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Yolanda’s Story of Kidney Removal Surgery

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Urology Services | Posted on 28-08-2013

The first day of the year didn’t start out well for Yolanda Marucco.

While most of us are thinking about how long we’ll be able to keep our resolutions, Yolanda was at her mother’s house in Taylorville when a sudden pain seized her right side.

288-13-01 CropThe 66-year-old Taylorville woman was certain that she was having a gallstone attack, but “since there was so much pain, I wanted to be sure that was the problem,” she said.

She went to the Emergency Department at Taylorville Memorial Hospital that night. She was suffering from gallstones, but the staff wanted to be certain that nothing else was going on. As it turned out, she had an 8.5-centimeter mass on her left kidney.

She was referred to William Severino, MD, a Springfield Clinic urologist, who discussed her treatment options with her. He recommended a laparoscopic nephrectomy and referred her to his colleague, David Lieber, MD, who specializes in robotic and laparoscopic surgery. In other words, her left kidney would need to be removed. Read the rest of this entry »

90 Miles for Transplant Awareness

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Transplant | Posted on 27-08-2013

Transplant 5K Photo StuckeyHis entire life changed overnight. Twice.

“We had company coming over for the weekend, and I asked if this couldn’t wait until Monday. My doctor said if you wait until Monday, you’ll probably be dead.”

Don Stuckey, 59, of Beecher City, a small community southeast of Springfield, remembers those words as if they were yesterday instead of three years ago.

“I was having trouble sleeping,” Don recalled. “I was up and down a lot at night, but I figured that was just old age. One week, I only slept about four hours the entire week. I went to the doctor and asked for some sleeping pills. He said OK, but told me to have a blood test before I left.”

“That was a Thursday,” Don said. “The next morning the doctor called to say something was wrong with my test and to come back in for another blood test. Early that afternoon, I got another call and was told to get to the hospital immediately.” Read the rest of this entry »

Breathe Easy: Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

Posted by | Posted in LVRS, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 22-08-2013


Nancy Bettis, LVRS Patient

Last year, Nancy Bettis couldn’t vacuum her living room without having to take a break to catch her breath. Now, she bowls four days a week, knocking down pins like she never stopped.

“I got out of the hospital on the 19th of December,” Nancy said, “and I went back to bowling in February.”

Nancy’s saving grace was Lung Volume Reduction Surgery, or LVRS. LVRS is often the last treatment option available for people suffering from severe emphysema or COPD, and offers a greatly improved quality of life for qualifying patients.

“People who qualify for this procedure are pretty severe cases,” said Stephen Hazelrigg, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine who has performed nearly 450 LVRS procedures. “They are extremely limited in what they can do at this stage. So, they’re grateful for any improvement.” Read the rest of this entry »

Sleep Deprivation: The Ugly Truth

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Sleep Center | Posted on 21-08-2013

Tired WomanWhen it comes to health concerns, sleep is something we tend to take for granted. We’ll stay up late to catch a talk show, read just one more chapter or finish a few more things around the house—and we’re not usually able to sleep in and make up for it.

For many of us, this is just another part of life; but, when it becomes habitual, it can cause real problems.

You may not think of “just being tired” as a real problem. But, consider disasters like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdex oil spill and the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. What do they all have in common? Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond Weight Lifting and Agility Training

Posted by | Posted in ALMH, SportsCare | Posted on 19-08-2013


Max Cook, senior, Lincoln Community High School

Max Cook is serious about improving his basketball game.

A senior this fall at Lincoln Community High School, Max has his sights set on earning an athletic scholarship. The 17-year-old is turning to the staff at Memorial SportsCare at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital to help him sharpen his game.

“Staying ahead of the competition is never easy. For some local athletes, weight lifting and agility training may not be enough,” said Missy Anderson, athletic trainer. “That’s why we offer an 18-session Performance Plus Program for those athletes ready to get a step ahead of the competition.” Read the rest of this entry »

School Breakfast Programs Get a Grade “A”

Posted by | Posted in Nutrition, Pediatrics | Posted on 14-08-2013

BoyIt is no secret that in the last 10 years much emphasis has been placed on better nutrition in schools.  Today, schools are at the forefront for addressing the urgent need for improved nutrition and physical activity.

Of all the steps that schools can take toward creating healthier, higher-achieving students, the implementation of school breakfast is perhaps the simplest and most cost-effective.  Breakfast provides students with key nutrients and it improves brain function all morning. 

Breakfast literally breaks the nightlong fast.  If breakfast is skipped, the fast continues, which can place unnecessary stress on a developing body.  Studies have shown that well-nourished students who skipped breakfast had adverse effects on attention and memory throughout the day.  Read the rest of this entry »

4 Tips for Coping with Back to School Separation Anxiety

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Pediatrics | Posted on 14-08-2013

Child Timid Getting on BusA new school year is quickly approaching and for many children that means picking out a new backpack and gathering school supplies. Unfortunately for some children, going back to school can also mean feelings of anxiety because they will be separating from a parent or another primary caregiver.

“Children with separation anxiety worry a lot about their caregivers and may be concerned about something bad happening to them,” said Dr. Anna Hickey, a licensed clinical psychologist with the Children’s MOSAIC Project and The Children’s Center. “They also worry about the possibility of something happening that might cause them to be separated from the caregiver.”

When a child has separation anxiety, they show signs of distress such as having a tantrum, crying when they are separated, or thinking they may have to be separated from their primary caregiver. Separation anxiety is most common in children, usually under the age of 12, but it is also seen in adolescents and adults. Read the rest of this entry »

Could Hospice Volunteering Be Right for You?

Posted by | Posted in Home Services | Posted on 14-08-2013

78458252Ask Rachel Grunder what she finds most rewarding about her volunteer work with hospice, she’ll tell you it’s “simply the relationships.”  

“Each one is unique, this is true.  But, at the same time, each one seems to be threaded with appreciation and gratitude.  I have volunteered for many different organizations over the years.  Hospice patients and their families show so much gratitude for the time I spend with them, no matter the task,” she notes.

Each day, volunteers like Rachel give of their time in many different ways, whether it’s simply sitting with patients, reading with patients or even helping with light yard and house work.  Regardless of the task, volunteers play an integral role in the hospice care journey.

Individuals often have many questions when deciding if volunteer work is right for them.  We asked some current Memorial Hospice volunteers the most frequently asked questions regarding their volunteer work, and here’s what they said: Read the rest of this entry »

Skin Deep – Preventing and Treating Melanoma

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 07-08-2013

woman with skin cancerFor many of us, a summer tan is like a gold medal—something we work the whole season to achieve, and, when we get it, we proudly show it off.

Unfortunately, with a great tan comes great responsibility.

Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure from the sun—or, dare we say, the dreaded indoor tanning bed—is a major risk factor for skin cancers, including the deadliest of all: melanoma. The more exposure to UV rays a person receives, the more at risk he or she is to melanoma—particularly if that individual is also naturally fair-skinned or freckled.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2013 alone, nearly 77,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma. While rates increase with age, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults—particularly women. Read the rest of this entry »

Super Survivor Faces Loss of Loved Ones During Breast Cancer Recovery

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors, Cancer Care, Women | Posted on 07-08-2013

Kristen Becker Hoffman

Kristan Becker Hoffman

Kristan Becker Hoffman learned that the lump in her breast was cancer. It was a hard-hitting confirmation that would change her life and her family’s, but she was prepared to face it and seek the treatment to put her on the path to beat the disease.

She was 38 when she received her diagnosis in May 2012. What she couldn’t know was that two unimaginable losses would confront her in less than four months as she went through her treatment.

First, her father, Loren Becker of Jacksonville, would die of heart failure in August. About five weeks later, her husband, Bobby Hoffman, would die from a stroke.

They were a big part of her foundation as she went through treatment, and that foundation “was literally pulled out from under us.”

Kristan, of Jacksonville, is one of three women who were randomly chosen as Super Survivors to be honored at this year’s Memorial’s Be Aware Women’s Fair. The fourth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Read the rest of this entry »