Autumn's story: A place of hope and healing
As a nurse, Autumn Anderson knew the persistent tingling in her fingers and toes wasn't normal. But her medical training couldn't prepare her for the jolting impact of her diagnosis: a large aneurysm in her brain. The life of this confident twenty-nine-year-old suddenly rippled with fear.
The direction given by colleagues at the west suburban hospital where she worked was clear. "They told me to go to HealthEast Neurosurgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital," Autumn recalls.
At St. Joseph's, Interventional Neuroradiologist Michael Madison, MD, successfully treated her unruptured aneurysm with coiling. Autumn recovered in the de Paul tower at St. Joseph's.
"The nurses were absolutely fantastic," she notes, "They made sure I reached the necessary milestones so I could go home."
Autumn's experience as a HealthEast patient impacted her career path. A year after she was a patient, she became a HealthEast employee. Autumn is now a clinical director at Bethesda Hospital and works to ensure that all patients have the same meaningful, positive experience she did.
"I’m proof that even though you can be confronting a frightening medical diagnosis, hope and healing are within your reach," Autumn says.
David's story: Help for ‘regular people’ like us
Fueled by his doctor's suggestion to keep an eye on his blood pressure, David Scott, Clinic Director at HealthEast, turned to Ways to Wellness at Woodwinds Health Campus for help.
"I wanted to keep my blood pressure under control without medication," says David, "but although I had a health club membership, with three children and a busy job, I just never had much time to exercise. I heard about Ways to Wellness and decided to give it a try."
Ways to Wellness provides a wide variety of services that address your whole self. The team consists of dietitians, personal trainers, health and wellness coaches and a pharmacist who empower clients to seek ways to live a balanced, whole life through personalized nutrition, fitness and lifestyle coaching.
After four months of classes and working with a trainer, David's blood pressure has improved. In addition, he has lost 12 pounds and dropped 3 percent body fat. Most importantly, David credits Ways to Wellness with helping him become a better father. He and his family are now more active on weekends and meditation classes taught him to relax so he has more patience with his children.
"I know my story is not very dramatic," says David. "I don't have any significant health issues or chronic diseases. I'm just a regular guy who wanted to change the path I was on. The minor health issues I have experienced could turn into something more if I don't control them through lifestyle changes while they are still manageable. Ways to Wellness staff helped me by meeting me at the level I was at and teaching me to achieve a better balance in my life. I encourage everyone to give it a try!"
Martin's story: "You saved my life and I'm so thankful!"
The chest pains started during Martin Fox's morning workout. He woke his wife to take him to the hospital, but when symptoms worsened they called 911. Thanks to your generous donations, HealthEast Medical Transportation paramedics quickly responded and saved his life.
"They (the paramedics) never caused fear in my heart, they just started treating and reassuring me," Martin says.
Martin awoke at the hospital surrounded by family and friends who were relieved he was alive. He had suffered a "widow-maker" heart attack, with a 95 percent blockage in his major artery that required two stints. Quick treatment and transport by HealthEast Medical Transportation staff resulted in no permanent damage to Martin's heart.
"Looking back, my whole experience wasn't that I was enduring something…" Martin told a group of HealthEast Medical Transportation employees. "Rather, I was going through this to see an aspect of mercy and love of God in you guys, in what you do. It's because of what you do that I have a life to live now. You saved my life and I'm so thankful!" Go here to watch a video of Martin sharing his story.
In 2012, HealthEast Medical Transportation reported a 10 percent increase in calls from previous years, which amounted to about 1,000 extra calls. We thank you for your gifts, which help us respond quickly and make success stories like Martin's possible.