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Patient Stories

  • Sloane Rilliet

    After Specialized Prenatal and Newborn Care, a Healthy Girl

    Sloane Rilliet
    Halfway through her pregnancy, Elizabeth Gedney learned her baby had congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH, a potentially life-threatening defect in which the diaphragm doesn't form properly in utero. Gedney's case was relatively mild, but she required close monitoring throughout her pregnancy. Her daughter, Sloane, received intensive care after birth, followed by several surgeries to repair her diaphragm. Gedney speaks about the diagnosis and Sloane's treatment at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. How did you find out Sloane had congenital[...]
    Story Tags: Congenital Diaphragmatic HerniaFetal Surgery
  • Rowan Jimenez

    Rock Climber Exceeds Expectations After Double-Lung Transplant

    Rowan -300l -11022012
    UCSF News reports on the story of Rowan Jimenez, a rock climber who underwent a double lung transplant at UCSF for treatment of scleroderma, an autoimmune disease, crediting UCSF with getting his life back and resuming his passion for climbing mountains. The 10,911-foot view from the top of Cathedral Peak in Yosemite National Park is a familiar sight for Rowan Jimenez. The 44-year-old rock climber and musician has traversed this mountain many times before, but this particular attempt on a September day in 2010 was different: It marked a triumphant return on the two-year anniversary of his[...]
    Story Tags: Lung Transplant
  • Lindsey Friedberg

    Weight-Loss Surgery at Age 22: New Body, New Self

    "My personality was being swallowed by the fat just like the rest of me," says Lindsey Friedberg, a 23-year-old graduate student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Friedberg, who grew up in Ocean City, New Jersey, surrounded by "slender and tan" girls, has battled her weight all her life. In high school she tried counting calories, eating raw food, drinking 12 bottles of water a day and writing down everything she ate, including the gum she chewed and number of mints. But nothing worked. Then, during sophomore year, Friedberg's[...]
    Story Tags: Obesity
  • Jeff Grubbs

    Bariatric Surgery: Lifesaving, Life-Changing

    Jeff Grubbs, of Galt, California, describes his old self as a "ticking time bomb." At his heaviest, the 48-year-old, who is 5 feet, 7 1/2 inches tall, weighed 311 pounds. He had a body mass index (BMI) of 47, qualifying him as morbidly obese. The extra weight took a dramatic toll on his health. Grubbs suffered from Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems and back pain, requiring him to take up to 15 pills a day. In December 2010, Grubbs made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery at UCSF's Bariatric Surgery Center, a[...]
    Story Tags: Laparoscopic Gastric BypassObesityType 2 Diabetes
  • Amy Baghdadi

    Cancer Patient Receives the Gift of a Lifetime

    Amy Baghdadi
    Amy Baghdadi was living a perfectly normal life – working as a lawyer and raising two young kids with her husband in San Francisco. While she was training for a half-marathon, her side would ache after long runs. She figured it was just a pulled muscle, but one evening the pain was so excruciating that her husband convinced her to go to the emergency room. An ultrasound revealed that her liver was full of tumors, which were quickly diagnosed as cancer. After an aggressive chemotherapy regimen failed, Baghdadi was running out of treatment[...]
    Story Tags: Liver Cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma)Liver TransplantLiving Donor Liver Transplant
  • Lori MacKenzie

    Innovative DIEP Flap Microsurgery an Alternative to Breast Implants

    Hani Sbiatiny And Lori Mackenzie
    SFGate.com reports on "free DIEP Flap", an innovative reconstructive  microsurgery performed by breast reconstructive surgeons in the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at UCSF. The team, led by Hani Sbitany, M.D., Co-Director of the UCSF Center for Reconstructive Microsurgery and Director of the Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction Program, performs the surgery as an alternative to implants during post-mastectomy reconstruction. UCSF is one of the high volume centers for this procedure in the country. Dr. Sbitany's patient, Lori MacKenzie, underwent the procedure after an[...]
    Story Tags: Breast CancerBreast ReconstructionMicrovascular Surgery
  • Sarah Morse

    Coping With Breast Cancer That Spans Three Generations

    Sarah Morse
    Sarah Morse, 72, lives in San Francisco's Fillmore District. She and her husband have three grown children and six grandchildren, and they enjoy visiting their renovated 1956 Airstream, parked on the hillside of a friend's Sonoma County vineyard. Morse is also a breast cancer survivor. After being diagnosed at 59, she was certain she didn't have a chance of surviving but swore that if she did, she would find a way to help others. Today, Morse is cancer-free – and living up to her promise. You were diagnosed with breast[...]
    Story Tags: Breast Cancer
  • Alison Wesley

    After Islet Transplant, Glucose Control is "Amazing"

    Islet Cell
    Alison Wesley received her diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes when she was just 11 years old, after she developed the classic symptoms of the disease – severe weight loss, excessive thirst, sugar cravings, frequent urination, and feeling lethargic. To treat the diabetes, doctors put her on the first generation of insulin pumps. She continued to use the pumps off and on until she was in her early 30s. But eventually, even the pumps could no longer help her control her glucose. "I developed 'brittle diabetes'," she explains. "My glucose levels were swinging up and down. I was checking them five to[...]
    Story Tags: Islet Transplant for Type 1 DiabetesType 1 Diabetes
  • Clare Dowling

    Back in the Saddle After a Double Lung Transplant

    Clare Dowling and Smokey
    Clare Dowling and Smokey, one year after her transplant. Just before her 19th birthday, Clare Dowling got a terrifying surprise. The college freshman and competitive equestrian learned she had an extremely rare, dangerous and poorly understood lung condition, called pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD). PVOD, which causes high blood pressure in the lung area, has no treatment other than a lung transplant. Dowling's PVOD progressed quickly. Three months after the diagnosis, she was living in the hospital,[...]
    Story Tags: Lung Transplant
  • Alfonso Garcia

    A Young Man Saves Teen's Life

    Alfonso Garcia was just like any other typical healthy and active 16-year-old. He dreamed of attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, boxing, and serving in the military like his two other brothers. Then, in January 2010, he suddenly started feeling sick. He became feverish, anemic, fatigued and jaundiced. Alfonso found out that he had Wilson's disease, a rare genetic disorder in which copper in the body isn't properly eliminated and instead accumulates, damaging the liver and nervous system. Alfonso and his family received a grave[...]
    Story Tags: Liver TransplantWilson Disease
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