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Deltona Man Thanks Florida Hospital Fish Memorial Physician with a 467 Year-Old Coin

ORANGE CITY – In December 2009, Barbara O’Hara came to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial for a diagnostic mammogram because she felt something in her left breast. The very same day, she also had an ultrasound-guided core biopsy performed. Florida Hospital Fish Memorial radiologist Julian Kassner, MD, told Barbara and her husband Dennis the results; she had breast cancer. In fact, the breast cancer was aggressive and had already metastasized.


“I promised him I would personally double-check every study, so that nothing slipped through the cracks,” said Dr. Kassner. “And I was true to my word. Months later, I went on vacation for a week. When I came back, I ran into Dennis in the cafeteria. He asked me to review the studies that were performed while I was away and I told him I already had.”

Even though the cancer went into remission, it ultimately metastasized in her brain and she passed away on April 19, 2011. 


“I wanted to do something to thank Dr. Kassner for his caring attitude,” Dennis said. “All of the doctors at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial were beyond caring, including our family doctor, Dr. Kalla. It’s most unusual today, but there is an actual real tenderness in their care.”


During the course of Barbara’s treatment, Dr. Kassner had shared with Dennis that he had recently been on a cruise and that the best souvenir from the countries he visited wasn’t junk from a tourist shop, but rather leftover foreign coins. So when Dennis won a 1544 Hungarian Silver coin at a Jacksonville coin show, he knew just what to do with it. 


“It’s unusual for a person such as my wife to – well, ‘looking forward to it’ isn’t the right words, but she wasn’t afraid to go to the hospital,” Dennis said. “There was no limit to the amount of care she received. It made my wife feel comfortable, and I just wanted to do something nice for Dr. Kassner. I wanted to do something for him to remember us by.”


Dennis gave Dr. Kassner the 467 year-old coin that has the coat of arms of King Ferdinand I on one side and the Madonna and Child on the other side. It was found on a sunken ship and the images on the coin are well preserved because it had been in cold water. 


“All of the doctors here bend over backwards for their patients,” said Dr. Kassner. “Even with the sad reality of Barbara’s outcome, they still had a good experience at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial, and I think that in itself is the ultimate recognition.”