Colonoscopy reminder keeps patient in good shape

March 3, 2020

When Richard Mais celebrated his 65th birthday, Dr. Harry Anagnostakos sent him a card. Not a birthday card – a colonoscopy reminder, a follow-up after his first one 10 years ago.

“My appointment was Tax Day, April 15,” said Richard. “Dr. Harry found a polyp that was too big for him to remove, so I was quickly scheduled with General Surgeon Dr. Ramakrishna Tatineni two days later. Dr. Tatineni did a sports surgery for my son 12 years ago, so I already knew him and was very comfortable with him.”

Due to an emergency surgery at Beebe for Dr. Tatineni, Dr. Anagnostakos stepped in to remove the polyp. Later, Physician’s Assistant Kristin Cordrey delivered the news to Richard and his wife Rebecca that the polyp looked like cancer.

“Kristin explained what the polyp was, why it was a concern, and what Dr. Tatineni was going to do to take care of it,” Richard said. “Toward the end of my visit, Dr. Tatineni returned from the hospital and also let me know that they were going to take good care of me. Based on what Kristin told us, I was never really concerned or depressed. Colon cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Kristin was confident everything was going to be fine, and she was right.”

Richard’s surgery was scheduled for May, and he completed his pre-operative testing – CT scan, EKG and blood work – at Beebe’s Imaging and Lab on Route 26 in Millville.

“We arrived at Beebe at 6 a.m. on the day of my surgery, which was scheduled to start at 7:15. My son came to sit with Rebecca. I was in surgery until 11:15 because Dr. Tatineni also found a hernia in my belly button and fixed that too,” Richard recalled.

“Rebecca stayed to make sure I was settled in and OK. She had been gone for just 20 or 30 minutes when Dawn West came up to check on me. Dawn was one of our former employees, from way back in 1990 or sometime before. Dawn is now a registered nurse at Beebe. She adjusted my bed so I was even more comfortable, and she came back later that night to leave me a card. It was one of the funniest cards I have ever received.

“I had no pain and I did just fine that first night, sleeping on and off. My surgery was planned to be laparoscopic, but it required a larger incision. Dr. Tatineni took out enough of my colon to make certain the cancer had not spread. I wasn’t listening about how large the polyp was; I was just very happy I didn’t need a colostomy bag.

“I had my last follow-up visit with Dr. Tatineni on our 36th wedding anniversary. His instructions were to wait a couple more weeks before lifting anything heavier than 25 pounds, but I could start running and kayaking again. We celebrated our anniversary by going to the movies and then to dinner.”

Richard is grateful for his excellent experience at Beebe: “I’m here today and in good shape now because I had my colonoscopies when I was supposed to. I had no symptoms or signs of colon cancer. If I hadn’t had my colonoscopy, the polyp would have grown and spread, and caused much more trouble.

“I also had a lot of support from my family, my friends and my staff at McCabe’s. I received lots of cards, and lots of people were praying for me. Before I snuck out of the hospital, Diane Barlow from Beebe Medical Foundation brought me a flower and also delivered a message from Helen Ball, a good friend from the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce, who is now a senior accountant at Beebe.

“When I first moved here in 1986, Beebe did not have the reputation that it has today. Beebe Healthcare is a critical part of our community. Rebecca and I want to make certain that all of Beebe’s services for our community are the absolute best they can be. That’s why we decided to make a gift to recognize and honor everyone who was a part of my care.”

As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts to Beebe Healthcare, large or small, are tax-deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Please consider making a gift today and sharing your story with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go to, or contact Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or email


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