FRANKLINTON, La. -- David Davidson got the best Christmas gift this year -- extra time for the Vietnam War Army medic to spend with his daughter and three grandchildren.
It’s extra time alive after doctors discovered a huge tumor in his abdomen that was attacking the bones of his pelvis, a killer cancer.
"I always wanted to retire, but not like this,” said Franklinton resident David Davidson. “But if I hadn't have had the surgery, then I probably wouldn't be here much longer."
These X-Rays show the rare surgery in September where a team of doctors removed half of his pelvis. It also meant amputating Davidson's left leg.
"The team of surgeons, we were in there just over eighteen hours. We started on a Thursday morning, and finished on a Friday morning,” said LSUHSC Oncologist Dr. Scott Delacroix
Davidson learned to use a wheelchair or a walker to get around, and now his visits to the doctor are happy ones. The cancer is gone.
"He's just exhibited a spirit that is unlike no other,” Delacroix said.
Tracy Cooper, Davidson’s daughter, said, "Just astonished that he's still here, and we've had two sets of scans now that show no sign of cancer whatsoever."
Cooper gave her dad her bedroom and sleeps on the couch. But there is one problem. His wheelchair won't fit through the doors of the two bathrooms in the house.
"He can't get into the bathroom. He has not had a shower since Sept. 19,” she said.
Even using his walker Davidson can barely squeeze into the small space.
“It's really tough,” he said.
And one of the problems is if he gets in here, and he even manages to shut the door, should he fall, well then they can't get in to rescue him, and that's why his doctor called me for help.
"He really has no privacy, and he cannot shower,” Delacroix said. “He has to go outside, and use a hose outside if he wants to clean himself, or give himself a sponge bath.”
Delacroix said they don’t have the money to re-do the bathroom.
“They have absolutely no money to re-do the bathroom, make the doors more handicapped accessible, and that's why I called you,” the doctor said.
Davidson said he’s sick of sponge baths.
“Nothing makes you feel better than having a good shower, I think,” he said. “It's been a while.”
Davidson's family and doctor are asking for help from Good Samaritans to make the bathroom and home a better fit for everyone.
The David Davidson Benefit Account has been set up, and donations can be made through any Capital One branch.