Arriving at the Right Place, with the Right Doctor

When Edwin Rivera arrived at Mount Sinai, he said he knew that he had finally arrived "at the right place." RMTI’s Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Program gave him “a second chance at life.”

Edwin Rivera was 40 years-old in 2007 when he learned that he had familial polyposis coli, or FAP, a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome associated with the development of hundreds to thousands of polyps in the large intestine (colon) and rectum – polyps that could become cancerous. He said the doctor who gave him the diagnosis never really explained what the condition was. Over the next several years, he had three surgeries to remove the polyps. 

After his last surgery, Edwin was given a clean bill of health and told by his physician that everything would be fine. Yet his medical problems persisted. As the days and months dragged on, he became increasingly angry about his condition. But he did not know where to turn. In May 2010, he was admitted to the emergency room at Mount Sinai a very sick man. Tests revealed that he had multiple polyps typical of FAP’s progression. He says his previous physician never told him that the tumors would indeed return and multiply and that he needed to have X-rays regularly performed. 

Edwin says his life changed dramatically when he was introduced to Dr. Kishore Iyer, Surgical Director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute’s Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation Program. At their meeting, described by Edwin as a deep, honest conversation, Dr. Iyer told Edwin that his case was challenging. He said he needed an intestinal transplant and that the surgery would be complicated. But Dr Iyer also told him in no uncertain terms, “I will take your case, and I will see it through.” A spiritual man, Edwin knew that he had finally arrived “at the right place, with the right doctor and that this was the right time.” He told Dr Iyer that we will get through the transplant procedure “together.” And together they have. 

Today, Edwin is enjoying good health and a full, active life with his family. He is grateful to Dr. Iyer and Mount Sinai for giving him "a second chance at life."