Affiliated Organizations
  HN Medical Partners   School of Nursing   HNH Fitness   Villa Marie Claire   Simulation Learning   Haiti Health Promise
Medical Partners Offices
Cardiovascular Specialists University Orthopaedic Pulmonary Specialists Obstetrics & Gynecology North Jersey Heart North Jersey Surgical Surgical Specialistss Primary Care Specialty Assoc. Urologic Specialties Women's Health Care

Makeba Davis

From Crime Scene Back to Life

Holy Name Patient Stories - Makeba Davis

Makeba Davis was suffering with such severe uterine fibroids that she was getting close to not wanting to leave her house. She was bleeding so bad it was interfering with her everyday life – she was forever looking for bathrooms and was limited in the clothes she could wear.

Makeba was 45 years old and also feared losing her new job as an assistant to a jail director when she had to leave work mid-day because of her condition. Eventually, she became anemic and passed out on a sidewalk while attending a family member's wedding.

"I felt like a walking crime scene," Makeba said. "You know how there's always so much blood everywhere. Well, that was me. I bled all the time, every day, all day. And it just kept getting worse."

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. Unfortunately, the only option her gynecologist gave her to treat her condition was to have a hysterectomy.

"I came into this world with ovaries and a uterus and if I can help it, I'd like to leave with them," she said. "I asked about a procedure that I had heard about that helps shrink the fibroids but she said I wasn't a candidate for it."

Finally, the doctor at the jail told Makeba about Dr. Vincent Gallo, an interventional radiologist at Holy Name Medical Center. Makeba called his office immediately and was thrilled when she met him and he explained that a hysterectomy wasn't her only option.

Dr. Gallo specializes in uterine fibroid embolization, a procedure that involves guiding a small catheter to the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroids. Tiny particles – about the size of a grain of sand – are injected into these arteries, which stops the flow of blood to tumors and causes them to shrink, which then relieves the symptoms.

It is a minimally-invasive procedure that doesn't require an overnight hospital stay. Makeba arrived at Holy Name about 9 a.m. and was out by 2 p.m.

"Everyone at Holy Name was just lovely and took great care of me," Makeba said. "As for Dr. Gallo – I owe him a box of his favorite cigars if he smokes or his favorite wine if he drinks. I was so tired of seeing red and he has given me my life back."

Makeba wants other women to know that when drugs like birth control pills no longer help their condition, there are other options besides a hysterectomy.

"A lot of women are going through this and it affects not just them but their family and friends," she said. "I couldn't go to the beach, didn't want to hang out with my friends and it interferes with intimacy. I was just bleeding all the time."

Five days after her procedure, Makeba said the bleeding stopped. Within several months she had regained her strength and today, still enjoys her job and spending time with family and friends. She's back to living her life and talks about how grateful she is for Dr. Gallo and Holy Name.