Patient stories

Recent Posts

Lisa Alexander and her horses

Back on the saddle

After recovering from a mastectomy, Lisa Alexander sought out UF Health Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics Center problem-solver, Bruce Mast, MD, FACS, to get back on the saddle.

Chris' hand after surgery

Chris’ Story: Toe-to-Thumb Transfer

After Chris lost his thumb and index finger, Harvey Chim, M.D., and the team at UF Health performed a life-changing operation that would enhance his quality of life…

Kashen in a red wagon

Kashton’s Story

When a fall left Kashton with severe burns, UF Health pediatric surgeons provided the specialized care he needed to get back on his feet…

Bonnie’s Breast Cancer Journey

Bonnie’s Breast Cancer Journey

Bonnie Green’s journey through breast cancer was mitigated by the support and expertise she received from UF Health plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Mark Leyngold and UF Health breast cancer […]

Nikia Ingram's car

Nikia’s Second Chance

Read the incredible story of the heroic efforts by numerous University of Florida Health teams who saved Nikia, a girl with injuries so severe, the medical experts said, “She shouldn’t […]

Plastic surgeon saves little girl’s leg

Plastic surgeon saves little girl’s leg

In the past, severe leg injuries would lead to amputations. However, with new surgical techniques, our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Harvey Chim, is able to change lives. Learn […]

ECMO restores Florida man to health after severe flu diagnosis

ECMO restores Florida man to health after severe flu diagnosis

For most of his career as a lineman with Duke Energy, David Goff has climbed tall utility poles to inspect and repair high-voltage wires. It is a tough job that […]

Trauma and Tattoos: Tampa Bay-area man survives devastating motorcycle wreck

Kevin Moore’s colorful tattoos serve as a reminder of his motorcycle accident and the care team at University of Florida Health who saved his life.

3D modeling helps plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons complete cranial reconstruction

Flanked by a surgery resident and a technician, surgeon Jessica Ching, M.D., holds a 3D model of a patient’s skull. She carefully turns the model over in her hands, considering […]

Extending a life with a lung transplant

An uncontrollable cough led Tampa Bay-area resident Mike Preston to seek medical attention. Preston visited his primary care physician and specialists to find out the cause. Within five months, Preston […]

Liver transplant restores Florida woman to health

First, Maria Rivera noticed the fatigue. Next, she noticed the swelling in her stomach and the weight gain.

First patient receives kidney through Sacred Heart Health System and UF Health collaboration

On Feb. 2, Renwick Avant, 47, of Pensacola, received a new kidney at the hands of UF Health’s Rick Stevens, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, and Sacred Heart vascular surgeon Christopher LeCroy, […]

Burn survivor resumes life as an active teenager

Tyrone Crawford Jr. loves sports. Coming from an athletic family, the Tallahassee teenager played his first football game at age 6. It was a passion that would continue through his […]

Man survives ruptured aorta, thanks to UF Health

It was a normal Sunday afternoon for Ralph and Joan Glaeser. In January 2016, the Gainesville couple were returning from church and a trip to the grocery store when Ralph, […]

Sometimes you need a team of people to cheer you to victory

Two years ago, Barbara Adams, 46, discovered how important the support of the right team could be. She was volunteering at the local YMCA, playing kickball with the children, and […]

Beating the odds: Ronny’s story

Beating the odds: Ronny’s story

In March, Ronald “Ronny” Pruitt, the head football coach for Union County High School in Lake Butler, and his wife, Robin, packed their bags for a spring break trip to […]

XVIVO Lung Perfusion System increases transplant options

XVIVO Lung Perfusion System increases transplant options

Robin Thomas lived one struggling breath at a time. Diagnosed with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, her only option for survival was a lung transplant. However, the odds of finding […]

UF Health surgeons save motorcycle crash victim

The sound of the ShandsCair helicopter is something Kevin Moore will never forget.

Robin Thomas was the first patient at UF Health to receive a pair of lungs placed on the XVIVO system.

Breathing easier after lung transplant

Tiago Machuca, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine, recently performed UF Health’s first lung transplants using organs treated on the XVIVO […]

Mom’s plea for son’s kidney transplant goes viral and raises awareness about process

Mom’s plea for son’s kidney transplant goes viral and raises awareness about process

Kenneth Andreoni, MD, surgical director for kidney and pancreas transplants at UF Health, performed a kidney transplant on Johnathan Rye just one week after his mom posted a photo on […]

Bariatric Care Team Hosts One-Mile Walk with Patients

Recently, the bariatric care team at UF Health hosted a one-mile walk with weight loss surgery patients. Kfir Ben-David, M.D., UF Health’s director of bariatric surgery and an associate professor, […]

UF Health breaks ground for new Heart & Vascular Hospital, Neuromedicine Hospital

University of Florida Health broke ground today for the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital, a $415 million project that will give rise to […]

UF Surgeons in the News – TV 20: Surgical Treatment Improving for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

UF Surgeons in the News – TV 20: Surgical Treatment Improving for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Pancreatic cancer has long been viewed as a death sentence – and with good reason – it’s currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the US, but it’s […]

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 […]

Rosalie Youngerman was the 100th person to undergo a transcatheter aortic valve replacement at UF Health Shands Hospital.

UF Health marks 100th transcatheter aortic valve replacement as program growth continues

For Rosalie Youngerman, the chance to get a new aortic valve without open-heart surgery was literally a lifesaver. In July, Youngerman became the 100th person at the University of Florida […]

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

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 company for which he […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

Olivia Salinas, 3, has Pompe disease. She recently received a diaphragm pacemaker to help her breathe on her own.

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 […]

Surgeon’s personal attention helps family fight cancer

Surgeon’s personal attention helps family fight cancer

Heather Smith was just 25 years old in 2005 when she learned she had breast cancer. She received the diagnosis on her daughter’s second birthday. “It was kind of a […]

Keeping up with the grandkids

Keeping up with the grandkids

When Dan Fulford needed heart surgery in August 2010 to stop his atrial fibrillation, he didn’t mind that he would be only the third person to undergo a hybrid Mini-Maze […]

A second birthday

When Peggy Prevost learned in 2005 that she had a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation, she wasn’t about to let the diagnosis slow her down. A frequent swimmer and […]

Breathing Free Again

Breathing Free Again

It was a week of firsts for 8-year-old Brian Stanzione — first plane ride, first stay in a hotel and first visit to Florida. But Brian was not flying from […]

A risky journey and a happy ending

A risky journey and a happy ending

Mandie and Robert Cokley and their son Patrick piled into their Lincoln Navigator on April 15 and began the 2,400-mile drive from their home in Bakersfield, Calif. to Gainesville. The […]

Growing up

Growing up

Underneath Jim Beau Reinhardt’s left lung, a synthetic patch stitched into place is helping him breathe. Jim Beau, who will turn 2 in November, was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic […]

A patient who benefitted from VAD.

Heart failure: Ventricular assist devices as destination therapy

Find answers to frequently asked questions about ventricular assist devices.

Just What the Patient Ordered

Unveiled in November 2010, the Intrabeam is the newest cancer-fighting weapon in the UF Shands Cancer Center’s arsenal. Intrabeam allows doctors to deliver precise doses of radiation in the O.R. […]

Orlando man gets fresh start as Shands celebrates 500th lung transplant milestone

Shands at the University of Florida recently celebrated a new milestone and gave a patient a fresh lease on life in time for the new year. Orlando resident Bhowani Sharma […]

Frank Andrews

Two aneurysm repairs help man remain active

When Frank Andrews learned he had a massive aneurysm in his lower abdomen in 2003, he called his son, a physician living in California and a graduate of University of […]

Ralph Johnson

A double success

Ralph Johnson likes to take nature walks in his hometown of Hernando, Florida. But for a long time, medical problems made it difficult for him to enjoy his usual stroll. […]

Climbing mountains

Terry Clark has suffered from painful and unsightly varicose veins in her legs for years. She called the veins “my mess.” The source of much “discomfort and pain,” varicose veins […]