Tag Archives: heart

From Heart Attack to 150-pound Weight Loss

Patient Stories

At Alegent Creighton Health, the difference in our cancer care is the way we deliver it. There is something very personal about the way you’ll be treated here. One difference is our financial assistance. We offer more charity care than any other provider. He survived Hurricane Katrina. Now Charles Gonzales is determined to survive colon cancer. “I’ve never been sick in 41 years,” said the 63-year-old, who was diagnosed in March. “Doctors discovered it when I had blood pouring out in my stools. I lost so much blood I passed out.” Tests showed he had colon cancer that had spread to his liver and lungs. “I was ‘what? What do you mean? How did I get it?’ I never met … Continue reading

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Reina’s Silent Heart Attack

Patient Stories

Reina’s dressed for her Zumba class, ready to go. As each classmate walks in, she hugs them. “Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me!” She flashes her electrifying smile: “I’m two today.” Reymita Walls—known as Reina—isn’t two. She has an 18-year-old daughter, an adult son, and is a grandmother of three. But two years ago the Metropolitan Utilities District employee collapsed in a hallway at work minutes after walking in the door. When co-workers spotted her, she didn’t have a pulse and she wasn’t breathing. Panic followed. Employees who saw her every day—most of them good friends–couldn’t believe she was on the floor, lifeless. Some were crying. One started CPR. Another called 911. Others prayed. “Reina, stay with me!” one … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Survived Two Strokes

Patient Stories

It was a reality check for Elizabeth Pokorny. She spent the better part of her life taking care of everyone else. Elizabeth is a mom first, and a nurse a close second. So when she suffered a mild stroke, she had to learn to rely on others. “I started to call it my stroke of luck”, Elizabeth said. Elizabeth was only in the hospital for a day or two. The stroke affected her vision but not for long – and then it happened again. “I started to have some problems with my left side, I didn’t feel quite right”, Elizabeth said. Elizabeth suffered another stroke. This one was not as kind. “I couldn’t lift my hand or turn myself over … Continue reading

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A Coach’s Heart Scare: From Google to Quadruple Bypass

Patient Stories

For the third night in a row, Mike Dempsey felt awful. He was uncomfortable and experiencing chest pain. He remembered what his children always said to do when he had a question: “Just Google it, Dad.” Mike logged onto his computer, went to Google and typed in “heart attack.” He didn’t like what he read. “I thought, ‘oh, I’m spooking myself,’ ” he said. But when the pain radiated all the way down his arm, he knew he couldn’t blame it on his occasional acid reflux. He called out to his sleeping wife, “I’m going to the hospital,” rushed out the door and drove himself to the Emergency Department at Alegent Creighton Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center. He knows now … Continue reading

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Quick-thinking doctors saved his life

Patient Stories

Jeff Finch had the classic symptoms of a heart attack. “I was in the kitchen and both my arms went numb and I started sweating real bad,” he says. What he did next was something doctors see far too often. Jeff went out in the garage to cool off. A few minutes later, when the symptoms didn’t go away, Jeff knew he was having a heart attack. He had his wife drive him to Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center. “I was scared,” he recalled. At 49, with no history of heart disease, Jeff came dangerously close to never playing ball again with his kids. He didn’t pick Immanuel Medical Center because it’s a Certified Chest Pain Center. He picked it … Continue reading

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