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    Patient Stories
    Sutter Neuroscience Institute


    Evan -

    Evan - Seizure-Free Thanks to Laser Surgery

    When Evan was between three and six months old his mother Stacy noticed that Evan wasn't hitting developmental milestones around the same time as other like-aged babies.
    Continue reading about Evan (354)...

    Tim -

    Tim - One Week After Spine Surgery, Teacher Returns to Classroom

    When a nagging back problem suddenly grew drastically worse last year, Tim’s get-up-and-go almost got up and went. He began feeling numbness in his right leg and instability in his lower back.
    Continue reading about Tim (347)...

    Melissa -

    Melissa - Achieving Sleep at Last with the iRest Insomnia Program

    As a regional lead for a global professional services firm, being productive and assertive is something that Melissa had learned to do well over the years, even though her body wasn’t getting the rest it needed.
    Continue reading about Melissa (346)...

    Gillian -

    Gillian - Gardening Again

    The constant kneeling and bending over the flower beds began to take its toll. Gillian experienced severe back pain due to the disintegration of three lumbar discs in her spine. Suffering from bone on bone Gillian turned to pain management specialist Peter Bravos, M.D.
    Continue reading about Gillian (324)...

    Thomas -

    Thomas - Back to Life and Sports After Neurosurgery

    For Missy and her 13-year-old son, Thomas, it was just another busy Saturday. But a phone call on their way home from Thomas’ soccer game dramatically changed their lives. Thomas had been experiencing months of severe dizziness and headaches, and the week prior he had gone to see his pediatrician, Irene Chen, M.D., who had the foresight to schedule a CT scan. The phone call was from a doctor at Sutter Roseville’s Emergency Department to let them know Thomas’ scan showed a tumor in his cerebellum and they needed to head to Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento where a team would be waiting for them. 
    Continue reading about Thomas (295)...

    Brad -

    Brad - A Long Road Home

    Brad Barber lay motionless in the Intensive Care Unit at Sutter Roseville Medical Center after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke.  Neurosurgeon Kavian Shahi, M.D., Sutter Neuroscience Institute, treated Brad, who was intubated and closely monitored. The outcome looked grim.  Brad’s wife, Lynda had to tell her grown sons Greg and Spencer, their dad might not make it. 
    Continue reading about Brad (280)...

    Jo Ann -

    Jo Ann - From a Patient to a Fan

    Not many women take a month-long trip through Northern California and Oregon on the back of a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Fewer still do it in their 70s. And Jo Ann may be the only one who has done it following spinal fusion surgery, two hip-replacement surgeries on both hips, and while dealing with a chronic blood disorder. But Jo Ann is not your typical 71-year-old woman. She’s a feisty, independent woman who clearly enjoys and embraces life. 
    Continue reading about Jo Ann (275)...

    John B -

    John B - Putting thirty years of sleepless nights behind him

    John hadn’t experienced a good night’s sleep since childhood, so he assumed sleepless nights and exhausted day were normal. An overnight test at the Sutter Sleep Disorder Clinic exposed severe sleep apnea, but it also revealed a simple cure. Today John wears a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask at night and wakes every morning with the energy a busy father of three needs. 
    Continue reading about John B (270)...

    Brandon -

    Brandon - Back To Being a Kid Again

    Like any typical 9-year-old boy, Brandon enjoys riding his bike and swimming. But Brandon’s medical history is anything but typical. At 2 years old, he started having seizures and was diagnosed with a brain tumor in his frontal lobe.  
    Continue reading about Brandon (264)...

    Luke -

    Luke - Return to Play Safely

    Ten-year-old Luke was geared up with his cleats and helmet and ready to play lacrosse in his backyard. Running to make a catch, Luke went from the grass to the driveway and his feet flew out from underneath him. The back of Luke’s head hit the concrete.
    Continue reading about Luke (262)...

    Ann -

    Ann - Life after Stroke

    Ann and her husband were ecstatic; they had just brought their third daughter home from the hospital after a smooth delivery and were beginning to introduce her to the family. They had no idea that their lives were about to dramatically change.
    Continue reading about Ann (164)...

    Ryan -

    Ryan - Removing Tonsils Cured Sleep Apnea

    Modesto Christian elementary schoolteachers could see there was something wrong with little Ryan. He was well-behaved, with his pencil in hand and looking right at the teacher, but when they looked into his eyes, they could tell he was just "spaced out." Ryan's self-esteem was shot and was lucky just to earn C-minuses.
    Continue reading about Ryan (167)...

    Linda -

    Linda - Achieving Restful Sleep

    Linda received a healthy amount of sleep, sometimes up to 12 hours per night. But during the day, she often felt sluggish and always wanting to nap. "My energy level was minimal at best," said Linda. "I hated getting up in the morning and it was hard to get through the day."
    Continue reading about Linda (166)...

    Sam -

    Sam - Riding Bulls after Spine Surgery

    When Sam woke up with no feeling in his right arm and hand three years ago, he was perplexed. "Nothing hurt. I was just numb," he says. Although Sam leads an athletic lifestyle, he didn’t recall a particular injury that could have caused such an ailment.
    Continue reading about Sam (168)...

    Aiden -

    Aiden - Autism Specialist offers Hope to Family

    To Danyelle, Dr. Chez is a rock star. And she doesn’t say that lightly. At age 3 and a half, her son Aiden was diagnosed with autism. At that time they lived out of the state and, although they saw the leading autism experts in the area, the extent of the advice was to modify his diet and do what they could to give their son the best life possible.
    Continue reading about Aiden (26)...

    Taylor -

    Taylor - Neurosurgery to Halt Tumor

    Kids grow fast. But what is too fast? Sara noticed 7-year-old daughter Taylor was growing at a rapid rate. So fast that she would grow out of clothes overnight and go through three shoe sizes in two months. Aware that something wasn't right, Sara took Taylor to the pediatrician.
    Continue reading about Taylor (27)...

    Tom -

    Tom - A Brain Bleed Can Come at Anytime, to Anyone

    Tom was at the top of his game. At 46, he had an active life with his wife, three kids, job as general manager of the Fair Oaks Water District and recreation activities like backpacking and triathlons. He was training for the California International Marathon and on no medications. He was the picture of health.
    Continue reading about Tom (169)...

    Bronte -

    Bronte - A Family Dedicated to Epilepsy Research

    When Bronte was three months old she had her first seizure; that was nearly 16 years ago. Over the first few years of her life she had almost every kind of seizure possible and sometimes had up to 10 grand mal seizures per day. She saw specialist after specialist and tried many different medications.
    Continue reading about Bronte (29)...

    Ken -

    Ken - Team Approach

    Despite being diagnosed with two aneurysms and having brain surgery - twice - Ken Kaestner considers himself blessed. Two years ago Ken started experiencing headaches, numbness and tingling. Worried that he might be experiencing a neurological condition, Ken made an appointment.
    Continue reading about Ken (170)...

    Sharon -

    Sharon - Re-Acclimated to Life After Stroke

    In 2001, Sharon met Bruce and in a few months learned first hand the effects of a stroke. Years earlier, Bruce had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 36. The two married and Sharon not only became a wife, but a full-time caregiver to the man she loved.
    Continue reading about Sharon (171)...

    Rael -

    Rael - Back on the Slopes

    Rael was putting a piece of stone on a high shelf when she felt a twinge in her neck. An active 40-something woman who loved to ski, Rael was used to strained muscles and didn’t think much about the soreness in her neck that evening.
    Continue reading about Rael (172)...

    Makayla -

    Makayla - Gamma Knife Surgery at 3-years-old

    It started as a common cold and turned into a parent's worst nightmare. For Penny and Terry of Las Vegas, the nightmare was all too real. Three and one-half year old Makayla was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
    Continue reading about Makayla (173)...

    Victor -

    Victor - Spine Surgery and a New Perspective on Life

    “I was just a normal, healthy guy with a regular life,” said 35-year old Victor, a software consultant for Deloitte. “And then everything changed.” In June 2008, Victor began having horrible back pain. “I’ve had some back pain before, but it wasn’t anything like this,” he said. “I couldn’t stand or sit up, I had no idea what was happening.
    Continue reading about Victor (179)...

    John -

    John - Controlling His Epilepsy and Living Life to the Fullest

    Everything changed for Pastor John on Easter weekend in 1999. While grocery shopping for his family gathering, he had a seizure. “I remember that the food labels became blurry,” he said. “And then I remember waking up on a stretcher covered in blood.”
    Continue reading about John (175)...

    Angela -

    Angela - Small Price to Pay to be Seizure-Free

    After living with epilepsy and seizures for more than 10 years, Angela was relieved and hopeful to finally be treated surgically. Medication had never worked, and her doctors hadn’t been able to pinpoint the part of her brain that needed surgery – until she met Dr. Robert Burgerman, neurologist at Sutter Neuroscience Institute.
    Continue reading about Angela (176)...

    Ophelia -

    Ophelia - Back to Life Without Pain

    At age 67, Ophelia, PhD., had a pretty active mind and life. “Then wham,” says Ophelia, “everything changed.” Ophelia was suddenly hit with excruciating pain that would spontaneously flare in different parts of her face. And because the excruciating pain would come unannounced, Ophelia was nervous to drive or go out alone.
    Continue reading about Ophelia (178)...

    Anthony -

    Anthony - Brave 5-Year-Old & Gamma Knife

    Tammy finished her shift as a cashier at the Goodwill store on Arden Way, returned to her apartment and found her son Anthony complaining. "Ahh, my head hurts," he whined. A warm shower and a snack, she thought, would help her 5-year-old feel better. But the freckly faced redhead got worse. He lay on the loveseat screaming, his mouth twisted to one side, his little limbs shaking, his eyes rolling up and back.
    Continue reading about Anthony (35)...

    Jean -

    Jean - Absolutely Pain Free

    "I am absolutely pain-free," says Jean, 57, about the spine surgery he had at Sutter Davis Hospital less than one month earlier.

    Quite a liberating experience after three years of severe back pain, six steroid injections, and daily doses of Vicodin and Advil left this ranch operations manager nearly disabled.
    Continue reading about Jean (182)...

    Miguel -

    Miguel - Traveling for Gamma Knife Surgery

    When it comes down to it, 10-year-old Miguel of Autlan, Mexico is one lucky little boy. If Miguel hadn't fallen out of his family's old hammock - an event that sent him into a four-day coma - his future would be in certain peril.
    Continue reading about Miguel (174)...

    Janine -

    Janine - Work and Play Better Without Pain

    Janine Niccoli's eight acres never looked bigger than it did when chronic pain kept her from her chores, horses and dogs. Since 2004 she had been experiencing shooting pain from her back down to her legs. But when her pain started getting in the way of her job as a probation officer, Janine went looking for answers.
    Continue reading about Janine (185)...

    Khayla -

    Khayla - Collaboration Changes Lives

    Khayla was born in the Philippines with a rare kyphoscoliosis condition; a congenital disability called Spondylocarpotarsal syndrome, where her vertebrae were fused together preventing her spine, joints and bones from developing properly. Surgery there resulted in leg paralysis and a progressive curvature of the spine.
    Continue reading about Khayla (184)...

    Virginia -

    Virginia - From Surgery to Weight Loss

    Virginia is an active wife, mother and grandmother who loves bowling, going to her gym and traveling to find the best ingredients for her homemade salsa. But when back and leg pain threatened her weight-loss goals and left her nearly disabled, Virginia went looking for options.
    Continue reading about Virginia (183)...

    Jaime -

    Jaime - Surgery to Marathon

    Jaime has been jumping and tumbling since she started gymnastics in the "Mommy and Me" class at age 2. But about seven years ago she started having severe pain. "The pain began in my hips, and then I started having pain and numbness in my lower back and shooting pain down my legs," says Jaime, now 22. "I had trouble sitting for longer than 10 minutes, and it was really hard to concentrate during school."
    Continue reading about Jaime (181)...

    Caitlin -

    Caitlin - Trading Scoliosis and Braces for Fashion and Heels

    Caitlin, like most teens, has a lot going on with school, friends, cheerleading and staying on top of the latest in fashion. But over the last few years she has also been confronted with scoliosis, wearing braces and the idea of surgery.
    Continue reading about Caitlin (180)...