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Heart attack strengthens public health leader’s dedication to prevention and wellness

Heart attack patient Claudia Blackburn

Claudia Blackburn, director of the Sedgwick County Health Department, was giving a presentation to the Sedgwick County Commission on the Community Health Improvement Plan when she started feeling dizzy.

She asked the commissioners to excuse her so she could sit down, but before she could reach a chair, she collapsed. Someone called EMS, and when they arrived, they told her that they thought she was having a heart attack.

“I just thought, ‘This can’t be a heart attack, I have no risk factors,’” Claudia says.

Epilepsy diagnosis reveals life’s blessings

Epilepsy patient Becky Blair

It was the day after Thanksgiving, 2006, when Becky Blair’s life journey changed.

She had spent the day helping her daughter move. She visited her father-in-law in Rose Hill with her husband, Jerry, and they were headed back to their rural Augusta home.

“She couldn’t remember what she had done that day,” Jerry recalls. “We were returning from my dad's house and she kept asking me if we had been there. She was disoriented and kept asking the same questions over and over. It was like her memory was just gone. I got really scared.”

For a good night's sleep, stick to a sleep schedule

sleep

As urbanization grows and society gets busier, there are more and more things that can be (and will be) done at night. People of all ages can be affected, the most prone of which are those who has a tendency for, or who already have, insomnia. There are physiological changes that happen to all of us as we age, such as the sleep getting "lighter" and more fragmented — things which we cannot do much about. There are also behavioral changes that we learn and develop along the way that make the situation worse. Studies have suggested that people who sleep less than five hours or more than nine hours per day tend to have more medical problems and die relatively earlier than those who sleep between five to nine hours.

Mercy Diabetes Center teaches patients to live well with diabetes

Albert Mitchell — a Manhattan resident and city employee — knows all too well what it’s like living with a chronic disease; he was diagnosed with asthma at 22 years old. So when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a year ago, he and his wife, Jeni, couldn’t help but feel a little defeated.

Fast action saves the life of a first-grade teacher

Therapeutic hypothermia patient Megan Webber Koenigs

Saturday, April 28, 2012, was a big day for Megan Webber Koenigs. She made her final presentation for her master’s degree in teaching at Wichita State University that morning. Later that day, she and Craig Koenigs moved her into the new house she had just purchased. But she doesn’t remember any of that.

The next morning, an alert from Megan’s phone woke Craig. When he looked at Megan, he realized she was having trouble breathing. He shook her and yelled at her but she didn’t respond.

Breast cancer survivors bond on the road to recovery

Breast cancer survivors Mandi Reddig and Carol Belles

Two years ago, breast cancer took Carol Belles' hair, eyelashes, fingernails and toenails.

Last year, a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer rendered Mandi Reddig too sick to work for nearly a year. 

But their individual battles also brought Carol and Mandi an unexpected blessing: A kindred spirit with whom to share the journey.

Shaken baby syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome occurs when someone shakes a baby or young child so hard they are hurt. 

The sudden, forceful whiplash motion can cause brain damage that leads to mental retardation, speech and learning disabilities, paralysis, seizures, hearing loss, blindness and even death. Often it happens because the parent or caregiver is frustrated by the baby’s 
inconsolable crying.

Well-traveled grandma stays on-the-go thanks to her new knee

Knee replacement patient Ara Ann Duty

Ara Ann Duty is always on the go, never letting anything slow her down. So the 70-year-old Wichita grandmother of 11 continued to shop and travel despite the increasing pain in her knee when going up and down stairs or keeping up with her grandchildren.

“I just chalked it up to old age,” says Ara Ann. 

But after finding it difficult to get on and off the bus while on a trip to Albuquerque, N.M., she decided it was time to consult with her family physician.

Via Christi Research brings new treatments to Kansas patients

Cystic fibrosis patient Hadley Boman

First-time parents Andrea and Brian Boman were “blindsided” by the news that their baby girl, Hadley, was born with cystic fibrosis. There was no history on either side of the family of the hereditary disease, which causes thick, sticky mucus to form in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe; and in the pancreas and other organs, interfering with digestion.

The Bomans discovered Hadley’s condition could also adversely affect her physical development.

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