San Francisco man thanks Twitter for helping save mom's life

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A San Francisco man is thanking Twitter after a stranger on the social media platform connected him to a surgeon who in turn saved his mother's life.

"Dear everyone who works at @Twitter, you saved my mom's life this week."

Heartfelt words were shared on the same platform by Shane Mac a year ago, when he was in the hospital for a something called thoracic outlet syndrome. One of his followers, a total stranger, private messaged him. "So this rare thing, this person that also had the same surgery for a thing I've never heard of," Mac said.

What are the odds that a random person would lead him to Jason Lee, M.D. at Stanford.

Lee didn't operate, but gave Shane some good advice. Then this year, his Shane's mother, Tammy McSimov, started having leg pain. "I got the ultrasound on my legs, I got the ultrasound on my heart, I got the ultrasound on my arteries, I went through the stress tests," McSimov said.

She was diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease. Her swollen leg stopped her from walking and in severe cases, amputation is required.

That's when Mac called Lee. "He was like 'they should not do that surgery. This is solvable. I can solve it and we should do this now,"' Mac said.

After surgery Mac's mother seemed to be doing better. "I walked 1.5 miles, which before I couldn't even walk .02 miles without my leg swelling up," McSimov said.

Lee used stents during the outpatient procedure and McSimov walked a mile and even got a pedicure.

Her son, meantime, took to Twitter to give thanks. "I'm Twitter for life and it saved my mom's life."

Since Mac's post, he's gotten several messages from people, all strangers, with similar health stories asking for advice, support and referrals to Lee in San Francisco.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.