Grateful Patient Stories: Robert G. Keane, Jr.
Dr. Kathryn Robinett of the University of Maryland School of Medicine saved my life, literally and figuratively. In 2009 I started a period of years of chronic respiratory infections including sinus infections, strep throat, bronchitis, and pneumonia. I had to cancel one business trip after another and was afraid to fly. I was treated for asthma with an allergy to dust mites and was given just about every breathing medication that could be prescribed. My wife and I completely renovated our home to eliminate all sources of dust mites and purchased the ultimate in a home ventilation purification systems. Yet, the infections continued. I was concerned that I would die from these lung infections -- my father had died from asbestosis – like father like son.
During this time, I injured my shoulder and Dr. Craig Bennett of Sports Orthopedics, another outstanding University of Maryland doctor, diagnosed the injury as a torn rotator cuff. The normal treatment is surgery to repair the shoulder. However, my continued lung infections precluded surgery. When I described my chronic respiratory problems, Dr. Bennett told me, “You need to see one of our University of Maryland pulmonologists.”
And I did. My first appointment with Dr. Robinett was a life changer. After testing my lungs, she emphatically stated that I did not have asthma and that my lungs were structurally sound. She informed me that something was irritating my lungs causing them to become infected. But she reassured me that she was going to treat any infections aggressively with antibiotics. She gave me a prescription for antibiotics to use immediately when I felt an infection developing and encouraged me to call her whenever I felt ill. We followed this protocol for a number of months. Whenever I called Dr. Robinett, either she or one of her exceptional colleagues returned my call the same day and they managed my infections very effectively.
After a few infections, Dr. Robinett decided she needed to see what was going on inside my lungs. She performed a bronchoscopy and cultured the washings. In a few weeks, she identified an underlying infection that was treatable with long-term antibiotics. When Dr. Robinett informed me, I was ecstatic – she had discovered the root cause of my problems and it was curable. Within a year under Dr. Robinett’s excellent treatment, the underlying infection was cured and the quality of my life has improved immensely. I have returned to my power walks on the C&O Canal tow path with my dog, Chester, who is also very happy. I have made a number of business and personal vacation trips and recently presented a technical paper at a professional society meeting in Seattle – it was great seeing my colleagues again.
Dr. Robinett and her team of doctors, nurses and administrative personnel have had a profound impact on my life. I would be remiss if I did not praise my other University of Maryland School of Medicine doctors and their teams, especially Dr. Craig Bennett of Sports Orthopedics and Dr. Joung Kwok of Radiology-Oncology. I am forever sincerely appreciative of not only their highly professional medical services but particularly their compassionate care and personal support. They have been a blessing to me during these past difficult years and continue to be a blessing to me and our broader community. I am a religious man of faith and I believe that it was no coincidence that I was introduced to Drs. Robinett, Bennett and Kwok and their outstanding teams. Thanks be to God and thanks to the superb University of Maryland School of Medicine staff.
Robert G. Keane, Jr.
Keedysville, Maryland, Age 72, 2 February 2014