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Patient Stories

  • Brad Dell

    One Year Ago Today, Surgeons Hit the Reset Button on My Life

    Brad Dell relives the exhilirating and captivating events leading up to his lung transplant surgery at UCSF on its one-year anniversary. His riveting account appears at Cystic Fibrosis News Today.  Jan. 14, 2017 was the worst day of anxiety I'd had in the five months of waiting for my lung transplant. A frantic, nearly palpable tension was in the air. After five confident months believing the "light at the end of the tunnel" was rebirth, rather than death, I suddenly broke. I simply didn't think I had the strength to make it to transplant. I refused to communicate with my parents most of[...]
    Story Tags: Lung Transplant
  • Ray Martz

    Eric Nakakura and Emily Bergsland Discuss Carcinoid Syndrome Treatment on "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" Series

    Eric Nakakura, M.D., Ph.D., a UCSF gastrointestinal cancer surgeon and Emily Bergsland, M.D.. a UCSF gastrointestinal oncologist, recently discussed the treatment of carcinoid syndrome on "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind", a series hosted by Information Television Network (ITV), a PBS content affiliate. Dr. Nakakura is an Associate Professor in the UCSF Department of Surgery and Dr. Bergsland a Professor in the UCSF Department of Medicine. The ITV episode, which portrays the struggles of Ray Martz with carcinoid syndrome, recounts the situation he initially faced - that his condition was[...]
    Story Tags: Carcinoid SyndromeGastrointestinal Neuroendocrine (Carcinoid) TumorsLiver Metastases
  • Mansfield Doi

    Surgery Wellness Program Eases Path to Surgery

    Mansfield Doi
    My father Mansfield Doi was undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, a procedure used to correct a narrowing in the bile ducts. The advantage of ERCP is that it is non-invasive, but after repeated procedures showed limited effectiveness, his UCSF gastroenterologist suggested surgery. He was referred to Dr. Hobart Harris, Chief of the Division of General Surgery at UCSF, who determined that medically he was a candidate for surgery. However, because of his age – my dad is 86 - Dr. Harris encouraged us to coordinate with the UCSF Surgery Wellness Program, which was a[...]
  • Lorelei Batty

    A Complex Procedure for Life-Threatening Pancreatitis

    A Complex Procedure for Life-Threatening Pancreatitis One morning in December 2014, Lorelei Batty woke up screaming in pain and sick to her stomach. Emergency room doctors in her hometown of Santa Maria, Calif., thought the 3-year-old had the flu and sent her home. But Lorelei didn't improve over the next week and a half, and a far more serious diagnosis soon came in: pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that's rare in children and can be difficult to treat. After spending most of the next nine months in seven different hospitals with deteriorating health, Lorelei finally[...]
  • John Maduell

    Conceptual Artist Retains Limb Against Long Odds

    John Maduell
    In his 33-year career as a conceptual artist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, John Maduell illustrated futuristic technologies few others could imagine. But he never envisioned the toll diabetes and vascular disease would take on his body—or that one day he might lose his legs because of these problems.  Maduell's troubles started two years ago when he developed a diabetic ulcer on his left foot. "Before I knew it, I was in the hospital, with three toes amputated," he says. Still, the wound didn't heal, and Maduell, who now lives and paints in Modesto, was told removing the[...]
    Story Tags: Diabetic Foot UlcersDiabetic Peripheral NeuropathyPeripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
  • Richard Wodrich

    Chico Resident Richard Wodrich Receives Lung Transplant at UCSF Medical Center

    The Chico News and Review reports on the journey of Richard Wodrich to the double lung transplant he received at UCSF Medical Center for treatment of irreversible and incurable chronic lung disease. The transplant was performed by Dr. Jasleen Kukreja, Surgical Director of the UCSF Lung Transplant Program.  Longtime local bluegrass musician Richard Wodrich loves to sing and play guitar, but that became progressively more difficult over the last decade or so, to the point where he had trouble just breathing—let alone playing music. About four years ago, he was formally diagnosed with chronic[...]
    Story Tags: Lung Transplant
  • Allison & Quinn Mendez

    Living Proof that the Gift of Life Is Possible

    Pedsurg Mendez Family Photo Quinn
    Our story began on March 5, 2012. We were almost 26 weeks along with our second child, a son. The pregnancy had been uneventful; however, at our 20 week ultrasound our obstetrician was not able to get a clear view of our son’s heart. He told us that from what he could see, his heart appeared fine but he would like a follow up ultrasound in six weeks. We felt no cause for alarm and were pleased that our doctor was being so thorough. On the day of the follow up appointment, our doctor informed us he saw a large collection of fluid in our baby’s chest around his lungs. I also had too much[...]
    Story Tags: Fetal Surgery
  • Rose Gutierrez

    Letting Patients Call the Shots

    Jasmine Wong
    The "shared decision-making" model fosters a higher level of collaboration between doctors and the people they treat. Rose Gutierrez has a big decision to make. Gutierrez, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring, had surgery and 10 weeks of chemotherapy. But the cancer is still there. Now Jasmine Wong (pictured right), a surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, is explaining the choices—Gutierrez can either have another lumpectomy followed by radiation, or she can get a total mastectomy. "I think both options are reasonable," Wong said. "It's just a matter of how[...]
    Story Tags: Breast Cancer
  • Chris Schroeder

    When Chris Schroeder's Kidneys Failed, His Family Stepped Forward

    Chris Schroeder has been extraordinarily unlucky — and extraordinarily lucky. The 58-year-old Walnut Creek, Calif., resident grew up in a family where the specter of polycystic kidney disease, a disorder in which cysts form on the kidneys and eventually stop them from functioning, loomed large. His mother had a kidney transplant in her late 60s, and her father died of hereditary disease at the age of 56. So, from a young age, Schroeder was on the lookout for signs that he too would face similar challenges. Chris Schroeder with his wife and son By the time he was in his early 40s, his[...]
    Story Tags: Kidney TransplantLiving Donor Kidney TransplantPeritoneal DialysisPolycystic Kidney Disease
  • Marla Levy

    "Miracle Patient" Receives the Gift Of Life

    ADCT Photo Marla Levy With Dr Merrick
    My name is Marla Levy and I owe my life to Dr. Scot Merrick, Chief of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCSF. My story begins in Southern California when I was 21 and diagnosed with a congenital heart defect: supravalvular aortic stenosis or SVAS. SVAS develops before birth and causes narrowing of the aorta, the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. At age 27, I had my first open heart surgery. My aorta was replaced with a human valve, and when doctors couldn’t get my heart to start after the procedure, I received an emergency right coronary bypass.[...]
    Story Tags: Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)Heart Valve DiseaseSupravalvular Aortic Stenosis
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