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Grateful patient paints portrait of radiation oncologist

Fri, March 17, 2017

Grateful patient paints portrait of radiation oncologist

Eamil Barlow of Thomaston went above and beyond to express his gratitude recently for Dr. Robert Taylor, radiation oncologist: He painted a portrait of the doctor who helped him beat prostate cancer.

“I’m grateful our paths crossed,” Barlow said. “He and his team did so much to help me get through this.”

Diagnosed in August 2015 after PSA readings as high as 45 and 58, Barlow began seeing Dr. Taylor at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center for external beam radiation therapy followed by a seed implant, a type of radiation treatment that works from inside one’s body to kill prostate cancer cells.

“Dr. Taylor said it might be a year after the seed implant that my PSA levels would be back to normal,” Barlow said. “Instead, my levels were zero-point-zero 30 days after the implant.”

Barlow said he enjoyed getting to know Dr. Taylor and his fellow team members in Radiation Oncology.

“Everyone was so sincere in their desire to help me get better,” he said. “You can tell with them and with Dr. Taylor that their work is more than just getting a paycheck. Dr. Taylor said to me, ‘I’ll treat you as if you were my father.’ That’s an earth-shattering thing for a patient to hear; it really touched me.”

Barlow is retired and now enjoys painting about seven to eight portraits a year. Near the end of his treatment, he asked Dr. Taylor if he could take photographs of him for a portrait. The result is an oil painting on canvas that was then framed by Barlow’s wife, Tanya Barlow. 

“I had lost 20 pounds before I was diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t figure out what was wrong,” he said. “Now I have my health back and have gained the weight back. I’m very grateful.”