A 1991 Ogdensburg Free Academy graduate will appear on an episode of The Doctors today for a surgery he performed to remove a massive tumor from a woman.
The show entitled Your Grossest Body Problems Solved will feature segments on spiders in your ears, parasites in your eyes, fungus on your face and the 51-pound tumor Dr. David J. Dupree removed from a New Jersey womans abdomen earlier this year.
Dr. Dupree was flown to the Paramount Studios in Los Angles to tape the episode.
To go from Ogdensburg to L.A. was not an easy course, Dr. Dupree said in a telephone interview after returning to his home in Fair Haven, N.J., from Hollywood. It was great. They flew me out there, and I spent the whole day there. The Doctors and producers treated me like I was the president of the United States.
Dr. Dupree explained how he chiseled out the malignant tumor millimeter by millimeter for over six hours. The tumor, which made up approximately one-third of her body weight, rested on her vena cava and aorta, which are the two biggest blood vessels in the body, her intestines and lower abdominal regions.
This isnt something that happens every day, Dr. Dupree said. This isnt something you learn how to do in six years of intense surgical training. No one knows how to remove a 51-pound tumor. But if we didnt do this she was going to die.
The woman, identified only as Evelyn, from Union Beach, N.J., told doctors she began to notice something was wrong several months before the surgery, but without health insurance and being just weeks away from turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare, she put off going to the doctor until her birthday in early June.
Mr. Dupree said he is often the last resort for many of his patients who are turned away for lack of insurance for risky surgeries.
This isnt the most difficult or challenging surgery Ive done, but shes the biggest save of my career, Dr. Dupree said. She had been turned away twice. Its easy to do something thats hard when youre the end of the line. I learned early on to treat my patients like they were your own family. It doesnt matter where they come from or how much money they have.
Mr. Dupree credits his lifes mission and values to his time spent growing up in Ogdensburg.
I think of where I come from and who I am today, he said. My father and mother (Timothy E. Dupree and Lynn C. Fishel) never miss an opportunity to help others, no matter who they are. I am proud of where I grew up. Were all a product where we come from.
As for Evelyn, Dr. Dupree said she has made a full recovery.
She spent a week in rehab, went home and is doing well, Dr. Dupree said. Shes traveling, spending time with her husband, and has even joined a gym. She has a whole new lease on life, and she looks amazing.
The episode will air at 10 a.m. on WWTI, channel 13. Video clips from the show are available on shows website, www.thedoctorstv.com/.