There needs to be more awareness. For me that's really where I hang my hat.
Deb Owens: Giving Back After a Stroke Scare
Deb Owens is a neonatal nurse practitioner at UVA Medical Center. In the spring of 2015, she went home with a headache, something she describes as fairly typical. She became concerned when the headache lingered for several days. She also noticed her eyelid drooping.
After meeting with a neuro-ophthalmologist, Owens was told she was likely having a stroke. Andrew Southerland, MD, diagnosed Owens with a carotid artery dissection, an uncommon condition that is often found in young people who suffer from stroke.
Owens describes herself as lucky. After receiving stellar treatment at UVA Stroke Center, she decided to give back. She now hosts fundraisers to raise money for stroke research.
The paired exchange is more than just two people, it is a unifying of human spirits, multiplied many times over.
Paired Donor Exchange: A Husband and Wife's Kidney Transplant Story
Veronica Downing was told she needed a kidney transplant. Instead of putting her name on a list, Veronica's husband, Ronald, came forward as a donor. Ronald went through the complete evaluation, only to find out he and his wife were not a match. The two were devastated.
However, there was another option. Ronald could still become a donor, but his kidney would not be given to his wife. Instead, his kidney would be shipped to somewhere in the United States, to someone he does match with. In return, a healthy kidney would be sent back from an anonymous donor to be given to Veronica. The process is called paired donor exchange and continues on until the chain has gone full circle. Veronica and Ronald were a part of one of UVA's very first paired donor exchanges.
You can't ever assume something is going to be static and unchanging.
A Heart for Endurance: One Cyclist's Story With HCM
John Reynolds grew up as an athlete. He played soccer and baseball and was a wrestler as well. In his adult years, he picked up cycling. It was on several of those bike rides when he began to feel lethargic and out of breath. After a while, he began to complain of chest pains. It was these symptoms that forced him to shorten his rides, and he ultimately decided to see a doctor.
Reynolds sought treatment at the UVA Heart and Vascular Center. He met with Robert Battle, MD, a cardiologist who serves at the director of sports cardiology. Battle had Reynolds bring his training bike into clinic to perform a stress test.
After several sessions in the stress lab, Reynolds was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM. He has made slight changes to his lifestyle and continues to check in with Dr. Battle and his team, but Reynolds is back on his bike.