California woman shares her care journey that started at Estes Park Health

Dr. Christopher Ryan is a hospitalist at Estes Park Health.

Cynthia Dragovich was visiting Estes Park in 2022 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer by one of Estes Park Health’s hospitalists. Dr. Christopher Ryan was instrumental in getting her the help she needed near her home.

She wanted to share her gratitude for his compassion and timely help. Connecting our patients with the expert medical care they need is an important part of the EPH mission.

“My journey with ovarian cancer started in a small town in Colorado,” Dragovich wrote. “Not feeling well, I went to the ER at Estes Park Health where they determined I had COVID. But the doctors in this small 20-bed hospital were not satisfied that my symptoms matched a COVID diagnosis. Several days and CT scans later they found the real disease. On September 8, 2022, at our first meeting with the new doctor on call, we were given the news that I had ovarian cancer. Dr. Christopher Ryan (a UC Davis graduate) asked where we would like to get treatment and we said UC Davis which is close to our Yuba City home. He immediately set out to find the best doctor. He returned saying he had called the doctor who was in surgery, but she would call him back. We thought that was nice but knowing how hard it is to get into UCD we were skeptical that he would hear back or get prompt action.

Within a couple of hours Dr. Ryan returned to tell us that if we could get to California soon, we could see Dr. Rebecca Brooks. I was released from the hospital, we packed up, and our son drove us home. We arrived home in California on Sunday and had our first appointment with Dr. Brooks on Tuesday, September 13. Yes, from diagnosis to treatment in five days! We knew immediately that we had the attention of the best. Then, from chemo to surgery and more chemo, Dr. Brooks has been a guide and a partner in my care decisions.

My treatments were not enough to put my stage four cancer into remission, but I have had almost two years of time with my family and dear friends during which I have celebrated living. Never have I had to look back and think, ‘If only I hadn’t had to wait weeks for an appointment, or many days for scheduling surgery, or weeks for tests and infusions. Maybe things would have been different.’ Each step of the way I felt like I was important and at the top of every list of needed treatment.

My hopes and prayers are that every woman with this sneaky disease could have an equal experience. For some it could result in remission or possibly even a cure. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys.”

Estes Park Health thanks Dragovich for sharing this important story.