Jakob’s Journey at Renown Children’s Hospital
In August 2016, six-year-old Jakob was admitted to Renown Children's Hospital with what seemed like a common ear infection. Jakob's condition quickly progressed, and he started experiencing neurological symptoms such as difficulty speaking and a full-body shutdown. Doctors, neurologists and specialists from Renown worked with doctors from Stanford, where he was ultimately diagnosed with Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis (BBE). BBE is a rare, autoimmune response that attacks the nerves in the body due to an acute illness such as a cold, flu or, in Jakob's case, an ear infection. Jakob could not breathe or eat and experienced paralysis on the side of his face, throat, stomach, bowels, lungs and legs. In addition, he started to rapidly lose weight as well as body function. Jakob lost half his body weight which resulted in the need for a Gastrostomy tube. This device is placed surgically and gives direct access to the stomach to give the child the nutrition needed. He also needed occupational therapy, and after three and a half months of ICU respiratory therapy, surgeries and treatments, he was released home to regain his strength. Forever Grateful Anica, Jakob's mom, said, "If it were not for the quick response and unconditional support and compassion from the team at Renown, Jakob would not be here today." Jakob's family is forever grateful to the staff, community and expertise at Renown for their unwavering commitment to their son and family during their most trying time in life. "When I met Jakob on the first day of his illness, so much was unknown. My team and I were worried, as his symptoms were very unusual. His rapid deterioration, after being a perfectly healthy child, was clearly terrifying for his parents. Handing over a child's care to a team of strangers is one of the scariest things that can happen to parents,” said Dr. Kris Deeter, Physician in Chief at Renown Children’s Hospital. “However, Anica and Jeremiah were also very clear that they did not want Jakob transferred somewhere else. So, we used all our resources to care for him, arrive at a diagnosis, and start aggressive therapies. They listened to every word we said, educated themselves, and became partners in Jakob's care. We all became part of Team Jakob, and soon, he proved to us just how strong he was." Today, Jakob is 13 years old and thriving in every aspect of his life. He is currently on the honor roll in school and finds joy in his newfound passion for the violin. He loves spending his free time learning about mixing music, making new friends and traveling to different parts of the country. This summer, he will travel to Europe to explore his passion for culture. The family says, "We owe it all to the family and staff at Renown."
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Rooted with Renown, One Families Story of Remarkable Odds
Renown Health is proud to debut our newest commercial spot, Days, on Thanksgiving Day 2022. This commercial features members of the greater northern Nevada community, former Renown patients and employees. Chris and Ann Cook are some of these community members, and we are grateful we get to tell their story. Family is everything for Chris and Ann Cook. Their loved ones span across the United States and even farther to Germany, so time spent with their children and grandchildren means the world to them. When Chris went to the emergency room for a persistent headache and drooping eye over twenty years ago, they could have never predicted the number of hours their family would spend at Renown care facilities in the coming years. “Whenever we step inside a building with that purple logo, we know right away we will be supported by friends, family and Renown staff. Our family has turned countless hours inside hospital walls into memories of gratitude for the care we receive.” Chris Cook said. “It is these memories that make us appreciate the health of our family today.” A Relationship with Renown that Spans Decades The Cooks can remember a time before Renown Regional Medical Center’s inception when Washoe Medical Center (Washoe Med) stood in its place. It was at Washoe Med that Chris received emergency brain surgery after a visit to the emergency room over 20 years ago. Immediately following a CT scan, Chris was transported to Washoe Med, now Renown Health, for emergency brain surgery and eventually to treat a hematoma. Doctors close to his case were amazed by his survival, considering Chris’ divergent situation resulting from a raisin-size colloid cyst and dissected corotated artery. He spent three weeks in the ICU recovering at the hospital, his spirits lifted by the amazing staff who brightened his day with gestures of kindness. From there, he was supported by countless friends and family members over the next three months while recovering at home. A Home Away from Home Later, the Cooks’ daughter received cancer care at Renown at the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute. Ann, Chris and their daughter found small comforts when running into the familiar faces of their daughters' past schoolmates, who are now Renown employees, in the hallways. The family became well-acquainted with the food options at Renown Regional’s Sierra Café, even finding favorites like the sushi bar. Reliable Care, Close to Home The Cooks have also experienced many happy and comforting memories at Renown and Washoe Med over the past twenty years, including the births of three of their seven grandchildren. And when Chris needed an emergency appendectomy on a Friday night four years ago, they felt confident that the best care would be received at Renown Regional Medical Center. From lab work to routine procedures or visits to urgent care, the Cooks feel rest-assured knowing Renown will be the place they can consistently trust for care with many locations close to their home in Sparks, Nevada. After spending many hours within Renown walls, Chris and Ann remarked how impressed they were by Renown Regional Medical Center’s growth in the past decade from their first encounter over twenty years ago. With a deep appreciation for the care received at Renown facilities and the technology used to help treat patients, Chris and Ann said, “We really feel confident that if something bad were to happen, you’d want to be in the care of Renown.” Family, Health and The Future "Our care at Renown has changed the course of our family’s lives and led to the success of who we are today. So, when the team at Renown approached us about participating in the commercial shoot, we knew this was meant to be the next piece in our Renown story." Chris and Ann said. "Of course, it was nice to be back at Renown, not as a patient this time, but to help the team create something great."
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Excellence in Heart Care Changes a Patient's Life
Being diagnosed with a chronic heart condition like atrial fibrillation (A-fib) can shift the course of your entire life. Embracing heart medications and lifestyle changes become your norm, and thanks to advancements in medicine and medical technology, managing the condition can bring you to a new sense of normalcy. But what if a different option was possible – one that would make medications and activity limits a thing of the past? This became the reality for Renown Health patient Richard Preyer after receiving a hybrid catheter ablation. Thanks to the vigilant surgical care of Shining Sun, MD, a cardiologist at the Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health, and his compassionate team, Richard has a new lease on life. Minimally Invasive with Maximal Results An A-fib patient since 2010 who had been living with an unfinished ablation, the 59-year-old Carson City resident turned to the internet to look for alternate solutions. He had heard that the Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health was a top-tier location for cardiovascular care. “I changed health insurance plans through Nevada Health Link to ensure I could see a Renown cardiologist,” said Richard. Choosing a cardiologist was an even easier decision for Richard. Dr. Sun’s introductory Find a Doctor video on Renown’s YouTube channel, where he displayed his expertise and determination, was more than enough for Richard to choose him as his cardiac care leader. At his first visit, Dr. Sun reviewed Richard’s records, and noted his prior unfinished ablation. The nine-hour procedure had been performed several years ago. With the enhanced technologies at Dr. Sun's disposal, Richard was excited at the thought of his life potentially being changed for good – with a minimally-invasive solution. Dr. Sun collaborated closely with Richard’s previous and current care teams – including a surgeon who performed a maze operation on him right before his surgery at Renown, to ensure his hybrid ablation was tailored uniquely to him. “Dr. Sun is clearly a very powerful cardiologist with many connections, and the coordination between his team and my other doctors was great,” said Richard. After working on the exterior of the heart in the first phase of the surgery and the interior of the heart during the second phase, Richard’s hybrid ablation was successful, completing the unfinished portion of his previous ablation. “Fixing A-fib can take one to three ablations, and sometimes it never holds,” said Richard. “That is one of the largest reasons why I am so thankful for this procedure and how it ended up.” Life After A-fib Now comes the long, arduous healing process, right? Not for Richard. With only eight incisions (four on each side of his chest), he was able to remove his bandages after two days, and he healed completely in one week. “I was even back to taking three-mile walks within a week of my operation,” said Richard. No more blood thinners. No more activity limits. And most importantly for Richard, no more heart-stabilizing medications that came with side effects he didn’t enjoy. He attributes his enhanced life to Dr. Sun and his team. “I highly recommend Dr. Sun and everyone that works with him,” he said. “Everyone in the group, from the nurses and anesthesiologists going above-and-beyond to the schedulers who helped me navigate the appointment process, made me have a lot of confidence. Their calm demeanors made so much difference.” Today, Richard now enjoys elongated walks in the northern Nevada outdoors, exotic vacations with his wife and, as he describes, “feeling like I’m in my 40’s again.” Learn more about the region's leader in cardiac health, heart and vascular care here.
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Smart Watch Notification Saves a Life
In sailing, when you encounter rough seas, you can’t change the wind pattern, but you can adjust your sails. The same rings true for life. We confront unpredictable circumstances daily, but how we react to them can make all the difference. For Renown patient and avid sailor Robert (Dan) Seifers, recent events make this mantra reign true. A Concerning Alert Monday, Aug. 22, started out just like any other day for Dan. He was on a walk with his dog, enjoying the sunshine, when suddenly he felt a wave of dizziness and a buzz on his wrist. His Apple Watch alerted him that his heart rate had dropped to dangerous levels. Returning home immediately, he notified his wife, Carol. Doing their best not to panic, the couple confirmed the reading with their at-home blood pressure machine. The watch was right – Dan’s heart rate was in the low 30s. After taking some time to see if Dan’s heart rate would return to normal, the couple decided it was time he sought medical help. Conveniently, Carol had a lab appointment scheduled next door to Dan’s primary care physician, Dr. Bonnie Ferrara. The couple headed out the door, not realizing what the rest of the day would bring. The Next 48 Hours Upon arrival at the office, Dan calmly approached the front desk to explain his situation. With no delay, staff members sprang into action, quickly showing Dan to a patient room and notifying Dr. Ferrara. Before he knew it, Dan was receiving an electrocardiogram (EKG). Following a review of the results, Dr. Ferrara returned to let Dan know he needed to get to the hospital immediately. The rest of the afternoon moved quickly for the couple. Dr. Ferrara had already notified the Renown Regional Medical Center Emergency Room staff, who were on standby for the couple’s arrival. “Gee, this must be serious,” thought Dan, who at the time was experiencing no other alarming symptoms other than the low heart rate indicated on his watch. Several doctors and nurses began their analysis, including a chest x-ray, blood test and additional EKG. Confirming Dr. Ferrara’s results, a Renown cardiologists, Dr. Christopher Rowan and Dr. Shining Sun, joined Dan’s care team. Within two hours of checking into the hospital, Dan was admitted, monitored overnight and prepped for surgery to receive a pacemaker the next day. Tracking Your Heart Health Following the purchase of their Apple Watch devices, Dan and Carol were unaware of these heart health features. Like many others, they were looking forward to the next best tech gadget that would help them stay connected with their friends and family. Now, the couple says they will use their experience to spread the word about the importance of ensuring these settings are enabled. According to Apple, you can turn on these notifications from the Heart Rate app on your Apple Watch (Series 1 or later) to alert you to high or low heart rates and irregular heart rhythms. If you receive a notification, an irregular rhythm suggestive of atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) or a low or high heart rate has been identified and confirmed with multiple readings. In Dan’s case, the signal from his watch was the result of a heart block, a condition where the electrical signal that controls your heartbeat is partially or completely blocked. Dizziness and low heart rate are common symptoms of a heart block. But this was not the first time the couple had experienced this type of alert from their watch. More than a year and half ago, Carol’s watch notified her of an irregular heart rhythm that was suggestive of A-Fib. She immediately made an appointment with Dr. Danish Atwal, the lead cardiologist at Renown’s Helaine Greenberg Women's Heart Center. Thanks to medication prescribed by Dr. Atwal, Carol now lives a healthy, active life while managing her A-Fib, continuing to wear her Apple Watch, which can also help track her A-Fib History. “I’ll share our story with anyone who will listen and encourage them to get a smart watch. I consider myself an unofficial spokesperson,” said Carol with a chuckle. A Thankful Heart The Senior Care Plus members could not be more amazed at the way Dan was treated by the staff at Renown. “I wish I could personally thank them all. I will highly recommend Renown to all I come in contact with,” said Dan with his Apple Watch still proudly strapped to his wrist. “I was closely monitored and treated like royalty.” Quick action to medical emergencies like Dan’s is just one of the many reasons why collaboration is part of our four key values at Renown. The open line of communication between our primary care facilities and hospitals helped Dan get the prompt care he needed, right when he needed it. A month post-op, Dan is doing well and back to enjoying the things he loves during his retirement, including playing the harmonica in the Grumpy Old Man Band, exploring the northern Nevada backroads in his jeep and working on his swing at the golf course. Dan can rest assured that while enjoying the winds of life, if his heart begins to beat too slowly again, the pacemaker will send a signal to correct the beat. “The prompt attention to my heart block undoubtedly saved my life,” said Dan in what he calls his 6-star review of Renown Health. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart, which is happily beating at 60 beats per minute.” This article is not sponsored by or affiliated with Apple, Inc. For more information on the Apple Watch and it's features, visit apple.com.
40 Years of Exceptional Care
“In sickness and in health” are words we often hear when celebrating the momentous occasion of marriage with our friends, families and loved ones. For James Breckenridge, these words were the foundation of the love and commitment he and his wife Carolyn showed to each other during their 30 years of marriage. In health, James and Carolyn shared a love of traveling. Hopping in their van, driving across the continental United States and enjoying the views along the way will be a memory James cherishes forever. Unfortunately, their excursions would be cut short when Carolyn fell ill, rerouting to their local hospital, Renown Health. Carolyn has spent more time at the hospital than the average person – including recovering from COVID-19 at Renown South Meadows Medical Center. However, hospital admittance for Carolyn meant the same for James, providing support to his wife during her stay. Following more than 40 years of exceptional experiences with Renown and their most recent discharge from the hospital, James wrote a letter recognizing the efforts of the team members and healthcare providers who not only cared for Carolyn but also James. To Whom It May Concern James began his letter by applauding two Renown Regional nurses they got to know well during their recent visit. Tiffany and Ashley went the extra mile to care for Carolyn attentively. From simple tasks like gathering requested supplies to answering James’ questions in detail, they helped provide a comfortable environment for the couple. To these nurses, these tasks may have felt like another day at work. Still, James’ letter commends them for their acts of service, reminding us that every interaction we have with a patient can be a memorable one. Tiffany and Ashley weren’t the only team members who received recognition in James’ testimonial. He also took a moment to recognize the various nurses, certified nursing assistants, therapists and doctors they encountered during their care journey. All provided the excellent and helpful experience we aim for at Renown. Healing Memories James first brought Carolyn to Renown Regional Medical Center, formerly known as Washoe Medical Center, in 1980, but it was 1996 when things changed for him. Carolyn was admitted to the hospital for a procedure they originally anticipated would come with a difficult prognosis. To their surprise, doctors found the opposite. It was in that joyous moment that James’ perspective of hospitals shifted, now viewing them for what they truly are – a place people go to get better. “Every time I walk around Renown Hospital, I remember all the times Carolyn was healed there,” James wrote in the latter half of his letter. Healing Isn't Just for the Patient James took advantage of the many support resources accessible to family members during their time at Renown. These donor-funded hospital initiatives are a valuable mental health resource in difficult circumstances. Whether it was an afternoon stroll with his wife through Fianna’s Healing Garden or quiet time alone in the Spiritual Center, James never hesitated to turn to these resources in his time of need. “Although I know the Tahoe Tower is the modern, state-of-the-art part of Renown, I prefer the Sierra Tower because that is where most of my memories are.” Even a simple daily walk to the on-campus Starbucks was a notable part of his day – grabbing a cup of coffee for himself and often a treat for Carolyn. An Inspiration in Healthcare When asked to describe Renown in one word, James chose “inspirational.” His collective experiences with Renown, James said, “helped him to be a better healthcare advocate” when his wife received care at other hospitals. As a healthcare leader, we challenge ourselves to go above and beyond for the health of our entire community. Collaborating with our patients and their families is at the center of everything we do at Renown. Positive reviews mean the absolute world to us, and something about this handwritten letter feels even more special. We could not be more appreciative to James for sharing how our vision to inspire better health in our community was reflected in his 40 years of experience with Renown. We were saddened to hear of Carolyn’s passing during a recent meeting to thank James for his letter. We take solace hearing James’ beautiful memories of his wife and knowing that Renown Health was there in times of sickness and health. We offer our sincere condolences to James, Carolyn’s children and their family members.
Un diagnóstico de cáncer y una mudanza a Reno
Michael Millman was all set to move to Reno from the Bay Area when he noticed a pimple-like growth on his forehead, and he decided to get biopsied "just in case." It was July 2020, less than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, when Michael got the call that the biopsy came back cancerous. He was in shock. Still living in the Bay Area at the time, he immediately scheduled to have the basal cell carcinoma removed in August. After the removal, he thought he was in the clear, but a few months later, Michael noticed that his lymph nodes felt weird, and he even cut himself shaving because of some persistent swelling in the area. Given his recent history of skin cancer, Michael immediately scheduled an appointment with a specialist in the Bay Area. "I met with an ear, nose and throat doctor who suggested a fine needle biopsy of my lymph nodes, tongue and an MRI, both with and without contrast," Michael said. "I remember feeling dreadful and that I couldn't believe this was happening yet again." A Hard Decision Michael's squamous cell carcinoma, determined by the pathology report to be significantly influenced by the HPV virus, had metastasized to his lymph nodes on both sides of his neck, and his doctor said it could be stage four cancer. He remembers feeling like he was in quicksand, unsure if he should follow through with his move to Reno, or stay in the Bay Area for treatment. By now, it was early December 2020, and hospitals in the Bay Area and across the world were at limited capacity due to COVID-19. But, in what Michael describes as a positive twist of fate, the San Francisco ear, nose and throat provider he had seen about his biopsy results mentioned that he knew many providers in the oncology department at Renown, including Abhinand Peddada, MD. The San Francisco provider called Dr. Peddada's office with a referral, and Michael even remembers that Renown called him to hear more about his diagnosis before he even got the chance to call them "To be honest, I was feeling shut out in the Bay Area, and Dr. Peddada said he could help me expedite the treatment process," Michael said. "I finally felt a sense of relief." And so began Michael's 7-week chemoradiation cancer treatment program at Renown.
Dave's Story: How One Ranger Drove On
Meet Dave Pierson and his Wife Kathy Dave Pierson, 73, and his wife Kathy were just ten days away from a celebratory retirement trip to Africa in May 2021 when severe leg pain and discomfort landed Dave in the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. Unbeknownst to the couple, they would not be making the trek to Africa, and it would be several weeks before Dave would be back home with his wife in Carson City, their life drastically different than before. It all happened so fast. After a prompt referral from the VA Hospital to Renown Regional Medical Center, Dave received treatment for a bacteremia infection and underwent emergency spine surgery due to an epidural abscess. However, once his surgeon Edward Perry, MD completed the emergency procedure at Renown Health, Dave learned there was still a long road ahead. He had extremely limited body function and would need to learn to walk again. A Husband, Baseball Fan and Veteran Until this emergency spinal cord surgery, Dave had lived an especially healthy life in his retirement, traveling the world with Kathy, taking photographs along the way and attending ball games for their beloved team, the Reno Aces. Dave, a Vietnam veteran, and Kathy planted their roots in Carson City surrounded by countless friends and family, eagerly awaiting Kathy’s retirement. The Long Road Ahead It was those same friends and family who remained by Dave’s side throughout his recovery process. At the advice of the Renown team, Dave began a personalized physical rehabilitation plan at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital just days after his initial surgery. It was with the help of Charles Krasner, MD, an Infectious Disease Specialist that Dave made a smooth transition to be cared for at the Rehabilitation Hospital. Dave spent six weeks of inpatient treatment relearning fundamental occupational skills and motor functions such as eating and drinking, getting dressed, using a wheelchair and eventually taking his first steps, aided by a walker. The couple proudly remembers a day at the Rehabilitation Hospital when Dave successfully buttoned up his shirt using a small apparatus designed to aid in the task. "It was a little thing, but it was a monumental thing," Kathy shared. Dave achieved physical and cognitive victories, both on a small and large scale, over the next six weeks. Kathy visited every day she could, always prepared with a photo of the couple's past travels to encourage Dave. The Rehabilitation Hospital staff grew close with the Piersons, sharing stories and photos of their dogs, travels and life. The nurses kept Kathy updated about her husband’s condition and prepared her for the journey to come, this included extensive education related to Dave’s future at-home care. Benjamin Pence, MD, Dave’s lead rehabilitation doctor and the Director of the Institute for Neurosciences, always seemed to know just how to motivate Dave on his most challenging days. As a ranger in Vietnam, the phrase, “drive on ranger” meant a lot to the veteran when it came to determination and perseverance. So, the phrase was used as encouragement by Dr. Pence and the Rehabilitation Hospital team throughout Dave’s journey, becoming a fond memory about hope and determination during recovery.
La recuperación de una caída permite a una paciente volver a vivir y a moverse
Standing at the top of the stairs to the basement Sharon Sturtevant was chatting with her grandson in the kitchen. Suddenly, Sharon stumbled and fell down the stairs. “The last thing I remember was my head hitting the floor before everything went black,” she recalls. Her grandson, Oliver, quickly called 911 and paramedics arrived on the scene, taking her by ambulance to Renown Regional Medical Center where she was diagnosed with a broken collarbone and a neck fracture that would require complex surgery involving fusion of her neck. Fall Recovery Begins After her surgery, Sharon was transported to the Renown Rehabilitation Hospital and her recovery process began. Sharon smiles as she describes the rehab hospital team “They are fabulous here, I learned so much about how my body moves, and the proper way to move it. At home I wouldn’t have known what to do,” she confesses. “They set me up for success to return home and not get injured again.” At Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, different therapists coordinated a custom plan to help Sharon recover from her injuries. Ultimately, the goal of her physical therapy was to help restore and improve her strength, reduce pain and increase her mobility for stamina and balance. Physical Therapy Key to Successful Treatment of Falls “My recovery after the operation was an eye-opener,” Sharon declares. “I had no idea how much went into regaining everyday moment.” During her rehabilitation hospital stay, she had to re-learn how to swallow, go up and down stairs, as well as successfully get in and out of a wheelchair, which involved transferring her body weight safely. Due to hormonal changes after menopause women are 50% more at risk for falls than men, according to research. Sharon now has a greater awareness of how to move her body and is significantly stronger than before entering her physical rehabilitation sessions. Not everyone knows that everyday mobility is impacted by four basic skills: stepping, trunk flexibility, upright posture and weight shifting. “I don’t know how I could have gotten this far without the wonderful therapists here,” she shares. “They are so thorough. Proper alignment was encouraged helping me to walk and stand correctly. They were all so nice and patient with me,” she states. “I actually had less pain because I didn’t hurt myself moving the wrong way.” Falls Are Common Among Aging Adults As we age balance becomes more important. Unfortunately falls are common among older adults with negative quality of life effects, even fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four seniors fall each year in the U.S. A comprehensive physical therapy plan for sudden falls or chronic conditions is a safe, effective alternative treatment to medication such as opioids. Today Sharon is back at home with a new banister installed on the basement stairs. As a music lover she is enjoying her musical grandchildren Oliver and Eliana who play instruments. She looks forward to attending their upcoming school concerts. Sharon remembers the staff at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital fondly, “They were unfailingly patient, supportive, informative and understanding.” Her advice to those unexpectedly finding themselves in the rehabilitation hospital is, “Listen to your therapists carefully and follow their instructions.”
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Cómo un nuevo programa de terapia de recreación establece valiosos vínculos
The Recreation Therapy Alumni Program is a new addition to Renown Rehabilitation Hospital’s current programs. After daily hospital physical therapy ends, it is an opportunity for other adventures. Shaun Stewart, CTRS (Ceritified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist), tells us about the new Renown Alumni Recreation Therapy Program, its partnership with the City of Reno and upcoming events. It’s no secret that being active and social supports a satisfying, happy life. With this in mind, the Renown Alumni Recreation Therapy Program reinforces this idea. Its goal is to help patients experience the energy, teamwork and commitment that sports and recreation provide beyond the hospital walls. “We are happy to partner with the City of Reno’s adaptive and inclusion programming to create an active community of adaptive sports participants. There are many options for outdoor recreation in our area. This program looks to share these opportunities with those with a traumatic spinal cord injury,” says Shaun. April Wolfe, CTRS, with the City of Reno adds, “The program’s main objective is to empower individuals living with spinal cord injury to live and recreate independently in the community. We also want them to enjoy the activities, improving their emotional and physical well-being by taking part in the Renown Alumni Recreation Therapy program.” First Successful Therapy Event On Aug. 27, 2020, the recreation therapy program’s first event was an introduction to adaptive mountain biking. Eight participants enjoyed a morning of adaptive biking thanks to a grant in partnership with the City of Reno. “Getting back to an active leisure lifestyle following injury can increase your quality of life both socially and physically,” explains Shaun. “It was great to be outside with people of all abilities enjoying the beautiful Nevada sunshine.” We encourage patients of all abilities to develop active skills, make lasting friendships and, of course, have a blast. Certainly any activity is possible with adaptive equipment and a motivated attitude. Future Recreation Therapy Events Below are the details for the next event. Event: Introduction to Wheelchair Rugby Learn the rules of the sport and play with local athletes. When: Sunday, Nov. 1, from 2 – 5 p.m. Where: Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 1301 Valley Rd., Reno, NV 89512 Cost: Free RSVP: Shaun.Stewart@renown.org or 775-982-3612 by Tuesday, October 26, 2020 This event has a 10 participant limit, following six feet distancing guidelines. Please bring a mask to wear. In particular, this will be a learning event and no scrimmages will occur Rugby wheelchairs will be provided. Please RSVP, to ensure the reservation of the appropriate equipment. In case you cannot attend this event, please look for upcoming events which will include adaptive archery, skiing and scuba diving. Renown Rehabilitation Hospital | 775-982-3500 Renown Rehabilitation Hospital is the region’s only hospital with certification by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). It is certified for: Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program Stroke Specialty Program Medical Rehabilitation Case Management Take a Virtual Tour
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Cuidadores serviciales hacen realidad el sueño de una boda
A wedding is a big day for the wedding couple, but it’s also special for loved ones. A patient at Renown, Ken, got to take part in his daughter’s special day as her wedding plans changed to accommodate his medical condition. Grab some tissues and read how Renown’s team of compassionate caregivers and chaplains planned a wedding in Fianna’s Healing Garden. Ken was hospitalized at Renown Regional Medical Center where he was battling a lung problem – which was unrelated to COVID-19 – and his condition worsened rapidly on Wednesday, Aug. 12. His family made the decision to transition him to palliative care, which helps patients near the end of their lives remain comfortable, while supporting their dignity and quality of life. Ken’s medical condition altered wedding plans for his daughter, Chandra, and her fiancé, Tyler, who were planning to tie the knot later in 2020. Chandra wanted her father there, but knew he could not leave the hospital. That’s why Chandra’s sister, Heather, approached Ken’s care team with a request to have a small wedding ceremony at the hospital. Planning the Wedding A member of Ken’s care team, Amy Heston, registered nurse (RN), began planning how the wedding could be held outdoors in Fianna's Healing Garden in the E. L. Wiegand Pavilion, which was donated by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation. In 24 hours, Amy planned a wedding ceremony with the help of her colleague, Breyanna Aufiero, RN; the Renown Spiritual Care team; and nursing leaders on the coronary intensive care unit (ICU). Together, they decorated the aisle in the garden with flowers and battery-operated candles. They also made a sign for Ken’s hospital bed, which read, “Father of the Bride,” and crafted a bow tie for him to wear for the special occasion. With visitor restrictions in place at the hospital due to coronavirus (COVID-19), having the wedding outside in the Healing Garden allowed for more members of Ken’s family to attend including his wife, Charlotte, and his dog, Bella. Every step in planning the wedding required thoughtful and thorough care coordination so Ken could participate. His breathing was supported by oxygen and special arrangements were made to transport the oxygen tanks he needed to take part in his daughter’s wedding. Amy worked with respiratory technician, Kasey Benfield, and critical care technician, Ruben Duckworth, to ensure Ken’s oxygen needs were met using portable machines. Celebrating Love and Life Together Ken’s team of caregivers bathed him and shaved his face so he could look and feel his best for the ceremony. They put on his bow tie, covered his bed in decorations and his favorite blue, flannel blanket, and wheeled his bed outside for the ceremony. Renown associate chaplains Terri Domitrovich and Susan Palwick coordinated music and performed the ceremony for Chandra and Tyler on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. The bride and groom shared their first dance in the garden and Ken’s care team provided water and treats to give the family a full wedding experience. Shortly after the ceremony, Ken passed away. This wedding provided Ken and his family meaningful memories for their big life-changing moments as they celebrated and said goodbye. “Seeing Ken surrounded by family he never would have gotten to see again while in the hospital, watching him get to share a father-daughter dance with Chandra on her wedding day, and having him tell me that this day meant more to them than we would ever know were some of the most moving moments I’ve witnessed as a nurse,” Amy said. “I am so thankful for the team we have here. I know that this beautiful day wouldn’t have happened without the help of every single person who gave their time, money, creativity and passion to make it a day to remember.”
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Una guerrera que sobrevivió a un ataque cerebrovascular: la historia de Kimi
It seemed like a normal Wednesday, except Kimi Woolsey was feeling really stressed. On Sept. 4, 2019 she was rushing to get ready for an appointment when suddenly, she could not feel her legs. Kimi immediately knew something was wrong and called out to her fiancé, Paul, for help. After seeing a bright light in her right eye, she felt a severe, sharp pain in her head traveling down into her leg. Paul quickly called 911, the EMT’s arrived and her stroke survival journey began. At first the medical team thought she had a complicated migraine, but one of them suspected a stroke. On the way to the hospital Kimi felt numbness and her face drooping, then instantly, no pain. For a moment she thought she was dying, going from pain to numbness and realizing she couldn’t move or speak. Kimi didn’t know she was having another massive stroke in transit. Each year nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke, or “brain attack” – that’s one every 40 seconds. Of those, about 75% occur in people over age 65. However, at only 45 years old, Kimi is proof that a stroke can happen at any age. Stroke Survival Begins for Kimi Upon arriving at the emergency department of Renown Regional Medical Center the Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center team went into action. Kimi received a brain MRI, then was wheeled into surgery for a thrombectomy (clot removal). She was in the intensive care unit for 11 days. She remembers someone telling her, “Generally people don’t survive this magnitude of stroke.” And a doctor saying, “You are here for a reason.” Kimi’s comeback journey began with the comprehensive care team at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. “Literally I had the best day of my life that first day there…I was so happy because I couldn’t imagine being in a safer place with people that literally live for you,” she recalls. During her 41 days there, her biggest milestone was being able to get out of bed and walk. For Kimi the support she felt at the rehab hospital was key to her progress, ”I still feel loved and appreciated and they’re rooting for me still and I can feel it.” Although she left the rehab hospital on Oct. 18, 2019, she is still working on improving the left side of her body. Currently Kimi works with therapists in outpatient physical rehabilitation sessions, continuing to see improvement in both her hand and leg. Her advice to those currently in a rehab hospital setting is, “Stay as long as you can to get the most out of it and push, push, push.” Kimi’s Stroke Survival as a Warrior “Having a stroke is not for the faint of heart,” says Kimi. She experienced despair and felt discouraged. Many days she would ask herself, “Why am I here?” Today she proudly calls herself a stroke warrior and refuses to be a victim of her stroke. Alongside her tenacious spirit, Kimi actively helps others on their stroke survival journey. Before her stroke she never dreamed of starting a non-profit foundation. Now, each day you’ll find her texting inspiration to others, offering advice and connecting with other struggling stroke survivors on her Facebook page, Stroke Warrior Recovery Coach. Her goal is to become the person she needed to talk to after her stroke; she currently coaches several stroke survivors. “Stroke survivors need to know that they aren’t alone. Mental support and encouragement are so important for each person’s stroke journey,” Kimi said. Along with the physical changes, Kimi feels the stroke magnified her empathy. “I was always in a hurry in my life. People didn’t go fast enough for me – on the road, at the grocery store, in a line. Now I have more patience with myself and others." Kimi realizes most people cannot wrap their brain around the concept of a stroke. In fact, the brain fog, physical challenges and frustration are hard to explain… unless you’ve experienced them. “You need to find your tribe,” she explains. “I have a passion for helping people through this process.” Most of all, she encourages people to keep going and never stop. After her stroke, Kimi has a greater appreciation for her family, health and life. She is one of the patients featured in the current “Fight The Good Fight” trauma and physical rehab advertising campaign. “I wake up every day and fight,” she asserts. “Each day you have to fight for your recovery and fight for yourself.”
Sobreviviente de un ataque al corazón pelea la buena batalla
Something wasn’t right. Even though it was the holiday season, on December 23, 2018, Mondo Corona didn’t feel good…not to mention his sudden earache. Although Christmas was a happy celebration with his family. He still felt tired. Was it the flu? And that darn earache wouldn’t go away. On that cool winter day, Mondo could not imagine he was near death. Or that he would become a heart attack survivor. Know Your Heart A few days later, on December 27, he wasn’t feeling any better. He decided to go to the emergency room at Renown Regional Medical Center. That’s when a simple blood test revealed shocking results. “I thought about death a lot. I was calling people to ask them to help take care of my family if I wasn’t going to be here anymore,” he emotionally confesses. Although Mondo loves his job as a railroad engineer, it involves on-call shifts and an erratic sleep schedule. At that time his exercise and eating habits weren’t the best either. Yet he never imagined he would have a massive, often lethal, type of heart attack called ‘the widowmaker.’ In fact, his family had been concerned about his health for awhile. “He worked so much and he didn’t take care of himself and he didn’t exercise – he was burning the candle at both ends,” shares his wife, Alison. His daughter Justice, an avid exerciser, was always encouraging him to join her at the gym, but could never quite convince him. Mondo remembers the time before he became a heart attack survivor. “I didn’t have any exercise whatsoever in my life. At that point my eating habits were just terrible,” he shares. He went to the emergency room due to his earache, but nothing was found until one of the doctors ordered some tests. Specifically blood work showed high troponin levels. Troponin is a blood protein often released in large amounts when the heart muscle has damage, sometimes by a heart attack. Heart Attack Survivor “My surgeon came in and told us that it was going to be a triple bypass – that three of the four…major arteries were clogged 100 percent,” Mondo explains. Amazingly his heart was pumping on only 10 percent blood flow. Heart surgeon, Joseph Brandl, MD, told him he survived a widowmaker heart attack. This type of heart attack happens when there is a 100 percent blockage in the critical left anterior descending artery (LAD) of the heart. Frequently the symptoms can often be mistaken for the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 40 seconds a person in the U.S. has a heart attack. And 1 in 5 heart attacks are “silent” – meaning you can be a heart attack survivor, but not know it. For Mondo’s children, seeing their strong father struggle after heart surgery was difficult. Justice tearfully shares, “It was really hard seeing him so vulnerable. He really needed anybody’s and everybody’s help at that point.” A Heart Attack Survivor Program After leaving the hospital on January 5, 2019, he was extremely weak. On February 12, Mondo began Renown Health’s Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation (ICR) Program called the Healthy Heart Program. This program, requiring a doctor referral, includes 12 weeks of supervised exercise along with nutrition education and stress management skills. In spite of heart disease being the leading cause of death in the U.S. – more than all cancers combined, the risk can be lessened with daily lifestyle habits. Mondo credits the ICR program with motivating him and getting his focus back on his health. He saw the team members setting an example and also caring about his health. He describes one of his favorite recipes, “In ICR Sara showed us how to make this incredible fruit salad, with jicama, watermelon, grapes, oranges, red onion, and ginger!” Of course, the recovery process was not overnight. “It did take a long time to really realize that he was going to be back to normal, that he was going to be okay and that he was going to be that strong provider for me and my children,” Alison reflects. “Mondo’s had an amazing outcome and he’s not limited in his activities at all and should hopefully have a life that’s not limited at all from heart disease as we’re monitoring everything and everything’s looking good,” reports his heart doctor Jayson Morgan, MD. Mondo describes his care experience being a heart attack survivor as life-changing. “The care teams at both Renown and ICR were incredible. There wasn’t a single person we came across who didn’t immediately become a part of the family. They truly cared for us, all of us, including the extended family that came to visit. They were informative and supportive. I felt like I created lasting bonds with so many of them, especially the gang in ICR. What amazing people.” Lynice Anderson, Director of Intensive Cardiac Rehab, Healthy Heart Program, shares,” Mondo is one of the most genuine, thoughtful and humble people I have ever met. His love for his family is palpable. His impact on me personally and our team is forever.” She acknowledges family support is key to his success, “Mondo’s family is his rock and they are his. I have never met a family that was so ‘all in’ in the support of their loved one. His new heart healthy lifestyle is modeled through his family every day.” Fighting The Good Fight Of course, Mondo may look familiar to you. That’s because he is featured in Renown Health’s “Fight The Good Fight” brand campaign. For this reason, you may have seen him in advertising working out on a treadmill, shirtless, with his open heart surgery scar in full view. When asked how he feels about showing his scar he confidently says, “I don’t mind showing it to people. I don’t. I earned that scar.” He is a proud heart attack survivor. Today, he’s grateful to be alive and takes his health commitment seriously. “Things have a different feel now. The skies and lakes are bluer and the trees greener. My family is so much more a part of my day. We go on so many more outdoor adventures, trying to incorporate a little exercise into our fun. We watch what we eat more and are trying to teach our children and loved ones about healthy choices. And I think with a few we’ve even been successful!” he observes. “Don’t take life for granted.” “Unconditional love. I get nothing but support from my family without them I wouldn’t be where I’m at. What happened to me definitely makes me a fighter for sure. I’m fighting for my life – the good fight – I think life is good,” he adds.