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Patient Stories

  • Charles Sykes

    cancer , gi cancer , psl

    07/03/2017

    In 2011, Charles Sykes was diagnosed with carcinoid tumors of the small intestines, a slow-growing cancer that often affects the digestive tract. His medical case was presented for review at tumor board in Nashville, TN and Dr. Eric Liu - a surgical oncologist specializing in neuroendocrine tumors - knew he could help.

  • Steve Johnson

    psl , robotics

    06/03/2017

    Steve Johnson is an active outdoorsman. From his college days as an oarsman to his extensive biking commutes, Steve found himself always on the go until he was plagued by a series of reoccurring hernias, many of which were bilateral. Facing his seventh hernia repair, Steve was determined to make it his last one. He visited four surgeons before meeting and selecting Dr. Tony Canfield, Medical Director and Robotic Surgeon at the Center for Robotic Surgery at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s (P/SL), for his surgery. With six prior surgeries as his reference point, Steve was in awe of the recovery time. Just one day post surgery he was standing up straight and less than four weeks post surgery, he was back to biking 60+ miles. He is thankful to Dr. Canfield and the team at P/SL and optimistic this will be his last hernia repair.

  • Jacquie Davey

    psl , robotics

    05/19/2017

    When Jacquie Davey developed spotting 12 years after menopause, she knew she needed to make an appointment with her gynecologist to find out what was going on. After an ultrasound revealed that she had either a fibroid or polyp, Jacquie was referred to Dr. Victor Dabelea – a designated Center of Excellence in minimally invasive gynecology – for further examination.

  • Jamey Feger

    kidney , psl

    04/28/2017

    Due to an autoimmune-triggered issue, Jamey Feger required quarterly blood tests and he knew one day he would need a kidney transplant. On Christmas Eve in 2014, that fateful news came when tests came back that he was in renal failure that required him to be on dialysis and join the transplant list. Jamey’s out-of-state cousin found he was a match and decided to save Jamey through living donation.

  • Emul King

    cardiac , psl

    04/26/2017

    Emul King was unable to walk long distances without needing to sit down and take a break. After meeting with Dr. Dilsher Nawaz with the Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center (P/SL), tests revealed that he needed a quadruple bypass to reduce his chances of a massive heart attack, stroke or even death.

  • Bob Ellis

    kidney , psl

    04/24/2017

    Born with Polycystic Kidney Disease, Bob Ellis knew that one day he would have to undergo a kidney transplant. The past two years, Bob’s family and friends noticed his health was rapidly declining. He was losing color, napping more and slowing down — he desperately needed a kidney.

  • Andrea Rau

    ob , psl

    04/14/2017

    Andrea Rau chose to deliver her baby girl at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s (P/SL) for a multitude of reasons and she could not be happier with the outcome. Working with Dr. Jennifer Guggenheim, a physician with Consultants in OB/GYN at P/SL, complications with her child were identified at an early stage and closely monitored by high-risk obstetricians.

  • John Romero

    kidney , psl

    04/05/2017

    John Romero was born with Alport's Disease, a rare, hereditary kidney disease that over time drastically lowers the functionality of the kidney. When John turned about 30-years-old, his kidney function rapidly deteriorated forcing him on kidney dialysis and to eventually be added to the transplant waitlist.

  • Tovah Garland

    ob , psl

    03/30/2017

    Tovah Garland feels blessed to deliver a happy, healthy baby at Presbyterian/St. Luke's, but it was her experience with Certified Nurse Midwife Cheryl Kohrs with Consultants in OBGYN that really stood out to her.

  • Robert Chesney

    cardiac , psl

    03/20/2017

    P/SL Cardiac Rehab patient Robert Chesney talks about his progress and the good and bad of being a chef.

  • Nancy Steffen

    cardiac , psl

    03/20/2017

    Cardiac patient Nancy Steffen shares her experience with the P/SL Cardiac Rehab Team.

  • Harry Swinhart

    cardiac , psl

    03/20/2017

    Harry Swinhart talks about his cardiac care experience at P/SL and the Cardiac Rehab Department.

  • Allen Metzgar

    cardiac , psl

    03/20/2017

    P/SL patient Allen Metzgar had open heart surgery and talks about his experience and getting better.

  • Munsey Ayers

    cardiac , psl

    03/18/2017

    When Munsey Ayers began experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains while exercising, he mentioned the symptoms to his oncologist at his next visit. He was advised to see Dr. Dilsher Nawaz at Aurora-Denver Cardiology Associates the following day for an EKG.

  • Gary King

    institute-limb-pres , psl

    02/16/2017

    When the pain in Gary King's left knee became an issue, he made an appointment to see Dr. Ron Hugate at Colorado Limb Consultants (CLC), who had performed a joint replacement on his right knee several years prior.

  • Colleen O'Hara

    After being successfully treated with radiation therapy for bone cancer in her cranium, one of the side-effects Colleen O'Hara suffered from was tooth loss. She met with her oral surgeon to begin the repair process and was surprised to find out that she needed 30+ hours of hyperbaric oxygen therapy prior to each procedure.

  • Evelyn Santilli

    psl , wound-care

    02/16/2017

    Evelyn Santilli had previously been a patient at the Denver Wound Healing Center, so when she needed treatment again for the wounds on her legs, she knew exactly where she wanted to receive her care.

  • Anna Brawner

    psl , robotics

    02/02/2017

    Anna Brawner’s happy smile and apparent good health belie two years of suffering mysterious and excruciating pain. Recently recovered from surgery Brawner calls Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center surgeon, Anthony Canfield, M.D., her hero.

  • Mary S.

    psl , robotics

    02/02/2017

    A quick trip home and surgery is probably not the preferred way to end a foreign vacation, but on a Tuesday night last February, Mary S. found herself in intense pain with symptoms that pointed to a gallbladder problem.

  • Herbert Hallman

    psl , robotics

    02/02/2017

    Herbert Hallman is a vigorous 82-year-old former automobile dealer who had no experience with major surgery since a pre-teen tonsillectomy. Surgical procedures have changed quite a bit since then and Mr. Hallman wasn't quite sure what to expect when Dr. Tony Canfield performed robotic surgery in late May to repair one visible and two internal hernias.

  • Rachel Fuentes

    psl , robotics

    02/02/2017

    Fuentes says she had experienced severe pain around the time of her monthly menses since her fourth and last pregnancy in 2005. “They finally decided I had endometriosis and it made me decide that it was okay to have the hysterectomy.”

  • Victor Sebastian

    psl , robotics

    02/02/2017

    Always active in sports, Victor Sebastian found himself sidelined five years ago by his Crohn’s Disease when his bowels were blocked and his intestines completely closed. He immediately had surgery but that led to a series of incisional hernias that continued to grow to the point of discomfort and a reduced quality of life.

  • Eugene Potestio

    kidney , psl

    02/02/2017

    Eugene Potestio talks about the great care he received at the Kidney Transplant Center at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, Colorado.

  • Emily Mosman

    kidney , psl

    02/02/2017

    P/SL operating room nurse Emily Mosman, RN, BSN knew for a long time that she would need a kidney transplant. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when she was 12. In the last few years, as her kidney function continued to decline, she was placed on the transplant waiting list. About six months later she found herself with a living donor – her mom.

  • Alyson Mueller

    psl , wound-care

    01/31/2017

    Allyson Mueller was treated at the Wound Care Center at P/SL.

  • William Herron

    In 2001, after having chronic sinus infections, William Herron was diagnosed with skull-based osteomyelitis. One of the treatments he received was hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

  • Rose Taylor

    cancer , neuroendocrine , psl

    01/31/2017

    Rose’s quality of life has significantly improved from her Neuroendocrine Cancer thanks to expert care received by Dr. Eric Liu at the Neuroendocrine Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.

  • Curtis Culver

    ent , psl , robotics

    01/31/2017

    After years of suffering from snoring, chronic throat infections, and sleep apnea, Curtis Culver decided to make a change so he scheduled an appointment with Dr. David Opperman.

  • Barbara Sandoval

    psl , robotics

    01/31/2017

    When Barbara Sandoval went to her local ER with severe pain from gallstones, she was sent home with no explanation for her condition. That's when she did her research and found Dr. Anthony Canfield at the Center for Robotic Surgery.

  • Melanie Kurtz

    psl , wound-care

    01/31/2017

    Melanie Kurtz was treated at the would center at P/SL. Thanks to the experts at the Wound Care Center she's doing great!

  • Matt Edwards

    ent , psl , robotics

    01/31/2017

    After suffering from back-to-back strep throat infections, chronic throat issues, and sleep apnea, Matt Edwards decided something needed to be done.

  • Erynee Washington

    psl , robotics

    01/31/2017

    When Erynne Washington found out she needed to have a hysterectomy, she was referred to Dr. Victor Dabelea in Denver, Colorado. He suggested she have her surgery done robotically (with the assistance of the da Vinci Surgical System) which reduces scarring and typically provides a faster recovery time.

  • Nancy Moeglein

    psl , robotics

    01/31/2017

    In November 2015, Nancy Moeglein was experiencing bowel issues which led to a diagnosis of diverticulosis and later, an attack of diverticulitis. During the summer, her condition progressed to a more severe, painful infection prompting her to set a meeting with a gastroenterologist who recommended a colonoscopy.

  • Dana Waldbaum

    psl , robotics

    01/31/2017

    When Dana Waldbaum went to her surgical consult appointment with Dr. Anthony Canfield, she did not expect to end up in surgery two hours later.

  • Steve Wapner

    cancer , neuroendocrine , psl

    01/27/2017

    When Steve's liver disease symptoms worsened, he was referred to Dr. Eric Liu, an expert in the diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Tumers (NET).

  • Bill Weston

    cancer , neuroendocrine , psl

    01/27/2017

    After bouncing in and out of local ER’s for a number of years and receiving a variety of diagnoses, Bill was eventually diagnosed with a Neuroendocrine Tumor.

  • Alix's Story

    cancer , neuroendocrine , psl

    01/27/2017

    Alix is an 18 year survivor of Nueroendocrine Cancer and has taken control of her care.

  • Joyce Hanson

    psl , spine

    01/27/2017

    Joyce Hanson was a healthy, active, outdoor enthusiast that enjoyed hiking, biking, skiing and everything Colorado has to offer. Three years ago, Joyce woke up with horrific back pain that crippled her to the point where she was unable to walk.

  • Ronna Sanchez

    cancer , psl

    01/27/2017

    Ronna Sanchez was treated at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, Colorado for AML Leukemia in 2004.

  • Don McCarthy

    cancer , psl

    01/27/2017

    Don McCarthy was a treated at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, Colorado for Mantel Cell Lymphoma.

  • Check Hood

    cancer , psl

    01/27/2017

    In April of 2014, Chuck Hood was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a fast-growing type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

  • Kelli Laird-Ore

    cancer , psl

    01/27/2017

    In July 2014, Kelly Laird-Ore developed an arterial blood clot, causing her to seek medical care. It was during that visit that she discovered that she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and would require more complex care and equipment than the facility she arrived at could handle.

  • Sandra Beiriger

    cancer , psl

    01/27/2017

    In 2011, Sandra Beiriger went to the ER with what she thought was appendicitis and was told that she had B Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.

  • Ricky Santo

    cancer , psl

    01/27/2017

    Known for his high energy and passion towards life, CSU football coach, Ricky Santo, was recently sidelined when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • Vernon Sanchez

    liver , psl

    01/26/2017

    Conrad “Vernon” Sanchez traveled from his rural neighborhood to the “big city” where he was diagnosed with cancer and learned that a liver transplant was required.

  • Jody Balaun

    liver , psl

    01/26/2017

    When Jody Balaun was 32 years old and pregnant with her daughter, she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic disease she inherited from her father's side of the family.

  • Peggy & Ryan Heath

    kidney , psl

    01/26/2017

    When Ryan Heath found out he needed a kidney transplant, his wife Peggy gave him the gift of life by giving him one of her kidneys.

  • Jaci Miller

    kidney , psl

    01/26/2017

    Jaci Miller talks about her decision to become a living kidney donor to her husband.

  • David Lavinder

    kidney , psl

    01/26/2017

    While being treated for congestive heart failure, David Lavinder began to suffer acute fatigue and was told he needed a kidney transplant.

  • Nico Gallegos

    kidney , psl

    01/26/2017

    At 3 years old, Nico Gallegos was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a disease which slowly damaged his kidneys over time. By the age of 20, he had started dialysis and was told he needed a kidney transplant.

  • Marcus Bullock

    institute-limb-pres , psl

    01/05/2017

    After a traumatic motorcycle accident in March 2015 that left him with a crushed and degloved right leg and a crush right foot, Marcus Bullock was told he may lose his leg.

  • Chris Zanoni

    institute-limb-pres , psl

    01/05/2017

    Military veteran Chris Zanoni had been experiencing persistent pain near his lower back for two years. For him, it was easy to write the problem off as just typical wear and tear. However, after receiving a CT scan for a separate issue, doctors found a tumor in the sacrum and iliac wing. Chris was immediately referred to Dr. Ronald Hugate of The Denver Clinic.

  • Chris Cotton

    institute-limb-pres , psl

    01/05/2017

    What was originally thought to be a common, benign tumor turned out to be something that is diagnosed in only 1% of all cancer patients. Chris Cotton, a social worker in Weld County, was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma on June 3rd after having his fatty tumor on his thigh biopsied

  • Boyd Adams

    institute-limb-pres , psl

    01/05/2017

    In 2003, Vietnam veteran Boyd Adams noticed that his right thigh was larger than his left and consulted a physician. It was discovered that he had liposarcoma, a type of cancerous tumor which the Veterans Administration has linked to exposure to Agent Orange.

  • Janet Braccio

    institute-limb-pres , psl

    01/05/2017

    Avid runner and health enthusiast, Janet Braccio, found herself sidelined when her hip pain became simply unbearable. Initially seeking treatment in Boulder, doctors there were surprised to discover a large pelvic bone tumor.

  • Ethan Schlemer

    institute-limb-pres , psl

    01/02/2017

    In 2012, Ethan Schlemer received the surprise diagnosis of sarcoma in his leg and was immediately referred to Dr. Cindy Kelly of The Denver Clinic.

  • Phil Lawson

    cardiac , psl

    12/13/2016

    The morning of September 30, 2014, was a typical day for Pam Lawson and her husband Phil. The couple set out on their daily walk around Cheesman Park. They always started together, but once Pam hit her stride she usually walked a little ahead of Phil. However, after glancing behind her, she noticed Phil was nowhere to be seen.

  • Phyllis Beattie

    psl , spine

    10/07/2016

    Phyllis was born an artist. One of her proudest pieces is the bronze monument in front of the main Presbyterian/St. Luke’s entrance. In doing what she loves, Phyllis started getting stiffness in her neck from arthritis and was diagnosed with stenosis.

  • Josh Leong

    psl , spine

    10/07/2016

    The Leong family thought they were complete until they received an email regarding Josh, a 9 year-old-boy born with severe congenital scoliosis that was resulting in his right lung being crushed by his spine. Thanks to Dr. Shay Bess, Josh is now an active 13-year-old breathing with ease, running track and playing soccer.

  • Mary Catherine Nederostek

    psl , spine

    10/07/2016

    When Mary Catherine Nederostek began having pain in her upper spine, she went to see her primary care physician and was diagnosed with osteoporosis. After several years, her spine had degenerated to the point that her chin was touching her chest and she was in constant pain.

  • Annie Adkisson

    psl , spine

    10/07/2016

    Annie Adkisson dealt with the pain of scoliosis for years. Constantly pitched forward and leaning to the right, her condition and the pain associated with it, progressed to the point of being unbearable which prompted her to take action.

  • John Mauss

    psl , spine

    10/07/2016

    When John Mauss took a fall on ice, it aggravated a condition he didn't even know he had – spinal stenosis. Because of the swelling and trauma in his back, the pain he experienced was so severe that he couldn't walk more than 100 feet without having to sit down.

  • Paul Murphy

    psl , spine

    10/07/2016

    In July 2000, First Sergeant-1SG (Ret) Paul Murphy was evacuated out of Bosnia and taken to the Walter Reed Medical Center to be treated for a spinal injury. Fellow Army comrade, COL (Ret) Timothy R. Kuklo, MD performed the surgery. When First Sergeant-1SG (Ret) Murphy needed surgery again, he sought out COL (Ret) Kuklo, MD

  • Anna Sniezek

    psl , spine

    10/07/2016

    At just 12 years of age, Anna Sniezek was constantly being told to stop slouching and to stand up straight. She had no idea she was slouching and realized she was unable to stand up straight.

  • Melanie Stachelsk

    cancer , psl

    06/06/2016

    Melanie Stachelski suffered from a rare form of arthritis for nearly 10 years, which led to countless visits to the doctor to monitor her condition. During one of her regular appointments, her blood work indicated that her blood cell count was dramatically low. After growing frustration with her doctors, Melanie consulted a friend who worked at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute (CBCI).