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A courageous battle
It’s hard to find someone who has not been touched by cancer. Each year, more than 33,000 patients are cared for at the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center, the only Comprehensive Cancer in Wisconsin as designated by the National Cancer Institute. Learn how some of these remarkable patients fight for their life.
CancerOne more day with Dad? How about 1,800?
Siblings Mary Jo and Joe Pankratz are incredibly grateful for the extra time they got to spend with their father, Jack. They also participate in a new UW Health program designed to catch pancreatic cancer in certain people before it becomes deadly.
CancerSeeking a second opinion paid off for Melissa
To minimize her risk later in life, Melissa Stucky wanted a double mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After seeking a second opinion from UW Health Northern Illinois, she could not be happier with the medical and cosmetic results.
CancerCancer fuels Kara’s passion for life
In her late 30s, Kara Bercher was diagnosed with a rare cancer that affects smooth muscle tissue. She chooses not to live in fear, embracing the little joys in life, with plenty of support from her UW Health cancer care team.
More cancer patient stories
Grateful for the gift of life
For those whose survival depends on receiving a new kidney, liver, pancreas, liver, heart, lung or combined organ transplant, stories of unending gratitude are incredibly inspiring. For more than 55 years, UW Health has been home to one of the nation’s leading transplant centers. Learn about some of our remarkable patients who are alive today because of innovative transplant care.
Liver transplantNathan finishes medical school, thanks to liver transplant
Imagine completing medical school with a rare liver disease and undergoing three liver transplants in two years. Thanks to UW Health’s liver transplant team, this really happened for Nathan Baggett.
Kidney transplantTransplant doctor 'walks the walk' with living kidney donation
Dr. Aju Djamali, a former UW Health transplant physician who often thought of donating one of his own kidneys finally found the perfect recipient: His own patient, John Jartz. The close bond between John and Dr. Aju Djamali will always be unbreakable.
TransplantJeff Livingston gains a new life with his wife by his side
The word “gratitude” doesn’t begin to capture what Jeff Livingston feels to be alive. Thanks to UW Health’s Transplant Center, Jeff has survived a life-threatening infection, an artificial heart surgery, and separate heart and kidney transplants.
More transplant patient stories
Sydney's liver transplant story (video)
Creating bonds to honor Brody (video)
Stories flowing with gratitude
Perhaps you, a friend or loved one has been touched by heart disease. You might also want to learn what you can do to prevent heart disease. At UW Health, home to many of the region’s leading cardiologists and heart surgeons, there is no shortage of stories about our remarkable patients who are incredibly grateful for their world-class care.
Heart careThanks to blood-pump devices, Dorothy overcomes setbacks — and relishes every day
Diagnosed with end-stage heart failure, Dorothy Perpich had one last chance to live. It came in the form of a battery-powered pump implanted by UW Health’s heart failure team.
Heart careLong-lasting heart valve replacement
Diagnosed with a defective aortic valve in her heart, Holly Herlitzke is breathing a lot easier these days, thanks to surgery performed at UW Health known as the Ross procedure.
Heart careThrough treatment and beyond, UW Health is here for you
At the age of 38, Joe had a heart attack. He had emergency treatment at UW Health. That treatment and the support he received through our cardiac rehabilitation program gave him a new lease on life.
More heart care patient stories
No one wants to be sidelined from enjoying their ability to move freely without pain. Home to one of the nation’s highest-ranking orthopedic centers, UW Health loves helping patients like these who need a knee or hip replacement or other bone, muscle or joint treatment to improve their quality of life.
OrthopedicsKnee replacement surgery brings Susan full circle
Nearly six decades after first receiving care at UW, Susan's journey came full circle when she returned for a knee replacement procedure.
OrthopedicsKnee replacement surgery helps Greg enjoy life again
Both of Greg Converse’s knees needed replacement once he reached his late 50s. Today, he has resumed the active lifestyle he was badly missing, thanks to UW Health’s orthopedic surgery team.
OrthopedicsTwo new hips = One happy man
Longtime Madison journalist Rob Zaleski still can’t believe how good he feels after having both of his hips replaced at age 73. On a 10-point scale, he gives UW Health’s orthopedic surgery team a “10” and rates his pain level at zero.
More orthopedic patient stories
Brain and spine
Saving lives; reducing pain
Life is on the line when someone has a stroke, aneurysm or brain tumor. Other people may have epileptic seizures that may not respond to conventional treatment. Home to nationally recognized neurology and neurosurgery programs, UW Health is where patients turn for help after being told by others that nothing can be done. Hear some of these amazing stories.
Brain and spineRecovery from head injury leaves Michael grateful
After suffering a highly traumatic head injury, Michael Smithback came home from the hospital just 19 days after his wife, Nicole, thought she might never see him alive again. The Smithbacks are eternally grateful to UW Health’s neurosurgery team for saving Michael.
Brain and spineA stroke at age 28
Strokes can happen to young people too. An undiagnosed hole in Emily Miller’s heart allowed a blood clot to travel to her brain and cause a stroke that was successfully treated at UW Health.
Brain and spineSeeing stroke symptoms, spouse’s 911 call saved Jim’s life
Jim’s Schmalling’s wife Michelle called 911 as soon as her husband exhibited stroke symptoms while they were out walking. Her prompt 911 call and UW Health’s stroke team helped save Jim’s life, allowing them to celebrate their 50th anniversary together.
More brain and spine patient stories
Weight loss (Bariatric) surgery
Obesity is a complicated, progressive disease caused by a wide variety of factors. The disease is associated with numerous health conditions, including diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, liver disease and joint problems, and is life-threatening. The Medical and Surgical Weight Management Program at UW Health is here to help with surgical and nonsurgical options.
Weight loss (Bariatric) surgery patient stories