Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Patient Stories

A Great Save

By Sally Sapega | September 17, 2014 | Comments Lucky save 002

Running along the Schulykill River Trail was a frequent outing for Todd Tewksbury, a 27-year-old mechanical engineer. So when he started his run one evening last month, the last place he expected to end up was in the emergency room of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “I remembered...

Two Diseases Can’t Keep ACC Patient off His Bike

By Steve Graff | September 8, 2014 | Comments Photo (2)

Abramson Cancer Center patient Marc Barag started training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer about two years ago—he just didn’t know it. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and enduring 96-hour sessions of chemotherapy, Barag decided to jump on an exercise bike he spotted on the infusion center floor one day to... Read more

Cancer Patient Shows Us Radiation Therapy through a Different Lens

By Steve Graff | August 28, 2014 | Comments

Thomas Ashley, a seasoned Philadelphia filmmaker, has a message for anyone dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the prospect of undergoing radiation therapy: It's not as scary as it seems. He's telling his story in the form of a new video he produced that documents his own experience as a... Read more

The Role of Culture in Health

By Sally Sapega | August 28, 2014 | Comments Spirit_catches_you2

Each year, the University of Pennsylvania sponsors a series of events throughout its campus focusing on a central theme chosen by faculty, staff and students. The focal point of the 2014-2015 academic year is Health. The Year of Health was chosen, in part, because of the national focus on health-care... Read more

Hope Rings Eternal for Patients at the Abramson Cancer Center Pennsylvania Hospital

By Olivia Fermano | June 26, 2014 | Comments 6 Schieft Hope Bell-pt

In 1733, the English poet Alexander Pope penned the famous line, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” in "An Essay on Man, Epistle I." Over three and a half centuries later, Pope’s words still resonate with profound meaning. No matter the circumstances, humankind continues to have the capacity to... Read more

An Anniversary to Remember

By Greg Richter | May 12, 2014 | Comments Photo

Debbie and Jack McColgan’s love for one another was evident to many at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) well before the couple’s 38th wedding anniversary last month. At HUP for more than 100 days, Jack battles large B cell non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with radiation, chemotherapy, and other... Read more

Cycling for Rare Diseases

By Karen Kreeger | May 1, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14061615/ea083ced-d221-4295-800d-0e745dcaf7ba.png

The first annual Million Dollar Bike Ride is finally here. On Saturday, May 3, 2014, close to 500 riders and many other volunteers and family members will gather at Highline Park on Penn’s campus to raise funds for and awareness about rare diseases. Read more

Leape's Conclusion: Health Care's "Culture of Disrespect"

By John Shea | April 18, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14041819/0f8c70fe-51b0-4347-a3a5-c5bcde6f9b2c.png

Lucian Leape, MD There are not many people who could address a gathering of medical professionals associated with one of the most highly regarded academic health systems in the country and talk to them about their part in a pervasive “culture of disrespect.” Talk to them, that is, and not... Read more

The Gift of Life Blossoms into Friendship

By Sally Sapega | March 12, 2014 | Comments Wendy and meghan

There was no reason for Meghan Shaffer and Wendy Hancock to know each other. After all, they had nothing in common. Wendy lived in Pennsylvania and had recently given birth. Meghan was a young nursing student at the University of Michigan. But Fate had other plans for them. How It... Read more

Changing the Course of Heart Disease

By Sally Sapega | February 14, 2014 | Comments Jess maciey

Jessica (Maciey) Minot, a nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, never knew her older sister, who died of what was diagnosed as a “congenital heart defect” at eight months old. And she was only seven years old when she lost her mother to heart disease as well.... Read more

"Nothing About Me, Without Me" - HUP's Patient/Advisory Council Leaders Help Clinicians Reframe Patient Encounters

By Kim Menard | February 10, 2014 | Comments

The co-chair of HUP's Patient and Family Advisory Council recently opened the eyes of clinicians to a whole new way of looking at interactions with patients. Anita McGinn-Natali recounted her experience as a caregiver during the battle she described as "our cancer journey" during her husband Clark's successful battle with oral cancer. Read more

Inside Look: Penn’s Bridge-to-Recovery Research May Help Heal Failing Hearts

By Jessica Mikulski | October 4, 2013 | Comments

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week highlights ongoing research at Penn Medicine looking at a new way to use ventricular assist devices (VADs) for heart failure patients. This same research was also featured in the article “Rest, Recovery, Reconditioning” in a recent edition of Penn Medicine’s System... Read more

From Neonatal Intensive Care to College, This Baby’s Come a Long Way

By Olivia Fermano | September 5, 2013 | Comments Pennsylvania hospital

It’s back-to-school season again – a fresh start for students of all ages. One recent event, however, reminded me of how many babies get their very first start in life here at Pennsylvania Hospital. On May 16th, this past spring, Janelle van Leusdan, who now lives in Wheaton, IL, stopped... Read more

The Gift of Surviving Cancer and Giving Back

By Olivia Fermano | June 7, 2013 | Comments Ginny and Brealey 001

She’s a striking blond. Attractive, warm, funny, caring, and always smiling. He’s also a striking blond – and warm and caring and funny – and seems to always be smiling as well. “She” is Ginny Fineberg, a youthful looking 64 year old cancer survivor. And “he” is her self-proclaimed “Momma’s... Read more

Heart Warming: Penn Medicine Cardiovascular Patients Inspire and Thrive

By Jessica Mikulski | February 14, 2013 | Comments Slideshowpromo

To celebrate February as American Heart Month, the News Blog is highlighting some of the latest heart-centric news and stories from all areas of Penn Medicine. In honor of Heart Month and Valentine's Day, we're revisiting some of our most inspirational heart health patient stories from the last year. Penn...

Penn Medicine 2012 Year in Review

By Jessica Mikulski | December 31, 2012 | Comments Yearinreview

Taking a look back, 2012 has been a year marked by breakthroughs in medical research, system-wide growth, and landmark philanthropic support for Penn Medicine. As we set our sights on the year ahead, we also celebrate the past year's accomplishments and give thanks to the outstanding faculty, staff, and students...

Giving New Life to Dead Bones

By Katie Delach | December 14, 2012 | Comments IMG_0102

While most artificial hip joints in use today will last 10-20 years, like all devices, the artificial hip joint – which replaces the natural hip bone with a metal ball and resurfaces the hip socket with a metal shell and plastic liner – wears out over time. For younger patients, this means a second surgery (and maybe even a third) will be required to replace the artificial joint. Fortunately, a rare procedure now being offered by specialists at Penn Medicine provides a long-term alternative for younger patients with chronic hip pain. Read more

A Runner's Heart Healed

By Jessica Mikulski | November 16, 2012 | Comments Gordon_finishline

In April 2009, Penn patient Elliot Gordon suffered from an aortic dissection, and required almost immediate open-heart surgery. Less than four years later Gordon will attempt to complete the Philadelphia Half-Marathon Sunday. Read more

Be a Hero. Donate Blood.

By Sally Sapega | November 7, 2012 | Comments Nick and mom 1210

Do you donate blood? If you’re like the majority of Americans –- more than 90 percent -- the answer is no. Most people don’t think about it in their busy lives. Or they feel someone else will take up the slack. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Less than 40 percent... Read more

140 Miles of Grace

By Kim Menard | October 9, 2012 | Comments

On October 20th, 2012, HUP traumatic brain injury survivor Candace Gantt will participate in an Ironman Triathlon in Wilmington, North Carolina called Beach to Battleship to raise funds for brain injury research in Penn’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair (CBIR).

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