Use the tools below to filter patient stories about Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

  • Jennifer and her transplant team

    Jennifer's Battle with Cirrhosis

    May 17, 2019

    When Dr. Hall first saw Jennifer, her weight had swelled to more than 200 pounds from the buildup of fluid from both liver and kidney failure. “She was so ill, so swollen. She couldn’t even walk,” Dr. Hall remembers. Transplant was her only hope, but the volume of water in her b...

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  • David Beck

    Saving a Linguist’s Tongue

    July 17, 2018

    In summer of 2017, Beck had what he thought was a canker sore that was not healing. His dentist examined it and advised him to see a specialist for a biopsy if it didn’t heal in a couple of weeks. After a biopsy that fall, he learned he had stage 2 carcinoma of the tongue and was referred t...

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  • Edna Doberson

    Edna Doberson: Support Means Everything

    April 12, 2018

    A few years ago, Edna Doberson began to feel tired and immediately knew something was wrong. Edna was referred to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center where a thorough evaluation diagnosed her with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)/interstitial lung disease, and she was shocked to learn she ne...

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  • Luis Perez

    Luis' Story: Management of Type B Aortic Dissection

    October 18, 2017

    Forty-six-year-old Luis Perez was driving with a friend on a Saturday night when he felt a small pain and a sensation of pressure in his middle upper back. He pulled over, called 911, and was immediately rushed to nearby Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital and immediately transferred to the Memor...

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  • Brian Southwell

    Brian Southwell: A Walking Miracle

    August 8, 2017

    After working his usual night shift on a Tuesday, and then the day shift the following Thursday, Brian Southwell was lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep. It was 4:30 a.m. when the 45-year-old left his home in Onalaska, Texas, to make the 14-mile drive to Livingston. Along...

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  • Anthony Vallone

    Anthony Vallone: Without Stopping

    August 8, 2017

    After a devastating automobile accident that nearly took his life, Anthony Vallone is back at work at Shell Trading with barely a limp, thanks to his strength of character, a supportive family and the orthopedic trauma team at the Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute. “I have nothing ...

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  • Dylan Pugh

    Dylan Pugh: In the Best Hands

    August 8, 2017

    Dylan Pugh remembers working that day, coming home and going out again to meet friends. On the drive home later that night, he swerved to avoid an oncoming car and his one-ton Chevy Silverado Duramax left the road, hit a ditch, went airborne and slammed into a tree. The crash occurred on Sept. 29...

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  • Maria Sonnen

    Saving Maria Sonnen's Leg

    August 8, 2017

    Maria Sonnen and her daughter, Laura Sonnen, were hit from behind repeatedly by a man driving a Nissan Frontier pickup truck. The result was a severe injury to Maria's left leg and near complete loss of the skin from behind her right knee to her ankle putting her at risk for an above-the-knee amp...

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  • Steven Fisher

    Steven Fisher Makes a Comeback

    August 8, 2017

    Six months after sustaining multiple traumatic injuries in a motor vehicle crash, 38-year-old Steven Fisher was walking again, thanks to the skill of the multidisciplinary team at the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and the handiwork of his orthopedic traumatolo...

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  • Chad Blackburn

    Chad Blackburn: On the Upswing

    August 3, 2017

    After a vehicle plowed into the back of his patrol car, rescuers used the Jaws of Life to pry apart the car and free Chad Blackburn, who was transported to a community hospital in south Houston, where surgeons removed his spleen, stabilized him and arranged for air ambulance transport to the Memo...

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  • John Sigmon

    John Sigmon: Living Proof

    July 17, 2017

    In 1996 at the age of 45, John Sigmon was diagnosed with acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis, a deadly disease with a 30 percent to 50 percent survival rate. Five months into his hospitalization, Sigmon lapsed into a coma and was put on life support. Three weeks later, he walked out of the hospital, t...

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  • Gabrielle Giffords

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords: On the Road to Recovery

    July 13, 2017

    The Mischer Neuroscience Institute took the national stage when U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was transferred to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011 after she was shot in the head. The Arizona congresswoman was shot at pointblank ...

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  • Matt Craig

    Returning to the Water, One Millimeter at a Time

    July 13, 2017

    In June 2013, Matthew Craig – then 15 – and his family were at their house on Lake Livingston enjoying some quality time when tragedy struck. While tubing behind a jet ski, Craig suddenly crashed into a boat dock. Right before impact, he attempted to protect his head as best he could ...

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  • Megan

    Megan's Story: Deep Brain Stimulation Changes a Life

    July 12, 2017

    Five years ago Megan Collins’ life was marked by pain, social embarrassment and uncertainty about her medical future. Today, the 35-year-old considers herself lucky. Collins responded favorably to the treatment regimen for almost 18 months. Then her dystonia began to worsen and evolved aggressive...

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  • Carolos Velazquez

    Carlos Velázquez: Cancer Is Just a Word

    June 27, 2017

    Every other month, Carlos Velázquez and his wife, Mónica Costa, make the 12,500-mile round trip between their home in Asunción, Paraguay, and Houston, Texas, where Velázquez is undergoing an innovative treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The Paraguayan couple and their Texas Medical Cent...

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  • Martha Manning

    Martha’s Story: Partial Gastrectomy for Gastric Neuroendocrine Tumor

    June 26, 2017

    An upper gastrointestinal scope revealed bleeding in Manning's stomach, caused by a gastric neuroendocrine tumor of the stomach. Confirming the diagnosis, Dr. Rowe referred her to affiliated surgeon Curtis Wray, MD, for surgical removal of the tumor. Says Martha, "When Dr. Wray told me I would ne...

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  • Read about Eyvettes Unlikely Colon Cancer Journey

    Eyvette's Unlikely Colon Cancer Journey

    April 4, 2017

    Eyvette Lopez Hetherington was an unlikely candidate for colon cancer. The 44-year-old Houston attorney and mother of two was seemingly healthy and fit, underwent annual physicals and had no family history of colon cancer. Yet, the signs were there. As a young lawyer in her 20s, Hetherington bega...

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  • Read about Floridian Travels to Houston

    A Floridian Travels to Houston for World-Class Care

    April 3, 2017

    By the time Randy Whitesides made it to the office of internationally recognized glaucoma expert Robert M. Feldman, MD, the Floridian had lost the vision in his right eye. After contracting a bacterial infection in Mexico 30 years ago, he developed reactive arthritis, an autoimmune condition in w...

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  • Brendan Diffley

    Meticulous Surgery Saves a Young Trauma Patient’s Vision

    April 3, 2017

    On New Year’s Eve 2012 Brendan Diffley’s father, Shane Diffley, and his stepmother, Jennifer Diffley, drove the 12-year-old to nearby Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital after he shot himself in the eye with a pencil while fashioning a makeshift paper crossbow using online directions. He w...

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  • Jacob Smith

    Jacob Smith: Your Attitude Defines Your Future

    August 22, 2016

    Jacob Smith was returning home with other students at his high school, after attending a leadership conference in Corpus Christi for members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). The last thing he remembers was buying snacks when the four-car caravan of students and teachers...

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  • James and Tracy

    James and Tracy: A Good Match for Life

    May 23, 2016

    Tracy and James met at a 7-Eleven store in Bryan, Texas, and the two have been together ever since. Neither would have imagined that they would one day share a kidney. James and Tracy had been married for nearly 10 years when his physicians recommended kidney transplantation.

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  • Bernarda and Freddy Azuara

    Freddy and Bernarda: A Match Through Kidney Paired Donation

    May 23, 2016

    When Bernarda learned none of her three sons were a match for kidney donation, their search led them to the Kidney Transplant Program at the Memorial Hermann Transplant Center in Houston, where they learned that Bernarda had a high number of circulating donor-specific antibodies targeting human l...

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  • David Fuselier and Jackie

    David and Jackie: 34 Years and Counting

    May 23, 2016

    Although the early years of kidney transplantation were marked by high rates of rejection and allograft failure, a clinical trial of the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine dramatically changed the outlook for transplant recipients. The trial began in 1979, and three years later, David was among ...

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  • David and Gam Nguyen

    David and Gam: A Son Gives Life to His Mother

    May 23, 2016

    Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of end-stage kidney disease. The progression of both conditions over more than 15 years of Gam’s life led to chronic kidney disease. By 2010, the 66-year-old mother of four boys was in borderline kidney failure, and her nephrol...

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  • Scott Carriker

    For Scott Carriker, Form Follows Function

    October 15, 2015

    Scott Carriker was in a bucket truck, changing out an electric utility circuit pole, when he grabbed the wrong wire and suffered an electrical injury that badly burned both his hands. He was admitted to the hospital’s John S. Dunn Burn Center and underwent eight surgeries in 10 days, the la...

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  • Mikayla Williams

    Mikayla Williams Makes a 180-Degree Turn

    September 22, 2015

    Easter Sunday in April 2014, out of the blue, Mikayla Williams had a seizure – a dramatic occurrence for an otherwise healthy 12-year-old girl. A CT scan and blood tests done at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital produced inconclusive results, and Mikayla was sent home with an anti-...

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  • Christine Portillo

    Christine Portillo: A Matter of Genetics

    September 4, 2015

    Christine Portillo’s story has the power to save lives. It begins in 1998, the year her mother suffered a stroke as the result of two ruptured intracranial aneurysms. “She recovered quickly and went back to work two weeks later, but we don’t remember anyone telling the family that aneurysms can b...

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  • Jason Roy

    Jason Roy: From Zero to a Hundred

    August 31, 2015

    As a child, Jason Roy wanted to be a baseball player or a police officer. He initially gravitated towards sports, but then shifted gears and joined the Houston Police Department as an officer. Roy, by then a five-year veteran of the department, flipped his squad car several times during a high-sp...

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  • Dara Lewis

    Dara Lewis: From Patient to Neuroscience Nurse

    May 26, 2015

    Two semesters short of graduation from nursing school, Dara Lewis began having severe headaches. In a sudden shift from student nurse to patient, Lewis worked her way through the referral process from primary care physician to neurologist to neurosurgeon. In October 2011 she found herself in an e...

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  • Judith Harris

    Judith Harris: An Accomplished Academic Triumphs Over an Unexpected Physical Challenge

    May 4, 2015

    “Maybe it’s just stress,” thought Judith Harris when she suddenly experienced a severe pain in her neck while lying on the couch in her downtown Houston home. A professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston Downtown, Harris juggles a heavy workload and academic publication schedule. ...

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  • Mike Autrey

    Mike's Story - Lung Cancer

    February 23, 2015

    Jafri sent the slides to a specialist, who confirmed small cell lung cancer, a form that shares common neuro-endocrine features with carcinoid cancer, but tends to be extremely aggressive.

    For Mike Autrey, the treatment began with 12 weeks of chemotherapy given along with radiation to the ...

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  • Cory Smith

    Cory Smith Rises to the Challenge

    October 22, 2014

    In May 2012, Cory Smith, a straight-A student and star basketball player at Clear Springs High School in Houston, suffered a severe intracranial empyema, an infection that arises most commonly as a complication of sinusitis or otitis, particularly in males in later childhood, adolescence or early...

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  • Dawn

    Dawn's Story of Surviving a Heart Attack

    October 17, 2014

    Dawn Manuel, mother of four, was visiting her husband in the hospital when she began noticing symptoms of a heart attack: most notably, the feeling of someone sitting on his chest. This worried her enough to go to the emergency room at the bottom floor of the hospital and asked for an EKG. Soon a...

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  • Kelly Williams

    Kelly Williams Is Getting Another Wonderful Birthday Present This Year

    October 16, 2014

    Kelly and her husband, Chad, count themselves very lucky. The diagnosis of an open neural tube defect, or myelomeningocele, led them on a journey of education, referral, consultations and, ultimately, to open fetal surgery for spina bifida repair. Spina bifida – a major birth defect involving the...

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  • Peter Aaron and Willa Berry

    The Berry Family Story: Three Kids Inspire a City

    September 22, 2014

    In July 2011, three young siblings lost their parents in a tragic car accident on the way home from summer vacation in Colorado. The Berry family was traveling back to Houston when their vehicle was struck head-on by an SUV that had veered into their lane. The two brothers, Peter and Aaron, who w...

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  • Peter Aaron and Willa Berry

    Three Years After the Accident, the Berry Siblings Return to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

    September 15, 2014

    In July 2011, three young siblings lost their parents in a tragic car accident on the way home from summer vacation. The Berry family was traveling back to Houston when their vehicle was struck head-on by an SUV. The two brothers, Peter and Aaron, sustained serious spinal cord injuries that paral...

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  • Mobile Stroke Unit

    Nation's First Mobile Stroke Unit Successfully Transports First Patient

    September 12, 2014

    We're proud to announce the UTHealth Mobile Stroke Unit has successfully transported and helped save the life of its very first patient. The unit, the first and only one of its kind in the nation, is a specially equipped ambulance with a CT (computed tomography) scanner that allows a stroke unit ...

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  • Brant Gallion

    A Patient’s View: Living with Astrocytoma

    May 28, 2014

    Brant Gallion was in Russian territory, climbing a piece of equipment on an oil rig in the Caspian Sea, when he thought he was being electrocuted, lost consciousness and fell 5 feet to the deck on his back. Four months after the second incident, he had a generalized seizure while working in ...

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  • Jaclyn Barbosa

    A Good Night’s Sleep for Jaclyn

    May 27, 2014

    Jaclyn Barbosa’s polysomnogram showed she was waking up six to 10 times an hour, leading her doctor to diagnose her with mild obstructive sleep apnea. He fitted Barbosa, who felt claustrophobic using CPAP, with a mandibular advancement splint. The appliance protrudes the jaw in a forward pos...

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  • Jennifer

    Jennifer’s Story: Heart Attack at 32

    February 17, 2014

    32-year-old Jennifer Cooper Cheak was playing with her 3-week-old baby and son when she started to feel tightness and pressure in her chest. A few minutes later, she experienced a heart attack and was rushed to a local hospital. She was transferred to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center where s...

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  • Leslie Martone

    Leslie Martone: A New Kind of Normal

    February 12, 2014

    For those diagnosed with a potentially debilitating disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS), it would be understandable to surrender to feelings of despair and hopelessness. But that’s not the case for 39-year-old Leslie Martone, who refused to give up hope and instead has chosen to focus o...

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  • Clarence Fontenot

    Rare Double Heart Transplant

    February 11, 2014

    After receiving a heart transplant in 1994 due to a Sudden Cardiac Death attack, Clarence Fontenot experienced another heart attack two decades later. Fontenot was ready to keep fighting, and so were his physicians. 13 weeks later, Dr. Gregoric made an incision in Fontenot's chest along the ...

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  • Don Mathews

    Don Mathews' Recovery From Brain Damage

    August 6, 2013

    Don Mathews' inspiring story begins on the night of his 21st birthday party in September 1998. A successful student at Sam Houston State University, Don was celebrating with some of his college friends at a lake house on Lake Livingston. Don and his date were on their way to their vehicle, comple...

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  • Read about Lap Band Surgery Lowered Cholesterol

    Lap Band Surgery Lowered Cholesterol, Solved Bladder & Knee Problems

    May 1, 2013

    Susan had struggled to maintain a healthy weight since childhood. "I was always teased about being overweight, which took its toll on my self-esteem," she said. "By the time I was in the eighth grade, I weighed 185." During her junior year in high school, Susan played basketball and ran cross-cou...

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  • Read about Right Weight Loss Surgery

    The Right Weight Loss Surgery and Losing 220 Pounds

    May 1, 2013

    When Steve began considering weight loss surgery at the age of 56, he was a Type II diabetic with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and unbearable pain in his knee joints. In addition to medications for these conditions, he was taking a diuretic to reduce the swelling in his legs. During his ...

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  • Rodney Janczak

    Rodney Janczak: 25 Years Later

    April 12, 2013

    Rodney Janczak took his first helicopter ride on July 3, 1987, when he was nine years old. Following an automobile accident in a suburban area of northwest Houston, he was flown by Memorial Hermann Life Flight to the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, formerly kno...

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  • McKenzie

    McKenzy Winne: Traumatic Brain Injury

    January 10, 2013

    On September 15, 2007, McKenzy Winne was riding with two friends on the tailgate of a pickup truck. Suddenly and without warning, McKenzy was thrown from the tailgate. She tried to stand up, then collapsed in the street. After being flown to the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas...

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  • Tony Lentola

    Tony's Story: Tonsil Cancer

    Thanks to a referral to Ron Karni, MD, who routinely does surgery for oropharyngeal cancers using transoral robotic surgery with a CO2 laser, Lentola avoided the toxic treatments, the effects of which are particularly pronounced in head and neck cancer patients.

    "By combining the laser and...

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  • Mackenzie Wysong

    Mackenzie's Story: A Ray of Sunshine

    Mackenzie Wysong’s positive attitude and cheery outlook make the difference in how she approaches life and its challenges.

    Mackenzie had only been living in Houston a little more than a year when she received a breast cancer diagnosis in 2013.

    Mackenzie made up her mind to hav...

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  • Darryn Hurt

    Darryn’s Story: A Gender-Affirming Transition

    It’s something most people take for granted: the ability to just be who you are in public. But for Darryn Hurt, it was a constant struggle. Knowing he was born in the wrong body, Darryn never felt like he fit in. After five years of testosterone therapy and 12 months of psychological counse...

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