USA Health System Patient Stories
"Prior to having weight loss surgery at USA Medical Center, I was a diabetic and had to take eight to nine insulin shots every day. My primary care doctor in Pensacola told me that my kidneys were failing because of diabetes complications and that I most likely would be on dialysis for the rest of my life.
My illness prevented me from doing the things I enjoyed – camping and bike riding with my family. I hardly left the house.
Since the surgery, I am off insulin and no longer have kidney problems. Now, I look forward to waking up each day and spending quality time with my family."
"On February 26, 2010, I was hit head on by a drunk driver, and the accident left me severely injured. My leg was forced eight inches into my back, my arm was crushed and I had a severe chest injury. When I was cut from the car, the nerves to my foot were severed.
I was airlifted to the USA Medical Center, where I spent the next eight weeks.
Little by little, the doctors at USA performed surgeries to allow me to function like I used to prior to my accident. I am extremely grateful to them for allowing me to be who I was before."
Vicki Horn Gray
"The first question we heard during the ultrasound was, 'Do twins run in your family?'
We were shocked when we found out we were having twins, but we’re very excited. We chose Dr. Frankie Bodie with USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital because they have a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is especially important to us now that we know we’re having twins.
My obstetrician tells me that in order to take care of myself, I need to listen to my body, eat healthy and exercise, which are things I did even before I was pregnant. Exercising is now even more important to me because I’m trying to keep myself and my babies healthy.”
Update: Jennifer had her twins at USA Children's & Women's Hospital in August, and they're doing great! Please join us in welcoming them to the USA family!
"We found out we were having twins, and the pregnancy was great until, at 34 weeks, an ultrasound showed that Carley had an abnormal spot in her brain.
Carley’s malformation is pretty rare and potentially debilitating. We were very nervous.
We were reassured when we met Dr. Cordina. From the very beginning, he treated Carley as his own. He put out a plan in front of us to put our minds at ease. He had this confidence about him, and we realized, as a father himself, he would take personal and professional interest in Carley.
Carley’s treatment required three procedures. Now, we have our happy little girl back. We can’t thank Dr. Cordina and USA Hospitals enough for how much they gave us. It’s the best gift a parent could ask for."
Jessica Franklin and Zach Staehling
“I became a patient at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute when my doctors discovered I needed to have chemotherapy for my cancer diagnosis.
While being treated at the Mitchell Cancer Institute, I saw how important the volunteers are to the clinic, and I wanted to give back. Today, I volunteer in the infusion room to give patients comfort – maybe a word of encouragement, a hug, a pillow or a warm blanket – anything I can do to make their experience feel a little less frightening.
The Mitchell Cancer Institute has become more to me than a treatment center. It is a place where I have made lifelong friends. I now know that giving is so much more important than receiving.”
“In 2011, I had an operation to repair a hernia. After the surgery, complications developed, preventing me from eating or drinking normally for six months. During this time my doctors were uncertain about my recovery.
I decided to go to the USA Health System for another opinion. After meeting with a surgeon at the USA Medical Center, I had a 14-hour surgery that basically reversed the complications and repaired my hernia.
Now that I’m healthy again, I enjoy reading and spending time with my granddaughter. I was treated very well by the excellent doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who were instrumental in my complete recovery. Today, I am leading a happy and productive life because of the expertise and care available at the USA Health System.”
“I love music and have been involved with the school band since the 6th grade. In 2009, I began having seizures and later discovered they were caused by a brain tumor. I was so scared. Music and noise were triggers for my seizures. I had to quit band, and I couldn’t even listen to my iPod or television.
I underwent two brain surgeries to remove the tumor and then had epilepsy surgery in 2011.
Since being treated, I have been able to return to a normal life. I am able to listen to and play music, and this year I’ll start marching in the band again. I love the doctors who helped me, and my experience at USA was the best!”
Magnolia Springs, Alabama
Sophomore at Foley High School
"I was treated for Crohn's disease at USA. My condition is in remission now and has been for about seven years. The care I received was the best available anywhere.
Today, I'm able to do the things that are important to me -- things that I've enjoyed all my life, like fishing off-shore and fishing for Marlin. My wife, both of my daughters, and my sons-in-law fish. It's a family thing for us.
Fishing continues to be an important part of my quality of life now that I am healthy. I contribute this to Dr. Jack Di Palma and the USA Health System."
Orange Beach, Alabama
“I was a cross-country and track runner at Bayside Academy. My junior year of high school I was running a race, and I had a heat stroke. I don’t really remember most of it, but I do remember waking up in USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, where I spent two nights in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and two additional nights in the hospital recuperating.
At the time I was concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to run ever again, but after treatment at Children’s and Women’s, I’m back running and doing what I love again! Now that I’m in college, I hope to continue running!
I am grateful for the care I received at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and for the help getting back on the track again!”
"Playing golf is my passion. For a while though, my time on the course was disrupted by Dupuytren's contracture, a medical condition where the movement of your fingers is severely limited. When you are unable to move your fingers, your ability to play is obviously compromised. My quality of life also suffered. Typing was difficult, pulling keys from my pocket was a challenge, and putting on a golf club was impossible.
Until recently, the only treatment was surgery. But with a new procedure now offered in the University of South Alabama Department of Orthopaedics, I was successfully treated with the novel non-surgical therapy right in the doctor's office. Today my fingers are almost back to normal and my golf game is back.
I am grateful for the opportunity to reclaim my quality of life and return to the golf course.
Dr. Richard Talbott, Dean
Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professionals
"I injured my neck while sailing in the Dauphin Island Regatta several years ago.
It progressed into what became constant, unrelenting pain that negatively impacted all aspects of my life, including one of my favorite hobbies - playing the guitar.
When the pain didn't improve over time, I went to see University of South Alabama interventional radiologist Dr. Brad Steffler, who recommended a series of epidural steroid injections. The relief was immediate. By the third injection, the pain was completely gone.
I've played guitar since high school and it's a great source of enjoyment and relaxation. When I was dealing with the pain, I worried that I would have to give it up. Now I am back to playing and owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr. Steffler and his team for giving me back my life – and my music!"