University of South Florida

Grateful Patient Series: Dr. Gaetane Michaud with Noah and Lesli Schwartz

Noah Schwartz began experiencing a heavy cough in April 2021. Within days, physicians diagnosed the 24-year-old from Jupiter, Fla., with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that invades the body’s lymph nodes, which are part of the immune system. White blood cells called lymphocytes grow abnormally in the nodes and can form tumors throughout the body.

In Noah’s case, the lymph nodes in his upper body were creating a large mass that pressed against his windpipe, heart and lungs.

Noah sought treatment from USF Health pulmonologist Gaetane Michaud, MD, who is director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and a professor in the Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Michaud operated on Noah at Tampa General Hospital and placed stents in his airways so he could breathe.

Gaetane Michaud, MD, USF Health director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.

Noah was in a medically induced coma for seven weeks as chemotherapy treatments reduced the size of the mass.

“It was just so strange waking up seven weeks later and not knowing what was going on,” Noah said.

During that time Noah’s mother, Lesli Schwartz, got to know and appreciate Dr. Michaud’s efforts to treat Noah.

“We love her; we think she’s awesome,” Lesli said.

Dr. Michaud, in turn, had high praise for Lesli’s work as an “incredible” advocate for her son.

“She was his mom, and she was watching her child go through something that is unimaginable to any parent,” Dr. Michaud said.

Noah no longer has lymphoma and is moving to California to start a career in the music industry, plans that were derailed when he became ill.

“If it wasn’t for her (Dr. Michaud), things could have been a lot worse,” Noah said.

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