Our Story is You | Tyler Zepp

Transcript

Tyler Zepp
Football has always been a part of my life. To be named the starting quarterback for the Wheatland Pirates, it was a dream come true. Hi. I’m Tyler Zepp, and this is my story.

Jerry Zepp, Tyler’s father
Tyler had been working out all summer. One day, just before practice, when he wasn’t even expending a whole lot of energy, his heart started to beat rapidly. It was so fast we actually couldn’t get a pulse on him.

Terri Zepp, Tyler’s mother
They said there was an abnormality on the EKG, and I couldn’t believe it.

Jerry Zepp, Tyler’s father
They had gotten in touch with a cardiologist at one o’clock in the morning. That’s how serious they thought this was.

Robert Achtel, M.D., Tyler’s cardiologist
The echocardiogram showed a drop in pressure between the upper part of his body and the lower part of his body. But as hard as we tried, the echo could not visualize a reason for this drop.

Tyler Zepp
To diagnose my heart problem, Dr. Achtel decided next to use a brand-new CT scan machine.

Robert Achtel, M.D., Tyler’s Cardiologist
The 64-slice CT gives absolutely incredible definition.

Jerry Zepp, Tyler’s father
And where the artery was actually blocked, you wouldn't normally have seen it because it was back behind the heart.

Text Graphic
The equipment used to diagnose Tyler’s condition was purchased with community donations.

Robert Achtel, M.D., Tyler’s Cardiologist
Philanthropy has enabled us to buy equipment that allows us to provide leading-edge medical care. Tyler could have died instantly had he generated enough pressure and had he had an artery anywhere in his body that was subject to rupture.

Tyler Zepp
Dr. Achtel said I probably wouldn’t be able to play football for the rest of the season and that I would have to have heart surgery.

Javier Lopez, Tyler’s football coach
For Tyler not to get any time on the field at all--that just didn’t sit well with me. So I approached (Tyler's) dad and said, “If you get me a doctor’s note saying that I can play him one or two plays—then let’s do that.”

Derek Zepp, Tyler’s brother
All I remember was the crowd cheering, “Zepp! Zepp! Zepp!” I couldn’t hear anything else. The crowd was so loud.

Tyler Zepp
I ended up throwing a touchdown and running a touchdown.

Robert Achtel, M.D., Tyler’s Cardiologist
We operated at Sutter Memorial Hospital, and it went very well.

Tyler Zepp
The doctors and nurses at Sutter Health are all really great. That meant more to me than the two football plays….that everybody around me cared.

Robert Achtel, M.D., Tyler’s Cardiologist
He will be able to perform at all sports, and I have given him clearance to play football again.

Terri Zepp
And Tyler is going to play football at Sierra College.

Jerry Zepp
He’s going to give it another shot. That’s my boy.

Tyler Zepp
I’m Tyler Zepp and that’s my story.

Text Graphic
The support of our generous donors has helped expand medical services, introduce new programs and purchase technology to diagnose and treat patients like Tyler.

William G. Hoffman, M.D., MBA
Chief Medical Officer of Sutter Medical Foundation, North Division
Philanthropy allows us as a small community to get the equipment we need that we couldn’t afford any other way. This equipment you see behind me—the 64-slice CT scanner—was able to find a very unusual problem in a teenage athlete, which essentially changed his life and saved his life. For us, the 64-slice CT is a giant advancement because in 20 minutes we can look in patients’ hearts, look at patients’ arteries, and also look in their heads and abdomen and find things that you typically can’t find without being hospitalized. We have patients who come in for procedures and can go home in an hour—where those tests used to take all day. Philanthropy helps Sutter Health and Sutter North meet those goals and also helps patients get top-quality local care.