Patient Stories

Vinton mom gets a ‘second chance’

Melisa Coburn at home with her kids
In July 2013, Melisa Coburn was struggling to catch her breath. She assumed it was bronchitis that was making it difficult to keep up with her toddler and 4-month-old baby. But a visit to a local emergency room revealed a pulmonary embolism, a potentially serious blockage in one of her lung’s pulmonary arteries.

Robotic surgery now an option for myasthenia patients needing thymectomy

Brooklyn Wexell speaks with her physician
Brooklyn Wexell, a 23-year-old teacher from Cambridge, Illinois, didn’t want to have surgery. But when Evgeny Arshava, MD, FACS, a cardiothoracic surgeon at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, told her he could perform the potentially life-changing surgery through very small incisions in her chest using a robot – which would minimize both pain levels and scarring – she changed her mind.

Giving Kiersten hip care to keep an active life

Sprinter in starting blocks
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UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
“I told Dr. Willey I had a goal to get back to dance, do track, and play softball. He was great to me. He told me if I followed his orders, I would get back and do those.”

Shilo’s thyroid cancer surgery story

Shilo Dahlgren as an inpatient
"I just knew in my heart this was where I was supposed to be by the way she explained things and reassured me."

Bill's liver was failing due to hepatitis C

Bill Klahn with his 2016 Transplant Games medal
“You’re dying.” Those words nearly floored Bill Klahn following a routine blood test in the late 1990s. “I said, ‘What?’ I was going to the gym every day, I was working 60 to 80 hours every week—working hard—and they told me my liver was hanging by a thread,” Bill says. Bill, 64, of Cedar Rapids,...

Terrell is making the most of his gift of life

Terrell Jordan Sr. playing basketball
Terrell Jordan Sr., 44, of Cedar Rapids, is the picture of health. He plays basketball several times a week, is a professional clown, and preaches at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids. But he knows better than to take his good health for granted. Every day he thinks about Jesse,...

Cooper's hero is his uncle

Cooper Vozza runs in the 2016 Transplant Games
Cooper was born with Smith-Magenis syndrome, a developmental disorder that results in some level of intellectual disability and delayed speech and language skills. He was also born with just one kidney, which was small and in renal failure. Doctors knew he would need a kidney transplant as soon as he was old enough and big enough for the surgery.

Amy's sarcoma story

patient with nurses
I felt a tiny little twinge in my right knee....The physical therapist suspected something more was going on and encouraged me to get some imaging done.

Preventing falls, Mae moves forward

Mae portrait
Mae Schatteman, 96, shows no signs of slowing down. But she is careful to watch her step along the way. UI Health Care's Stepping On addresses the importance of walking and other low-impact exercise to keep ankles and other parts of the body stable.

Honored to be a 2018 Fan of the Year winner

Portrait of Traci McCausland
During her treatment for breast cancer, Traci McCausland says: “Coach Fran and Margaret McCaffery were incredibly supportive of us. We were so grateful for the support from the entire Iowa Athletic Department and UI Center for Advancement.”

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