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Patient Story

Better options for mastectomy and breast reconstruction

The news hit Tracy Cantella like a load of bricks: She had BRCA 1, the gene infamous for greatly increasing a woman’s risks of breast and ovarian cancer. She had watched her paternal grandmother battle both, and eventually succumb to breast cancer. Recalling her grandmother’s ordeal and thinking of…

Defying the odds, motorcycle accident survivor returns to the life he loves

Michael Gracy (center), his wife and two daughters presented a plaque in early 2013 to of UF Health clinicians who helped save his life. Michael Gracy’s life nearly ended one Friday afternoon in November 2010. Then 68, Gracy had just left work at his Gainesville office of the financial services…

Ready for anything

The Level I trauma centers at Shands at UF and Shands Jacksonville are always prepared to treat the most severe injuries, thanks to multidisciplinary teams of employees that keep the centers going around the clock.

Baby who received UF&Shands’ first pediatric liver transplant since program reactivation now thriving

Now that Chelsey Hoyle is rid of her scarred, dysfunctional liver, the 1-year-old can really get down to the business of being a baby. Chelsey received part of an adult liver during a transplant operation in early November, less than a month before her first birthday. The operation was UF&Shands’ first pediatric liver transplant since the program’s seven-month hiatus and its reactivation in April 2012. The program is one of only two in Florida.

Transplant without borders

For many transplant patients, the call for a lifesaving organ usually comes in the middle of the night. For ReAnne Walcott, it came while she was on vacation outside the continental United States. Florida resident Walcott was in Kona, Hawaii, when she received the call that a donor kidney matching…

Helping hands at UF&Shands save youngster’s right hand

Winston T. Richards, M.D., an acute care surgeon at UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center, treated 4-year-old Benjamin Bileca after a horrific accident stripped the skin from the youngster’s hand.

Family travels from Russia to UF for baby’s lifesaving surgery

David Kays, M.D., a pediatric surgeon at UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center, treated Russian mom Elena Akmanova’s newborn, Eva, after the baby was diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a condition that prevents proper development of the lungs.

Another chance for Olivia

Watching a Barney DVD in her bed, Olivia Salinas looks like a typical preschooler, except for the tracheostomy tube in her neck. But the 3-year-old girl from Tampa made history May 2, becoming the first child with Pompe disease in the world to have surgery to implant a diaphragm pacing…