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    Patient Stories

    The best part of the Sutter Health story is you. And we celebrate the lives of our patients and families by telling it. From an avid cyclist getting back in the saddle after heart surgery to a beloved father surviving cancer, your lives are the reason we’re here. They’re the reason we invest in life-saving technologies. The reason we strive to make healthcare a more human and personalized experience. And the reason we try to plus your life anyway we can.



    Maryanne Marubu
    Maryanne's story | Recovering from a traumatic injury
    A year ago, Maryanne Marubu, a student at California State University, East Bay, was walking on campus when a distracted motorist struck her in the middle of a crosswalk. An ambulance transported Maryanne to Sutter-affiliated Eden Medical Center, where a trauma team diagnosed a severely fractured skull, a brain injury and fractured legs, amid other disabling injuries.
    Maryanne's story and VIDEO





    Eves Tall Chief
    Eves' story | Shoulder replacement surgery
    When 68-year-old Eves Tall Chief of Sunnyvale came to Sutter-affiliated Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) for help, his shoulder was so unstable that it would dislocate when he simply reached out to pet his dog. But for a man who holds the world's record for hang-gliding flights in Yosemite, giving up was not an option.
    Eves' story and VIDEO




    The Espinozas
    The Espinozas' story | Weight-loss surgery
    Arnie and Kim Espinoza of Patterson share a happy marriage and a close bond with their four children. Until a few years ago, the couple shared something else a struggle with obesity that took a toll on their daily lives. Then, they read about gastric bypass surgery.
    The Espinozas' story and VIDEO





    Melissa and Super Sam
    Super Sam's story | Prematurity and NICU miracles
    Baby Sam was born by emergency C-section at 1 pound, 12 ounces and would spend the next 95 days in the NICU. But today he is happy and healthy.
    Melissa and Sam's story and VIDEO




    The Molina Family
    The Molina Family | Pregnancy and OB Care
    Arsenia and Eric Molina call their daughter Emma their miracle baby and for good reason. Just becoming pregnant was a long, difficult journey. The couple endured three years of in vitro fertilization and three heartbreaking miscarriages before Emma was conceived.
    The Molina family story and VIDEO




    Caitlin
    Caitlin's story | Scoliosis
    When Caitlin Barker was 14, her life was filled with the usual teen activities. Skilled in performing challenging cheerleading stunts, the active teen never dreamed that there could be something seriously wrong with her body until a minor injury prompted her to get X-rays. The films inadvertently revealed a worrisome problem: scoliosis.
    Caitlin's story and VIDEO





    Justin
    Justin's story | Minimally Invasive Shoulder Surgery
    After 25 years of playing and coaching rugby, Justin Prichard found that his shoulders had taken a severe beating. He had already undergone three rotator cuff surgeries, and according to his doctor, Justin's rotator cuffs weren't just torn, they were shredded.
    Justin's story and VIDEO




    Jamie
    Jamie's story | Hip Replacement Surgery
    Jamie says that having her hip replaced has "restored my outlook on life and given me the energy to enjoy the people I love and care deeply about."
    Jamie's story and VIDEO




    Jaime
    Jaime's story | Back Surgery
    Saint Mary's College student Jaime Sconberg is no stranger to the world of competitive athletics or to the hospital operating room. Years of fierce training and competition in gymnastics led to dislocations of both her ankles, and both injuries required surgery. But her medical journey didn't end there.
    Jaime's story and VIDEO




    Suzanne
    Suzanne's story | Double Hip Replacement
    Suzanne's hip problems began in her late 30s, when the avid athlete had to abandon her favorite sport at the time: running. Back then, doctors told her she was a candidate for hip replacement, but she opted to wait. But, when the pain got so bad that she couldn't ride her horse anymore, she knew it was time to take action.
    Suzanne's story and VIDEO





    Emma
    Emma's story | Pediatric heart surgery
    Emma was born with two holes in her heart. To survive, she had to have the holes sewn up once she was old enough to withstand the surgery. "Dr. Black fixed my heart with purple thread."
    Emma's story and VIDEO




    Gillian
    Gillian's story | Pediatric heart surgery
    When 8-year-old Gillian sits in a quiet room, a soft ticking can be heard. Its the sound of her artificial heart valve hard at work, keeping her heart beating strong and steady. For Gillian's mom, Shannon, its also the sound of hope and a reminder of the expert medical care her daughter received from an entire medical team at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC).
    Gillian's story and VIDEO




    The Denier Brothers
    The Denier Brothers' story | Pediatric Asthma
    Since they were babies, the Denier boys have suffered from asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that can flare up with exposure to dust, pollen, wind and animal dander. Of course, these are the very same elements these young ranchers face every day, which led to frequent and sometimes frightening attacks.
    The Denier Brothers' story and VIDEO




    Dylan
    Dylan's story | Pediatric asthma
    Dylan didn't know why, but suddenly he couldn't keep up with his school buddies. When he ran, his chest ached and felt tight, and breathing was a struggle. After, a frightening episode of breathing problems left Dylan choking and gasping for breath his condition was officially diagnosed - severe asthma.
    Dylan's story and VIDEO





    Elizabeth
    Elizabeth's story | Heart Surgery
    When Elizabeth experienced chest pain while hiking, the 33-year-old wife and mother of two wasn't overly concerned. Still, she went to see her doctor. A stress echocardiogram and an angiogram revealed a life-threatening heart problem not typically found in such a young and otherwise healthy woman.
    Elizabeth's story and VIDEO




    Tyler
    Tyler's story | Heart Surgery
    In 2009, Tyler was named starting quarterback of his high school football team. It seemed like a dream come true until the day he couldn't catch his breath during football practice. The paramedics who responded couldn't even measure his pulse it was racing too fast. An examination with a new 64-slice CT scanner revealed an artery blockage near Tyler's heart.
    Tyler's story and VIDEO




    Joycelin
    Joycelin's story | Aneurysm and Breast Cancer
    Joycelin faced her first medical crisis one morning when a sudden, severe headache struck, followed by a seizure. She was taken by ambulance to California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), where tests revealed a ruptured brain aneurysm. Just when Joycelin thought life would return to normal, she was dealt another shocking blow: she had stage 1 breast cancer.
    Joycelin's story and VIDEO




    Nick
    Nick's story | Heart Transplant
    Nick suffered his first heart attack at the age of 35. After a brief hospitalization, he changed his diet and exercise habits and began taking prescribed medicines. Soon, he was back on the job and managing well. Then, at age 50, the second heart attack came and everything changed. The heart damage was so extensive, there was only one promising solution: a heart transplant.
    Nick's story and VIDEO





    Prakashni
    Prakashni's story | Acute Myeloid Leukemia
    For months, Prakashni Shandil of West Sacramento had suffered one bad sore throat after another and antibiotics were not much help. Days before a planned tonsilectomy, her throat pain returned, along with a fever. More tests revealed a shocking diagnosis - cancer (Acute Myeloid Leukemia)
    Prakashni's story and VIDEO




    Kathleen
    Kathleen's story | Breast Cancer
    Kathleen's full and active life took a sudden detour after a routine mammogram showed abnormal results. Given her history of good health, she wasn't especially concerned, but a second mammogram and a subsequent biopsy confirmed the worst: Kathleen had breast cancer.
    Kathleen's story and VIDEO




    Hazel
    Hazel's story | Breast Cancer
    Hazel Hyde Neibert is the first to admit that, years ago, her health was low on her priority list. But when she discovered a lump in her breast last year, everything changed. After a mammogram and a biopsy, her worst fears were confirmed: breast cancer.
    Hazel's story and VIDEO




    Julie
    Julie's story | Breast Cancer
    While ordering the tests through Sutter Health's electronic health record (EHR), a special alert also informed Julie's doctor that she was due for her first mammogram. That routine mammogram led to a biopsy which diagnosed stage 1 breast cancer.
    Julie's story and VIDEO





    Sydney
    Sydney's story | Cancer
    "Your daughter has cancer." The words are devastating for any parent to hear, but especially so when your daughter is just 9 years old. In June 2006, that was the grim news Stephanie Stevens struggled to absorb just days after her seemingly healthy fourth-grade daughter Sydney complained of a painful side-ache.
    Sydney's story and VIDEO




    Chuck
    Chuck's story | Hodgkins Lymphoma
    Two weeks before his first day of college, Chuck received a life-changing call from his Sutter doctor. The cause of the mysterious itching had been identified but the diagnosis was serious. New tests had revealed Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue located in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and bone marrow.
    Chuck's story and VIDEO




    Maureen
    Maureen's story | Breast Cancer
    As an avid horseback rider and dog trainer, Maureen Lyons has always lived an active lifestyle, which kept her physically fit. She has maintained a healthy diet and gotten plenty of rest, too. So it was a complete surprise to her when she found a lump in her breast.
    Maureen's story and VIDEO




    Deryl
    Deryl's story | Breast Cancer
    Between raising two daughters and traveling an hour and a half to work every day, Deryl Wallace found little time to focus on her health. That is until she was diagnosed with breast cancer:twice.
    Deryl's story and VIDEO





    Dan
    Dan's story | Prostate Cancer
    Just before his 55th birthday, Dan, a construction foreman, visited his primary care physician for an annual blood screening test for prostate cancer. His readings had always been normal before, but this time, his prostate specific antigen (PSA) level was elevated. A biopsy revealed high-risk prostate cancer.
    Dan's story and VIDEO




    Charles
    Charles's story | Home Care
    40 years ago, Charles was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He has endured a progressive deterioration of his body from this central nervous system disease. Charles was able to regain some freedom through a special high-tech wheelchair. After four months of training, Charles is able to drive it independently and safely, in and around his residence and the local community.
    Charles' story and VIDEO




    Tracey
    Tracey's story | Neurology & Brain Surgery
    A migraine sufferer since childhood, 44-year-old Tracey had learned to cope with frequent, severe headaches, relying on over-the-counter medicine to see her through. But then in the midst of ordering wedding flowers and figuring out guest seating, a headache struck that Tracey describes as unbearable. This time, the pain came with new, disturbing symptoms.
    Tracey's story and VIDEO




    Jose
    Jose's story | Gall Bladder Surgery
    The night that Jose began to experience stomach pains, he thought he had a case of indigestion. His wife offered him a few home remedies, and he expected to soon feel better. But instead, the pain grew much worse. That is when his daughter took him to the emergency room at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.
    Jose's story and VIDEO