Top Ten List: 2019’s Most Popular and Impactful Blogs

In 2020, a new chapter for Memorial Hermann begins as we start a new year and a new decade. Memorial Hermann is taking a moment to look back at some of our blog posts that resonated most with readers. May these stories inspire and uplift your spirit as we head into 2020.

When Strep Throat Could Signal Something More Serious: Shelby’s Story

By Meredith Whittemore

Strep throat.

It was the diagnosis Shelby Boatwright received over and over. In fact, she was diagnosed with the illness eight times in the winter of 2017-18. It turned out to be the illness that helped her discover something much more serious: thyroid cancer.

“I was tired of getting strep again and again. My primary care physician (PCP) suggested I have an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) take a closer look to see if there was something wrong with my tonsils, so I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Yao. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself,” Boatwright said. Continue Reading >

Houston Couple Loses a Combined 250 Pounds Through NewStart

By Drew Munhausen

Garrett and Dynae Lorenz were married in August 2016, about a year before they would both undergo life-changing procedures through Memorial Hermann’s NewStart program.

NewStart is a comprehensive, patient-centered surgical weight loss program offered at five Memorial Hermann locations in Greater Houston. Both Garrett and Dynae had struggled with their weight since they were children. In summer 2017, they decided to start their weight-loss journey together.

“It was never a question of whether we could do it,” Garrett said. “It was always more of a question of ‘Am I really willing to follow through?’” Continue Reading >

A Traumatic Brain Injury Stole Her Ability to Speak. Now, She’s Back to Teaching and Being a Mom to Her Three Boys

By Jade Waddy

When fourth-grade math teacher Laura Chaffin and her husband, Bryan, decided to start a family, they knew they wanted to adopt. Their journey led them to Uganda, where they adopted their first son in 2014, and then, a year later, they decided to return to adopt their second son. By then, laws had changed, requiring them to live in Uganda for a year before being able to adopt for a second time.

The Chaffins, both teachers, sold their home and cars, and raised money so they could return to Uganda and finalize the adoption process. They lived there for 17 months and ultimately decided to adopt a third son, growing their family of three to a family of five. Continue Reading >

A Trauma Surgeon’s Plea to Houston Drivers

By Michelle McNutt, Chief of Trauma at Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center

Houston, we have a serious problem on our hands. We are home to some of the nation’s most distracted drivers. How do I know this? Every day on my way to work in one of the country’s busiest Level I trauma centers, I can’t help but notice all of the other drivers looking down at their phones, their eyes off the road. It frightens me – as a trauma surgeon, as a commuter and as a mother. No text message, social media post or phone call is worth your life or the lives of those around you. Continue Reading >

Rising 6th Grader Uses Attitude and Resilience to Overcome Genetic Condition

By Evan Koch

Angeliz Del Valle has a Texas-sized smile and an even bigger personality. The soon-to-be 11-year-old is unabashed when it comes to her aspirations of being a gymnast, equestrian, ballet dancer or actress.

“I am going to be able to do everything I want to do one day,” Angeliz said.

There’s good reason to believe her. Continue Reading >

Searching for the Other Half of Daniel’s Heart and Finding Our Miracle, Our Team

By Staci Geiger

I sat in the chair in the conference room, hands clasped, lips pursed.

The tension that radiated from my head and shoulders was almost palpable among the three of us. My husband, Brian, my mom, and I had driven four hours in the early morning for a fetal echocardiogram at The Fetal Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Jittery from too much caffeine and too little sleep, terrified at learning the truth, we were praying for a miracle.

Now, the truth was upon us. Continue Reading >

Helping Other Burn Victims Cope after Surviving a Gas Explosion

By Jade Waddy

Two years after an explosion engulfed her home in flames and left her burned over 60 percent of her body burned, Kevineshia Adams, 21, is working to inspire other burn survivors like her and help them cope with their injuries.

In the summer of 2016, Adams was home with her grandmother, mother and older brother when their house burst into flames following an explosion that Adams believes was caused by a gas leak. Continue Reading >

Teen, ejected from a vehicle, is thankful for a second chance at life

By Jade Waddy

An act of heroism sent 17-year-old Lacy Johnson down a path that would change her outlook on life.

While on summer break from high school, Johnson was ejected from a vehicle she was a passenger in, after it lost control.

“I took off my seatbelt to help the driver try to regain control of the vehicle,” Johnson said. Continue Reading >

Teen Athlete Born with Spina Bifida Represents Team USA in Wheelchair Racing

By Jade Waddy

When you see Jacob Allen, 18, racing around the track you would never know he’s only been competing for three years. The Ukraine-born athlete was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. But that hasn’t stopped Allen from displaying tremendous athleticism since he came to the United States in 2016.  

An encounter with a school nurse led Allen to learn more about adaptive sports, specifically wheelchair racing. “I was hesitant at first, but I agreed to give it a shot,” Allen said. “We do not have wheelchair racing in Ukraine, so I was very excited that I got to do the sport.” Continue Reading >

From the Garden to the ER: Michael’s Heartfelt Journey

By Shannon Dillon

Within three hours, a day of gardening for Michael Lawrence ended with unsettling health diagnosis. 

Last August, Lawrence was in his backyard gardening–one of his favorite hobbies. He had just planted a Texas sage and walked to the front driveway to get a bag of mulch out of his car. 

Even though he had made the walk from the driveway to the backyard countless times at his Woodlands-area home of the past 20 years, this time was different. Continue Reading >

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