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Patient Stories

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center is where our community turns for medical excellence offered with respect, support, and compassion. We care for thousands of patients and their families every year, one unique individual at a time. Here are a few of their stories:

The first symptom she experienced was a loss of energy. Before long, she began feeling a shortness of breath. "I was close to passing out," Elizabeth Schwaab recalled. Just 41 years old, Parag Parikh was young and healthy, or so he thought. But on a recent afternoon, when he began experiencing tingling in his shoulder, discomfort and a racing feeling in his chest, he thought he should call 9-1-1, just to be safe. Several years ago, Michael Aquilino learned something very important about the value of time. His wife, Tammie, was diagnosed with cancer. For two and a half years, as she bravely battled the disease, time was a precious commodity.
A Team Makes a Difference At the Heart of a Cardiac Team A Family Gives Back

Past Patient Stories

Our patients are your sons, your daughters; your husbands and wives; your nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They are your neighbors, your co-workers and your best friend. In short, we care for those you care about. Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center - this is your hospital and these are your stories:

Vlada Kalutski was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of fifteen. Born in Belarus in 1988, just two years after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, it is possible she was exposed to radiation in milk as a young child. When the sonographer announced a third heartbeat, there was pindrop silence in the room. Maheen Mazhar’s first thought was, “I have two hands, how am I going to do this?” The mother-to-be’s initial shock was quickly followed by elation…and some anxiety. Slowing down was simply not an option for Carolyn Deeley, a former investment banker, mother of three daughters, and captain of her tennis team. But debilitating arthritis began to change the way she lived her life. Certainly no stranger to pain, Albert remembers how excruciating the pain in his right side was on a recent afternoon. A call to Albert's physician convinced Jean to immediately call 911.
I Am an Artist I Am a Mother I Am a Winner I Am a Patriot
Just weeks after Jill Irey’s treatment for cancer began, she was rushed to Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center with a severe reaction to her medications. Thus began her pilgrimage with Shady Grove, a journey now five years long — far longer than the five months Jill was first told she might survive. Beverly Hendrix did not want to believe she was having heart problems. She had always been active, and at 60 was too young, she thought, to be a cardiac patient. But when a heart blockage was discovered and then resolved through an elective angioplasty, Beverly began her process past denial and into action. Margaret Smith is matter-of-fact about the painful, perilous journey that she began in early 2009. The now 17-year-old has moved on from a potentially fatal condition, and is back to playing intense games of soccer. For the first 24 hours of Remy Cooperstein’s life, her parents didn’t know if she would survive. For the next two days, all they could do was watch her lie completely still, immobilized by special medications, on a cooling blanket in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
A Life-Sustaining Journey to Healing A Vigorous Journey to Healing A Family’s Journey to Healing A Newborn’s Cool Journey to Healing
Just weeks after Marie Priest underwent elective bariatric surgery, a procedure to help her conquer her life-threatening obesity, she discovered a lump in her left breast. It was soon diagnosed as stage one cancer.
Unexpected Turn in the Journey to Healing
Jim Clark, a serious horseman and bluegrass guitarist in his spare time, sensed he was slowing down. But a heart attack just before Thanksgiving proved that health, not age, was the culprit. Heather Johnson's second bout with melanoma was more serious than the first and required extensive surgery. The surgery removed Heather's cancer, but not her fears or thirst for authoritative information about the disease. Looking back, Marie Martins says she was in denial. Her worsening shortness of breath and new dry cough could no longer be dismissed as an allergy or summer cold. The last four weeks of Sarah Miller's pregnancy were filled with fear and frustration. Leg numbness and pain had left her almost completely immobile. But instead of improving
as expected with daughter Izzy's birth, Sarah only got worse.
A Horseman's Return Navigating a Way Through Cancer A Life-Saving Trip Down the Street Getting a New Mom Into Action
Shady Grove's Birth Advisor, Susan Hine, RN, sees the same transformation dozens of times a month, whenever she meets with expectant parents. They arrive for their consultation filled with advice from birth classes, family and the Internet, but are still terrified. Kim Rose had been at Shady Grove for four weeks of bed rest when she found out her father-in-law had passed away. Within hours, the twins - at just 26 weeks - were born, weighing only 1.83 and 1.11 pounds.
Preparing for a Very Special Delivery A Place Where Fragile Lives Grow Strong
Within a week after learning she was pregnant, Jennifer Clapp-Bennett got an even bigger surprise. Triplets. The culmination of Jennifer’s pregnancy...took place here at Shady Grove... It all started with a basketball injury at age fifteen. Years of knee surgeries, treatments, and arthritis followed until Marguerite Nedzelnitsky’s pain became so severe she could barely walk... At 5’9”, 330lb., Rodney Rubin knew he was putting his health and future at risk, but he needed more than wise words of advice from a doctor to lose weight. ...he decided on Shady Grove... Selma and Harold Hurwitz were...finishing up dinner...when something seemed suddenly, terribly wrong with Harold. It was a heart attack — a massive one, as Selma learned minutes later...
Read Jennifer's Story Read Marguerite's Story Read Rodney's Story Read Harold's Story
Buddy Harding knows he’s a lucky man. His stroke occurred in the morning before his wife had left for work. “She knew right off the bat,” Buddy says, telling him he was having a stroke... The birth of any first grandchild is thrilling. For new grandfather Jimmy Green and his family, the birth of Ethan Michael Knighten on December 12, 2007, was especially so...
Read Buddy's Story Read Ethan's Story
A few days before her 8th birthday, Heli was at the pool, practicing holding her breath underwater. In a sudden and frightening turn of events, she lost consciousness, and was brought to the surface... Flo Tomanek, 72, is a woman on the go. Traveling, volunteering, hanging with the girls, even caring for her young granddaughter. But not so long ago, pain had her stopped in her tracks... Almost three months before her twins were due, Kristin van de Geer discovered she was going into labor. "You never think it’s going to happen to you...We’re very lucky we came here.”... Art Carter had always been healthy, athletic, strong and in charge — as a teacher, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and as a father. Now Art was told he needed bypass surgery...
Read Heli's Story Read Flo's Story Read Kristen's Story Read Art's Story
The kids were just back in school after the winter holidays, when Stephanie Greco got a call from her son’s school. Nicholas had been playing football at recess, had slipped and required stitches... "I was a ticking time bomb," says Terry Francis...And I was prepared for the risks with my surgery. What I wasn’t prepared for was the amazing care I received here as a patient; it’s overwhelming."...
Read Nicholas' Story Read Terry's Story
It was July 14th, right before teeing off at the golf course, when Bob Tyrrell first felt an uncomfortable pressure on his chest. By the third hole, he knew something was wrong... Courtney and Josh Moore were not only neighbors, they were high school sweethearts. Skyler Lee Moore, their first child, was born on August 17, 2004, and enjoyed his first year of life... Something wasn’t right. Marcie Huntley was recovering from surgery, but she was still in pain. Within 48 hours, she found herself at the Emergency Department at Shady Grove... Julia Kiamos, 89 years old, had been admitted to Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center a number of times over the years. But this stay was different. Her family knew that she would not come home...
Read The Tyrrell's Story Read Skyler's Story Read Marcie's Story Read The Kiamos' Story
Fritz Pollard was used to being active, strong and self-reliant. As a former football player at Brown University, it took a lot to bring him down, and the strength of a team to get him back on his feet... Keith and Genevieve Steele celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary in 2005. They credit the Emergency Department at Shady Grove with saving both of their lives - more than once...
Read Fritz's Story Read The Steele's Story