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“If my whole leg didn’t swell up, I would have dropped dead”, Man, who was told by doctors that had just 4 days to live, says his swollen leg saved his life after the pain in his toe and ankle turned out to be cancer

Father says the doctors told him he had just four days to live after they discovered that the pain in his right toe was caused by cancer. Before the surgery, the doctors ran tests and discovered that two of his main coronary arteries were 99% blocked, and his liver was failing because the malignancy was obstructing its function. The surgeons performed a bypass and then removed the tumors. The 62-year-old man said that his swollen leg saved his life. “If my whole leg didn’t swell up, I would have dropped dead.” he reportedly said.

The 62-year-old father from New Jersey, Richard Bernstein, told the New York Post that 5 years ago, he went to see a doctor when he experienced a pain in his right toe. But, unfortunately, the doctor told him that his toe wasn’t fractured and Bernstein was discharged. Two years later, he started to feel a pain in his ankle. So, he went to see another doctor, who initially thought he had stenosis. The pain in his ankle and toe continued over the years and finally, in March 2022, his entire right leg swelled up.

Bernstein went to see his doctor, who took an abdominal scan during his examination. The doctor sent him to see Dr. Michael Grasso, the Director of Urology at Phelps Hospital, who reportedly told him that “he had four days to live.” According to the New York Post, the scans reportedly revealed a 2.5lb kidney tumor on the right of his abdomen which had also grown foot-long extensions, which were partially blocking two major arteries.

The doctors reportedly told him that he had just 4 days to live before he was rushed into surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Before the surgery, the doctors ran tests and discovered that two of his main coronary arteries were 99% blocked, and his liver was failing because the malignancy was obstructing its function, the Daily Mail reports.

The computer engineer underwent a 12 hour surgery. The surgeons performed a bypass and then removed the tumors. Bernstein said that his swollen leg saved his life. “If my whole leg didn’t swell up, I would have dropped dead.” he reportedly said.

The surgeons had to both remove the tumor and perform a bypass. First, they reportedly ‘turned off’ the flow of blood without harming the brain. So, in order to do this, they hooked Bernstein up to a lung and heart machine that cools the body to 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit. While the body was undergoing the two-hour cooling process, the surgeons performed the coronary bypass. Then the doctors removed the kidney and the tumor.

The doctors reportedly told the 62-year-old father that the pain was manifesting itself in his foot, ankle and leg because there was a venous blockage. Bernstein also said he had a small lump on his chest that his doctor dismissed. 

Dr. Michael Grasso told the Post that he and his colleagues believe they removed all of his cancer, so he doesn’t need to undergo any additional treatment. His focus now is on recovering from the intense surgery.