Charitable Surgery Restores Local Decorator to Health for Holidays

Donated medical and hospital services support one patient's recovery from two breast cancer procedures

A local woman who is recovering from a dire medical condition that struck last summer is now recovering and using her professional decorating skills to brighten the holidays for San Diego County residents.

Shirley Rogers of Tierrasanta recently underwent surgery to repair two breast cancer procedures that had deteriorated since being performed in the 1980s. Scar tissue around one of her breasts had torn, causing debilitating pain she described as feeling “like a bolt of lightning, the worst I’ve ever felt.”

The situation steadily worsened by July, rendering her right shoulder, arm and hand essentially useless. Besides her severe pain, restricted mobility and depleted energy, Rogers also worried about the future of the special event business she and her husband own and operate, San Diego Event Décor.

Due to the sluggish economy, the small business eliminated its health insurance coverage in recent years. With nowhere else to turn, Rogers’ husband David Johnson contacted a local charitable organization, Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS), to see if it could help.

Moving forward after medical care for breast cancer

In early November, DOCS and Scripps Health teamed up to donate surgical and hospital services to Rogers at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas. Physicians removed the problem scar tissue, replaced a breast implant and performed revisions of both prior breast procedures.

Together, DOCS and Scripps donated approximately $54,000 worth of professional services and supplies to Rogers’ medical case.

“They gave me back my life, and I’m feeling better with every passing day,” Rogers said of the efforts of DOCS and Scripps.

Rogers is back to designing and helping to install holiday decorations this year at the 94th Aero Squadron in Kearny Mesa, The Palm Restaurant in downtown San Diego and Marriott Courtyard in Rancho Bernardo, as well as corporate holiday parties.

“Shirley is a very energetic, outgoing person who takes a hands-on role in her company, and suffering from extreme pain had upended her life as she knew it,” said Dr. Michael Halls, who along with Dr. Munish Batra performed the surgery.

“With the holidays now here and her recovery well under way, it’s so gratifying to see her back to doing what she loves to do.”

The surgery has enabled Rogers to sustain the business she started as a small company out of her home 24 years ago.

She says she wants the business to continue as a legacy and source of pride for her family. Based on her most recent experiences with DOCS and Scripps, Rogers says she also plans to start a program aimed at helping women in San Diego improve their lives after completing cancer treatments.

With more than 300 affiliated physicians, Scripps Cancer Center is a nationally recognized leader in cancer care, providing comprehensive care at its four hospitals and various outpatient locations.

Scripps Cancer Center seeks to provide the best possible treatment and cutting-edge research trials for patients by coordinating medical expertise in the areas of clinical cancer care, community outreach and clinical, translational and basic research.

Scripps is the only cancer care provider in San Diego to earn network accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.

About Scripps Health

Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2.3 billion, private not-for-profit integrated health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,500 affiliated physicians and 13,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and ambulatory care network of physician offices and 22 outpatient centers and clinics.

Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine, wireless health care and graduate medical education.

Scripps has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the Top 10 health systems in the nation for quality care.

With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges. More information can be found at

About Doctors Offering Charitable Services

Doctors Offering Charitable Services (DOCS) is a San Diego-based nonprofit organization with 501©(3) status. The organization is comprised of local surgeons and its mission is to serve the reconstructive surgical needs of the local and surrounding communities.

DOCS founders, Dr. Munish Batra and Dr. Michael Halls, envisioned creating an organization to provide surgical reconstruction and continuing care to people otherwise unable to obtain treatment for disfiguring medical conditions and severe injuries.

DOCS pioneered the concept of a “staged multi-specialty team approach,” which allows each surgeon to focus on what he knows best.

The DOCS surgical team is comprised of board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons Munish Batra, M.D., F.A.C.S., Michael Halls, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Alfonso Camberos, M.D., F.A.C.S; board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Andrew Chang, M.D., D.D.S.; board-certified neurosurgeon Lokesh Tantuwaya, M.D.; board-certified ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon Don Kikkawa, M.D.; and board-certified cosmetic and restorative dentist James Tasto, D.D.S.