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Carolyn Reed

Carolyn Reed

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July 07, 2015
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July 07, 2015
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March 12, 2013
I am a former paitent of Dr.Reed and I too owe my life to her.In October 2008, I was diagnosed as stage four lung cancer.It looked liked chemo and radiation with little hope until I met Dr Reed and Maggie.They took me into a room where alll the test xrays etc.and showed me exactly where the cancer was.Dr Reed told me she would open me up and see if the cancer could be removed if not she would close me up and send me for chemo and radiation. She also told me that if she saw that I had chance to remove the cancer, she would.Some how I knew that she was the right person for me. She smiled and siad Ill see you monday. after nine hours of surgery i woke up to see this smiling face and she said to me, We got it youll be fine. To this day I will always remember this guardian angel who saved my life. Be at peace Dr. Reed
March 11, 2013
March 4th was Dr. Reed's birthday. She would have been just 63 years old. Most of her friends still cannot believe she is gone ... just too painful for us, as well as for her patients and their families. We will never forget her and what she meant to us. We can only be grateful that she is no longer suffering or in pain. She fought a mighty tough battle after surgery. She gave it her all. Now may she rest in peace.
March 07, 2013
"I thought of you with love today
but that is nothing new
I thought about you yesterday
and days before that too,

I think of you in silence
I often speak your name
All I have are memories
and your picture in a frame.

Your memory is my keepsake
with which I'll never part
God has you in His keeping
I have you in my heart."-.............*lindz
January 29, 2013
Dear Dr. Reed's family, I just found out that Dr Reed had passed away. I just saw her this summer in the Chicago airport. I worked as an RN in the Cardiothoracic ICU and OR and scrubbed for her in the mid 90's. She was a wonderful surgeon with a passion for her patients that is rarely seen today. I am very lucky and blessed to have known and respected Dr. Reed.
January 22, 2013
Our family just learned of Dr. Reed's death and want to extend our sincere sympathy. My mother in law is alive today due to her excellent care. She was and excellent surgeon, physician, and person and we are very saddened by her death.

Our hearts go out to the family.

We are blessed to have known her!
January 15, 2013
Dear Family of Dr. Reed,
I am a former patient of Dr. Reed and owe my life to her. I saw her for regular visits for 5 years after my surgery for lung cancer in 1999 and was almost sorry to be discharged from her care as it was always so much fun and so special to see her. I am still in shock, having just learned of her passing today but wanted to add my name to the list of people grateful to have been in her care.
January 14, 2013
She saved my life. These words are the finest of all tributes. A wonderful woman who made a huge impact on the world. May she rest in peace.
January 13, 2013
It is so hard to find the words to describe the sadness we feel of this news. Dr. Reed performed an esophagectomy on my husband August 30 when just two months before we were told that surgery would not be an option. On Sept 4 she came to his room and personally pushed his wheelchair to X-ray for his swallow test. I was amazed when he returned and she was still pushing him. i thought for sure she would leave him at X-ray once she viewed his results but she didn't. I remember her walking in saying, "Mr. Nemeth I have good news, the results of your biopsy came back and there are no residual cancer cells." When my husband responded with "is that good" we both starting laughing and said "that's very good!!" When he smiled, Dr. reed punched my arm while saying "now we got a smile out of him." I rubbed my arm and thought "wow, you can tell she works with her hands, she packs a pretty mean punch" ;). I took a picture that day of the the most wonderful, caring, skilled, talented and compassionate surgeon I have ever known. I am so glad I was able to tell her that she will always be our Hero. We are so sad she will not be leading us through the next portion of our journey as only she could do. R.I.P Dr. Reed, Charleston will not be the same without you! You are loved and missed tremendously. Our family will carry your memory in our hearts forever as you are truly our HERO!
January 12, 2013
Thank you Dr. Reves for sharing your personal recollections. I met Dr. Reed in June 2012. She performed my surgery on Aug. 16th, I sept 5 days in hospital and the follow-up visit was on Sept 2nd. I experinced her sense of humor, caring and surgical skill. I am grateful to be alive and now to know more about her as a person. annette reynolds
January 10, 2013
Much has been said about Carolyn Reed since she died, even before she died when she was fighting a disease she knew so well, cancer.

Because so much has been said and written, these remarks will be personal, not biographical and hopefully not too long.

I remember first meeting Carolyn on my arrival here because Senator Hollings and Fred Crawford had said I needed to get to know her. As leader of the Cancer Center she had inherited what many termed a “mess,” but like the excellent surgeon that she was she was determined to fix it.

We would meet weekly and each time I would say: “what can I do to help?” and she would usually say: “I got it under control” and give me that famous very toothy smile that just made everyone smile.

As time went on, it was clear that Carolyn had 2 passions and those 2 passions were in a clear order: 1) her patients and 2) her cancer center.

There was nothing she would not do for either. Many a night she would be at the bedside in the ICU caring for her freshly operated patients – this after spending many hours during the day standing at the operating table with the very same patient. She reminded me of another pioneering surgeon, John Kirklin at Birmingham, whose patients' immediate postoperative care was frequently overseen personally by him, as Carolyn would do.

Her patients were aware of her long hours and devotion and many told her, and many more have written their thanks for all of us to read on her obituary page on the internet – some will bring you to tears and all will inform you of the love and devotion she earned from her patients.

I only remember one patient that she seemed powerless to comfort or cure and that was herself. When I visited her last in the ICU at ART she said: “you know the prognosis,” and I was at a loss for words – I felt totally inadequate in finding the right thing to say to this person who had done so much, for so long for all her many patients.
It seemed a cruel irony that after helping so many overcome cancer she succumbed to the disease herself at too early an age. She had helped so many survive, but we could not match the feat.

Her second passion was the Hollings Cancer Center, and make no mistake she was a great leader and did so much for the center organizationally and administratively – that is why many of you are here. And she did this while maintaining a full surgical schedule and also teaching the thoracic residents. She served as an incredible role model for our students – most of whom had never seen a female surgeon.

In one of our weekly meetings in 2004, we were discussing the strategy to get National Cancer Institute designation. This had been a goal for the Hollings since it was created years earlier, but we had not gotten very far until Carolyn assumed the role of director. However, on this fateful day in our conversation she said: “you know hardly any NCI cancer centers are directed by a surgeon – Hollings needs a medical oncologist to be the director.”





She clearly had thought long and hard about this and said that our best chance to get designation would be with an oncologist at the head of Hollings, so she gracefully and unselfishly explained she wanted to serve only until her replacement could be recruited – someone who was a medical oncologist.

Carolyn stepped aside so that Andrew Kraft could come, and with her help and a lot of others – we got HCC designated by the NCI.

This was Carolyn Reed – not about herself, but about her patients and her desire for this center to reach goals that she felt only possible with different leadership. Few people are as selfless yet accomplished as Carolyn Reed was.

In closing I will quote William Faulkner - selectively modifying the pronouns he used – making “he” a “she” in places (I believe Faulkner would approve, and he would also approve his words written about poets being used for a physician like Carolyn Reed). These words are especially germaine as we immortalize Carolyn with the naming of the Hollings Cancer Center floor in her honor. Quoting Faulkner:



“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. She is immortal, not because she alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because she has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance… It is her privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of her past.”
William Faulkner to the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1950

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Dr. Reed, our hero!!! She saved my husband and my fathers lives. I am a nurse and I have NEVER met a more caring and compassionate person in my life.
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