Personal Care Saves Teen’s Thyroid
Beverly Weeks was told she’d need to leave Wayne County to get the best-quality care for her daughter, Macy. But they found what Macy truly needed was right at home in Goldsboro—at Wayne UNC Health Care.
A sophomore at Wayne Christian School, Macy was visiting a pediatrician when the doctor noticed her neck was swelling. Follow-up imaging tests showed thyroid nodules (lumps) and cysts. Eventually, she received a referral to an out-of-town specialist to determine the best path of care.
That specialist was quick to make a diagnosis. “They told us because of the size of her nodules, and because they were on both sides of her thyroid, they thought it was cancer,” Beverly said. “For a mother, that was very scary to hear.”
A nurse with the out-of-town practice pressured Beverly to schedule an invasive surgery the next day to remove Macy’s thyroid. Beverly was skeptical. “I felt like we were just dollar bills to them.” So she decided to seek a second opinion and prayed for guidance.
Caring Staff Make the Difference
“Everything changed once we walked through the doors of Wayne UNC Health Care,” Beverly said. “I felt like we were the only patients there. Everyone was so caring.”
Michael Johnson, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist, advised Macy to get a biopsy—a test that took a small sample of thyroid cells to check for cancer.
Paul Willman, DO, a radiologist, performed the ultrasound-guided biopsy. “He was the most compassionate physician I have ever met,” Beverly said. He took time to make sure the mother and daughter understood everything about the care plan.
The ultrasound staff, including Kristina Teel, were also amazing, Beverly said. “They stayed after the procedure to talk with Macy about her dreams and goals and to make sure she was 100% comfortable. It was almost like we were the only patient because each team member stopped by to check on us and make sure all of our questions were answered.”
Their support helped ease Beverly’s anxiety. As executive director of Wayne Pregnancy Center/Cry Freedom Missions, she regularly rescues young women in need. “But when it came to my own daughter, I felt hopeless. I didn’t have any answers.”
Best Possible Outcome
When the biopsy results came back, her family got the answer they were hoping for: no cancer. “We were shouting for joy,” Beverly said.
Today, Macy, 16, has her health under control with regular checkups with Dr. Johnson. And she’s busy volunteering, cheerleading and practicing stunts—something she wouldn’t have been able to do if recovering from life-changing thyroid removal.
“The best level of care for our daughter turned out to be right here in our own community,” Beverly said. “Wayne UNC gave us not just better health care, but a better health care experience. I’m so grateful to them.”