Mick Real

Aside from a little arthritis and some seasonal allergies, Mick Real was “healthy as a horse” for his entire 58 years.
January changed everything.
“I discovered I had the most aggressive form of prostate cancer,” Mick relates. “After the initial shock, I just surrendered it all to God. I prayed it would be as easy on (my wife) Nancy as possible.”
By April 1, Mick was well on the way to recovery from his March 19 prostate surgery. He’s been told he’s cancer-free. And he simply can’t
say enough good things about his health care team at Wooster Community Hospital (WCH).
“I had an aggressive cancer. It was going to kill me. By the grace of God and a great doctor and an excellent hospital, I have many years in front of me,” Mick says with a big smile.
Born in Panama, Mick grew up with two sisters and a brother. Dad worked for Boeing and the family moved a lot, mostly in the western states. He and Nancy met when both were Geology students at Weber State university in Ogden, Utah.
After the couple married Mick joined the Army Corps of Engineers. Nancy had her hands full with a growing family, daughters Kate and Kelly, and son Travis. The family moved 13 times in Mick’s 20-year career with the Corps. After Mick retired from the Army, he taught high school at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, PA for 15 years.
“I was an earth and space science teacher,” Mick said, noting that before he retired he chaired the school’s science department.
The couple discovered Ohio through a bus excursion Nancy took with some girlfriends to Holmes County.
“I fell in love with it,” she said, noting that more short trips followed before the couple took the plunge and bought a home in 2011. It’s a solid brick structure built in 1812 off State Route 83. They share their 13 acres with 1 duck, 2 dogs, 2 cats, a donkey, 5 goats and 11 chickens.
“We say to each other, at least once a day, “Can you believe we’re living here?” Nancy grins.
The couple agreed they worried a little moving from the big city, especially when Mick got cancer.
“My sister, who is a professor of nursing in Anchorage, was concerned about me getting my surgery in a small community hospital,” Mick relates. “Boy was she wrong.”
“Our families can’t believe we live in this little community and we have robotic assisted surgery.”
“Our families can’t believe we live in this little community and we have robotic assisted surgery,” Nancy adds, noting Mick’s surgeon, Dr. Miguel Proano, used this state-of-the-art technology for Mick’s procedure.
The couple agreed Mick’s illness illustrated to them that WCH pairs the best of the big city with all the small town hospitality they could want. Notes Mick, “the food was excellent.“ The nurses came quickly and cheerfully when called. He says before his surgery and during his WCH stay, he felt as though anything he needed was everyone’s top priority.
“So many places (of business), it’s obvious people are marking their time to retirement. They’re unhappy, burned out and feel no joy in their work,” Mick said.
“The corporate mindset at Wooster Community Hospital is that they are there to make it as easy as possible for you. Everyone from the house keeping staff to the medical team is focused on taking care of the patient.”