One Utah man’s journey to spread endoscopy awareness

Dec 14, 2021, 6:09 PM | Updated: 6:36 pm
An endoscopy room at the Intermountain Spanish Fork Hospital in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday ...
An endoscopy room at the Intermountain Spanish Fork Hospital in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday March 12, 2021. Photo credit: Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Brent Hatch lost his wife and his seven kids lost their mom to stage 4 stomach cancer on Dec. 12, 2019, just two years ago. When Phelecia Hatch was diagnosed, doctors gave her three months to live. Phelecia was losing weight at a quick pace and went in for an endoscopy, that’s when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. 

“There was really no warning,” Hatch said.

“In talking to a lot of people, come to find out one out of 10 people that I talked to have only heard of endoscopy, most people never heard of it,” he said.

Rather than hiding in sadness, Hatch took it upon himself to start spreading endoscopy awareness. Hatch shared the idea to start a proclamation in Mapleton with the mayor. The mayor recommended sharing the idea with governor’s office. It was a nine-month commitment of work for Hatch to receive the proclamation. 

“It wasn’t easy to get. Getting a declaration from the governor is really, really hard and it goes thru a big process,” Hatch said.

Hatch emailed the mayor’s office with a letter and had to find a sponsor to endorse the movement. The Mapleton mayor supported Hatch and endorsed the bill. 

“The waiting was the hardest part. They only have time to do so many declarations a year,” Hatch said.

He signed that declaration the same day he signed his annual budget.

Spreading Endoscopy Awareness

Hatch said in his research he couldn’t find any declaration for endoscopy or awareness in the United States. 

“My goal is to go nationwide, to promote colonoscopy and endoscopy at the same time,” he said.

Hatch is building a foundation in remembrance of his wife. She loved sunflowers

Hatch said sharing the tragedy of his wife has already help two or three people. After they heard the story, they scheduled endoscopy appointment and doctors found polypus in their stomach. 

“She has already, through her death saved other people’s lives,” Hatch said. “I just keep thinking the more people that hear about it, the better it’s going to be to help stop this 100% preventable disease,” he said.

Hatch is hopeful in the future medical professionals will complete coloscopy and endoscopy at the same time. If this would have been the case for his wife they would have caught it ahead of time and she would still be here.

“When you get a colonoscopy ask to get endoscopy,” Hatch said. 

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories


Hands holding two small viles of vaccine....

FDA clears COVID booster shot for healthy kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer's shot is the only COVID-19 vaccine available for children of any age in the U.S. Those ages 5 to 11 receive one-third of the dose given to everyone 12 and older. Pfizer found a booster revved up those kids' levels of virus-fighting antibodies -- including those able to fight omicron -- the same kind of jump adults get from an extra shot.
19 hours ago
BYU study COVID money...
Martha Harris

BYU study says ‘going cashless was useless’ during height of pandemic

Many businesses went to a cash-only model at the start of the pandemic. A recent BYU study found the effort made little impact.
5 days ago
Flags are ordered to be lowered...
Amie Schaeffer

Flags lowered to honor lives lost to COVID-19

In accordance with an order from President Biden, Gov. Cox authorized flags lowered through May 16. The order is meant to honor lives lost to the virus.
6 days ago
President Biden is pictured. He will speak about COVID....
ZEKE MILLER and MARIA CHENG Associated Press

Biden urges world to renew COVID fight as US nears 1M deaths

The White House said Biden will address the opening of the virtual summit Thursday morning with prerecorded remarks and will make the case that addressing COVID-19 "must remain an international priority."
6 days ago
The finish line at the Iron Man World Championship in St. George (Photo Cred: Bonnie Stray, KSL TV)...
Chandler Holt

Ironman World Championship hosted in St. George for the first time

The Ironman World Championships have been held annually in Hawaii, since 1978. However, organizers are breaking the tradition, moving the championship to St. George, Utah.
10 days ago
Team USA’s Sophie Post works with Kylee during a soccer clinic after USA Deaf Soccer competed in ...
Jessica Lowell

Murray native representing Utah in the 2022 Deaflympics

A deaf soccer player from Murray is in Brazil representing the US. Sophie Post is playing on team USA in the 2022 Deaflympics in Brazil. 
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
One Utah man’s journey to spread endoscopy awareness