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Taylor Valdez's blog

Another chance at life deserves a 'thank-you'

Around 11 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2017, Judy Gronniger awoke to what she thought was her husband’s snoring.

When Jeff wouldn’t awaken, she quickly recognized that he was going into cardiac arrest and began performing CPR until the ambulance arrived. It took 14 shocks with a defibrillator to restart his heart before he could be transported to Ascension Via Christi St. Francis’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

On Oct. 19, 2018, Jeff walked back into the CICU with his family to thank and recognize the nursing staff who saved his life and fill in the gaps in his memory.

Ascension Via Christi labor and delivery nurse educating new parents for over 25 years

Toni Howard, RN, has 25 years of experience in helping expectant parents have the best birth experiences possible.

To the families with whom she helps navigate pregnancy, birth and the addition of a new family member, she’s like the new parent whisperer – helping parents confidently welcome and care for their babies. 

Physical therapy helps biker beat plantar fasciitis, return to open road

After 18 painful years, Mark Magers finally broke free from his crippling plantar fasciitis with the help of Ascension Via Christi Rehabilitation.
Mark had been riding motorcycles cross-country, staying active throughout the week and working at Spirit AeroSystems when in 2000 he developed disabling foot pain. "It was so bad, some days I couldn't walk at all," says Mark.

Ascension Via Christi St. Francis CTICU nurses honored for care, compassion at patient’s funeral

Ascension Via Christi nurses touch the lives of patients every day – as well as the lives of their patients’ family members. The nurses who serve in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis nurses were recently honored by a family for easing their loved ones’ final days.


Ascension Via Christi Manhattan Emergency Department provides comforting care for college student far from home

Finding medical care that feels safe and reliable can be scary and challenging, especially for college students living hours away from home. Fortunately, Noah Ochsner, a K-State student, was able to receive efficient and comforting care from staff at Ascension Via Christi Manhattan’s Emergency Department.

Manhattan Ascension Via Christi Express Unit staff earns Navy veteran’s respect, admiration

Last spring, Dale Herspring was constantly tripping over his feet while walking. In a six-week period, he had two surgeries to fuse bones together in order to provide more support, but these did not help. A third surgery was performed three months later which added metal plates, but it led to an infection in his left leg that resulted in an amputation below the knee and weeks of antibiotic therapy.

Suzy Kilmer: 200 pounds down, one rung up on the job ladder

In September 2017, Guila "Suzy" Kilmer weighed 360 pounds, causing her to be uncomfortable in her own body and have a variety of health issues. Today, she weighs 166 pounds — less than half her former weight— with the help of Ascension Via Christi's Surgical Weight Management program. 

"I was miserable. I couldn't move," says Suzy, a correctional officer at Hutchinson Correctional Facility for 22 years now. "At one point, I had to be moved into a 'safer' workspace to decrease the likelihood of a health-related incident."


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