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Stories

Our heart care team provides lifesaving care for those with heart disease. Read the personal stories of patients who received care from them at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City.

 

Zach Engelken  Zach Engelken: Heart transplant
Young and healthy, Zach Engelken wrote off his symptoms of heart failure as a bad cold. But cardiologists at The University of Kansas Health System diagnosed Zach with acute heart failure, and his only hope was a new heart.
Jerry Sheridan  Jerry Sheridan: Heart failure
Jerry Sheridan of Sheridan's Frozen Custard was always active in his family business and his community. But a deadly heart attack affected him so severely, doctors didn't expect him to live. A risky combination of treatments was his only hope for survival.
Denise Bollin  Denise Bollin: Aortic aneurysm
Denise Bollin was enjoying a casual lunch when she suddenly felt a burning pain in her throat and chest. Within hours, she was undergoing a lifesaving procedure after learning that her aorta, the heart's main artery, was tearing apart.
Charlie Chatman  Charlie Chatman: Heart failure
With four different heart conditions, Charlie Chatman made frequent visits to his cardiologist at The University of Kansas Health System. But thanks to a new wireless technology, his heart conditions can be monitored from home.
Jimmie Hill  Jimmie Hill: Heart failure
Of all the labels that described Jimmie Hill – Olympian, musician, athlete – there was one he refused to accept: victim. After being diagnosed with heart failure but ineligible for a transplant, Hill underwent a procedure to extend his life.
Corie Cutshall  Corie Cutshall: Heart rhythm disorder
Fainting was a normal part of Corie Cutshall's life, until it almost led to disaster when she fainted at the wheel. The personal trainer and competitive weight lifter didn't look like a typical heart disease patient, but tests revealed a different story.
Willis Hoskins 
Willis Hoskins: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Willis Hoskins was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 2005, but he continued his life as usual without really understanding how serious his condition was. That all changed when a cardiac episode sent him to the emergency room.
David Rutkowski  David Rutkowski: Heart attack
With no existing blood pressure, weight or cholesterol issues, David Rutkowski's heart attack was a shock. What was even more shocking was his treatment plan: quintuple bypass surgery and 5 grafts. Now, he's in better health than before his heart surgery.
Rich McArdle  Rich McArdle: Aortic aneurysm
When Rich McArdle went in for his yearly physical, he had no idea that doctors would find a weak spot in his main artery. "I thought the doctor was kidding when he told me I was going to have open heart surgery to fix it," he says. "I had no idea I was so sick."
Diane Punch  Diane Punch: Cardio-oncology
Diane Punch survived cancer, but her cancer treatment led to severe heart damage. With the help of the cardio-oncology program at The University of Kansas Health System, Punch is back to her normal, busy lifestyle.
Jeff Busch  Jeff Busch: Coronary artery disease
Despite having high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease, Jeff Busch didn't think he was at risk. At 60, he was fit and took good care of himself. But when he started to notice that he was short of breath, his son convinced him to see a cardiologist.
Rebecca Schrivener  Rebecca Schrivener: Cardio-oncology
When you're diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, your heart health may be the least of your concerns. But as Rebecca Schrivener learned, some of the most effective therapies used to treat and manage aggressive breast cancer damage the heart.
Lea Huss  Leah Huss: Heart attack
As a marathon runner and emergency room nurse, Leah Huss was used to tackling challenges. But her biggest challenge cam when she suffered an unexpected, massive heart attack at just 39.
Agnes Pike  Agnes Pike: Severe aortic stenosis
Agnes Pike was given 6 months to live. But 5 years after taking part in a clinical trial, she was walking daily and enjoying time with her 13 great-grandchildren.
Doris Bowman  Doris Bowman: Severe aortic stenosis
A severe heart condition made normal daily activities a struggle for Doris Bowman. Ineligible for surgery, her treatment options were limited. Then, an innovative study at The University of Kansas Health System gave Doris her health back.
Ralph Wise  Ralph Wise: Heart rhythm disorder
An abnormal heart rhythm caused Ralph Wise to undergo a series of heart treatments. But after years without a lasting solution, Wise was referred to The University of Kansas Health System for a fix that would sustain him in the long run.
Mike Copeland  Mike Copeland: Severe aortic stenosis
Olathe mayor Mike Copeland had no idea he had a heart condition until his physician detected a heart murmur. Further tests revealed he was born with a faulty aortic valve, and he would need complex heart surgery that involved 3 major procedures.
Roger Taylor  Roger Taylor: Heart attack
After Roger Taylor was released from his local hospital following a heart attack, he had a suspicion that something was still wrong. Lingering concerns about his heart health prompted him to call cardiologists at The University of Kansas Health System. It was a good thing he did.
Whitney Bailey  Whitney Bailey: Severe rheumatic mitral stenosis
Whitney Bailey was told she wouldn't live to see her son's 3rd birthday. The mitral valve in her heart had become so severely narrow, she was within 6 months of suffering a fatal stroke. Only a complicated procedure could save her life.
Sarah Howard  Sarah Howard: Heart rhythm disorder
Sarah Howard was actually looking forward to treating her heart rhythm disorder. She was the first person in the United States to undergo a procedure using MediGuide technology at The University of Kansas Health System.
Adelaide C. Ward  Adelaide C. Ward: Heart attack
Kansas City civic leader and philanthropist Adelaide C. Ward only discovered she had heart disease after scheduling a heart health evaluation. Because of the excellent care she received, she gave back to The University of Kansas Health System with a generous gift.
Shirley Allenbrand  Shirley Allenbrand: Aortic aneurysm
A routine heart health assessment revealed a surprising heart condition for Shirley Allenbrand. "They told me that even lifting a suitcase could've killed me," she says. "Pretty scary considering I'd just shoveled our driveway, and the neighbor's."
Kathy Webster  Kathy Webster: Heart rhythm disorder
By the age of 4, Kathy Webster had already had her first heart procedure to examine a heart murmur. But this was only the beginning. In 2005, Webster was told she would need a complicated 6-part surgery.
  Terylan Walker: Mitral valve regurgitation
Terylan Walker overcomes mitral valve regurgitation with treatment using robotic surgery at The University of Kansas Health System. "When you've had heart surgery, the first thing people look for is that scar on your chest," she says. "But it's just not that way with robotic surgery."