Lukemia patient baffles doctors

By Carolyn Barbre

Tammy Hughes wants to be home for "an excellent" Christmas. But it would definitely take a miracle for that to happen.

Sept. 19 she finally went to Kaweah Delta District Hospital. But the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong.

"I had swelling in my abdomen. I couldn't eat. I would take two bites and be full." Hughes, 35, has been working the last four years at Wal Mart in Porterville. She said she worked in the auto shop where she changed oil and replacing batteries. She said she had had batteries blow up on her while on the job.

At Kaweah Delta Tammy said they did exploratory work, sending a small camera down her esophagus, they did ultra sound and KT scans, but they couldn't find anything wrong until Oct. 9, 21 days later, when they tested for bone marrow. Hughes was diagnosed with acute lukemia.

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