“The doctors at St. Mary’s saved my husband’s life,” LaVarne says. “That’s why he’s here today and he’s doing great.” Jerry nods and adds, “I’m 70 years old, and I’ve still got a few more good years left in me, thanks to St. Mary’s.”
Within minutes of walking through St. Mary's doors, John was in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. Dr. Neckman used the cath lab's sophisticated technology to find a blocked blood vessel in John's heart, reopen it, and implant a medicated stent that saved his life.
Agnes is thankful for St. Mary's new 3D mammography technology, which detected a tiny invasive cancer in her breast.
"I'm so thankful it was caught early," Agnes says. "I'm thankful I have been given an opportunity to fight this so soon, while it is most treatable."
Go back to last summer. Chrissy Bridges smiles as she wipes away a tear in St. Mary's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “This is the happiest day of our lives,” she says. Chrissy and husband Joseph are sitting on a sofa in a private room in St. Mary’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Milan is Val Valencic's given name, but he likes to go by Val. It's short, easy to remember, and easy to say. Except after the stroke he suffered last year. He and his wife, Bev, feared he would never talk again. Worse, they feared the stroke would lead the 83-year-old retired engineer into a fatal downward spiral, as they had seen with family and friends too many times before.
Gene Austin was living the good life. A retired veteran with 21 years of service in the U.S. Army, he was enjoying a second career as the University of Georgia’s director of operations and maintenance, spending time with family, working in his woodshop, gardening – and, he admits, smoking too many cigarettes.
At age 73, retired advertising executive Mike Fillichio was trying to enjoy life following a high-speed, high pressure career. But there was a problem: his hip hurt. His years playing football and baseball at the University of Michigan teamed up with decades of tennis, golf, work and normal wear and tear to make bone grind against bone. It hurt.
Jamie Gentry had been bothered by hip pain for years. She remembers her hip hurting when she played high school soccer in Grayson, Ga. It hurt when she married her husband, David, and when they moved to Comer.
Two years ago, Oconee High School English teacher Sally Baker suffered a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and unable to walk or talk. One year ago, Sally created and completed the Next Step 5K, a 3.1-mile walk to raise awareness of stroke and support for St. Mary’s stroke programs.
Gibson Williams is two years old. Like most boys his age, Gibson is growing and changing every day. He loves to bang on drums, hang out with his grandpa, and help take care of his new baby sister. So what makes Gibson special? He was born with half a heart.
At first glance, Bob Fecho does not look like your “typical cardiac patient.” He is 59 years old and looks ten years younger. He follows a healthy diet, at times eating strictly vegan, and he exercises on a regular basis.
...“Both of my parents suffered heart attacks in their sixties, so the family history is there,”
On Jan. 2, 2011, Doris Cleghorn was looking forward to going to Gainesville with her daughter for an appointment her daughter had there. True, she felt a little tired and short of breath as they left Athens, but she figured she had simply over-exerted herself during the holidays.
At 80 years old, Jeri Graves is active and independent. The matriarch of her family, Jeri spent over 30 years in management with BellSouth, then went on to have second and even third careers post-retirement. Jeri is not one to settle down.
When Jack Bauerle isn’t poolside coaching the University of Georgia swim squad, chances are you’ll find him on the tennis court, planning his next big surfing trip, or playing half-court basketball with his buddies.