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This health tech expert accidentally found cancer in her son

A mom who develops general imaging ultrasound systems every day never thought it would one day detect cancer in her own son.

Standing in the living room, I found cancer in my son

Colleen Timpanaro spends her workday developing ultrasound systems that help clinicians treat patients around the world. She never thought that one day, one of these ultrasound systems would detect cancer in her own son.

In 2008, Colleen and the team launched the LOGIQ E9, GE Healthcare’s premier general imaging ultrasound system. In preparation for a demo at the children’s hospital, she had the system set up and decided to scan one of her children to adjust the settings. “I happened to grab my son Lachlan who was a week away from being 2. I started to scan him – looked at his heart and some of his abdominals vessels,” Colleen shared. “I got down to his kidney and something caught my attention.” She didn’t think she was seeing anything at first; however, she continued to evaluate and realized there was something there.

I started to scan my son… I got down to his kidney and something caught my attention. As I continued to evaluate, I realized there was something there.

Lachlan was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor. The location of the subtle mass was absolutely critical and only surgery would be able to reveal if it had spread to the renal artery and renal vein. Colleen vividly remembers sitting in the waiting room as she and her family anxiously awaited the results. The surgeon came out and shared that the tumor had just missed the renal artery. He told her, “That ultrasound saved your son’s life.” Lachlan went through five months of chemotherapy and is now seven years cancer free.

That ultrasound saved your son’s life.

Today marks the 17,000th shipment of the LOGIQ E9, which is part of the overall GE Healthcare Ultrasound portfolio that impacts more than 600 million lives every year and makes possible many more incredible stories like Lachlan’s. [1]

By the numbers

  • 26 years in the ultrasound industry
  • 17,000 LOGIQ E9s shipped
  • 600,000,000+ lives impacted by GE Ultrasound every year [1]

[1] Installed base of GE Healthcare ultrasound at ~300,000, with on average eight patients per device per day, and 255 working days per year.