Patient Stories

Jonathan’s meniscus transplant story

Whether he’s on a bike ride or just walking to class at Southeastern Community College each day, Jonathan Gavin appreciates the precious gift that allows him to do those things pain-free.

Expert spine care helped Gretchen get back to RAGBRAI

Gretchen McLain of Stockport, Iowa, was looking forward to riding RAGBRAI in 2017, but four days before the event, a devastating spine injury put her bike-riding plans on hold indefinitely—but not for nearly as long as you might think. Gretchen was working on her farm in July 2017 when a couple of...

Fast cardiology scheduling leads to quick diagnosis and treatment

Curt Roesler
With shortness of breath and periodic chest pain, this Iowa City man wasn't ready to wait three months to see his cardiologist. He called the UI Heart and Vascular Center and was seen the next day.

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.

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