Your Health Seth Stratton | 5 years ago

10 Stories of Hope From 2016

As we start a new year, let’s look back on stories that gave us hope over the past 365 days. From hurricane assistance to tiny hearts, we look back on 2016 with hope for 2017.

  1. Hide-and-Seek Heart Attack: As a healthy mom of four, 42-year-old dietician Alicia Fogarty didn’t expect that a pain in her arm and jaw was a heart attack. After visiting Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville, she learned that she had suffered a rare type of heart attack known as spontaneous coronary artery dissection, or SCAD, that many don’t survive. Fogarty had surgery to open the blockage and repair the artery and is now taking medications to prevent the condition from returning. She is back to living life to the fullest with her children and clients and is committed to raising awareness of SCAD.
  2. #ThisIsSober: We launched a campaign to put sobriety in the spotlight to help shatter the stigma around addiction and inspire people to change their lives. Six former addicts shared their stories to start a conversation about sobriety and the positive impact it had on them. Watch their stories
  3. After Two Types of Cancer, She’s Diagnosing Others: At 5 years old, Isabella Hanvey was diagnosed with cancer. She was cancer-free from age 8 until 22 and then she was diagnosed with a different form of cancer. Her right leg had to be amputated, but this didn’t stop Hanvey from becoming a medical laboratory scientist so that she could help diagnose patients. This past August she graduated with the rest of her Medical Laboratory Science program classmates and now works at Levine Cancer Institute-SouthPark.
  4. From Thailand to Nursing School to MD and the Air Force: When Paveena Posang, MD, left her homeland of Thailand, she promised her aunt that she would become a nurse. Posang not only became a nurse, but she also went on to become a doctor. As an immigrant to the US, Posang then wanted to do something for the country that allowed her to flourish so she joined the US Air Force and served for four years. She now cares for patients in Mooresville as a Primary Care and Urgent Care physician.
  5. Boy Scout Bringing Beauty, Hope to Honor Aunt: When Macklin Rett, 14, heard that his aunt was diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome, he immediately wanted to do something in her honor. As a Boy Scout, Rett was planning his Eagle Scout project and met with leaders at Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast to find a way to pay tribute to other patients battling cancer. He worked on a space outside the infusion area at Levine Cancer Institute-Concord to convert a fountain into a healing garden for patients and visitors.
  6. LCI Wedding: Becky Yonker had been receiving care at Levine Cancer Institute since July 2013 when she was diagnosed with a stage-four brain tumor. In October 2016, what was supposed to be a routine visit turned out to be her surprise wedding, planned by her care team. While Yonker and fiancé, Jarrod Bradly, were legally married in April 2016, they hadn’t had a chance to plan a formal ceremony and didn’t think it would happen due to medical issues. When Yonker was given the invitation to her wedding, she knew it was a dream come true.
  7. Two Children, Two Moms, Two Hearts, Two Weeks Apart: Two mothers whose sons came to Levine Children’s Hospital two weeks apart formed a rare bond as both boys were put on the Berlin heart, a mechanical device to help maintain blood flow and keep organs working. Each boy needed a heart transplant and as the mothers spent months waiting for donors, they were able to lean on each other for support during the difficult time. After four months, the first boy received a transplant and two weeks later, the second boy received a transplant. One mother described it as, “a bond that you couldn’t make up if you tried, you couldn’t time it more perfectly if your tried.”
  8. NFL Coach Gets New Lease on Life: Former NFL head coach, Sam Wyche, was days from dying if he did not receive a heart transplant. The problem was that there was no heart available. Six hours after being told that he would head home to be in hospice’s care, Wyche’s doctor came back to inform Wyche that there was a heart and he was going to have a transplant in the early hours of the next morning. After the successful transplant, Wyche has found a new purpose promoting organ donation.
  9. MED-1: After Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on the Carolinas in October, Carolinas MED-1 mobile hospital team departed from Charlotte and traveled to Lumberton, NC, to staff a 25-bed shelter. While providing support and supplies to manage minor to severe emergency medical conditions, there was even a birth on MED-1.
  10. Hospice Honors Purple Heart Veteran: Richard Roza kept his Purple Heart and other awards in a grocery bag in his home, often too humble to bring up his incredible service in the US Army Air Corps. It wasn’t until he opened up to his hospice nurse that she learned about his sacrifices. She was able to provide not only physical but emotional support to Roza in his final months. She was able to be a listening ear as Roza shared stories and pictures from his time serving while she cared for the lingering remnants of a wartime wound.