Year of Goosebumps: Medical Marvels that Made Us Smile, Cry
Dec 21, 2022
Gary Zavoral
Collage of pictures featuring male and female patients of various ages, all who have undergone positive health outcomes at Sutter Health in 2022.

Because she has radioactive ‘seeds’ implanted in her brain, she doesn’t need ongoing radiation therapy.

They were two of California’s first COVID patients and lived to tell the tale.

His young grandson’s quick response saved him of any noticeable brain loss from a stroke.

He was attacked by a shark, but a nurse was right there to help save his life.

He was shot and bludgeoned in the head, but placed his wager on life … and won.

These are just a relative few of the stories that gave Vitals staff members and their readers goosebumps, made them smile, and even had them shed a tear or two. They’re stories about Northern California patients who faced incredible odds but survived. They all have some things in common: They are grateful for the care they received, and they are now living life to the fullest after what they describe as their “medical miracles.”

Here’s a dazzling dozen of these patient stories — one a month from 2022. You’ll want to have that tissue ready, just in case.

January 2022

New Year, New Liver, New Lease on Life

Forget the Rose Bowl. The most exciting gamechanger for a college student on New Year’s Day was when 29-year-old Bradley Ganoe received a liver transplant, becoming the 10,000th organ transplant patient at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center.

February 2022

‘Seeds’ Planted in Her Brain Ward Off Radiation Treatments

Jane Finch Hall of Santa Rosa has penny-sized radioactive “seeds” implanted where a brain tumor used to reside. Now she can focus on healing.

March 2022

From a COVID Cruise to Happy Sailings Ahead

It didn’t turn out to be a pleasure cruise, but rather the beginning of a road toward an amazing recovery for the Cannarozzos.

April 2022

Gift Shop Dynamo Gives Back for Her Four Gifts of Life

Alyce Glazer is as tough as her painted nails as she volunteers at the hospital where she’s had two surgeries and cancer treatments.

May 2022

No Signs of Stroke Thanks to ‘Hero,’ His Grandson

12-year-old Jakub Quinn was in the zone after baseball practice, immediately getting his grandfather help when he zoned out with a stroke.

June 2022

Electrician Won’t Let Bypass Zap His Energy

Leonard Mercer, 65, is energized after cardiac surgery to continue working and living life to the fullest.

July 2022

Shark Attack! Brave Nurse Helps Save Swimmer’s Life

It was her 12th wedding anniversary, but Aimee Johns dived into nursing action when she heard cries from a man being attacked by a shark.

August 2022

After Alleged Hate Attack, He Bet on Life … and Won

The first thing Travis Barber did after being discharged from acute rehab was play poker at a casino. He won. Just like he did after being shot multiple times and bludgeoned.

September 2022

Clinicians Inspire Her Uphill Climb After Yosemite Fall

A dream trip to explore Yosemite turned into a tragic fall for New Zealand resident Anna Parsons.

October 2022

20 Years Later, Paralyzed Man Walks in His Patients’ Shoes

On the anniversary of his “rebirth,” Steve Lau explains how his paralysis helps him connect with the patients he serves.

November 2022

Sassy Little Cancer Patient Has a Big Goal

Jazlyn is just 5 years old, but she wants to become a pediatrician. But first she needed to beat cancer.

December 2022

Everything’s Coming Up Roses for ‘Miracle’ Transplant Patient

We come full circle, as a liver transplant patient opened the new year, and another will be in the New Year’s Rose Parade as an ambassador for organ donations.

It’s been a year that saw many “medical marvels” in the lives of numerous Northern Californians. The Vitals staff looks forward to 2023, when many more success stories are waiting to be told. Let’s just hope there’s not a run on tissue at the supermarket.

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