a reaction from the mother of one of the patients he had lost. She thanked him for attempting to help her son after most doctors had given up hope.

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

Source: Humans of New York Facebook

HONY is partnering with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center hoping to raise $1,000,000 for pediatric cancer. They have currently reached 60% of their goal.

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