In Their Own Words

The physicians and staff of FHN affect the lives of so many, by providing expert care from diagnosis to recovery. Here are some of our patients' stories.

Colleen Edler

Pearl City Patient Recovers from COVID-19

It wasn't the customary COVID-19 symptoms that sent Colleen Edler to FHN's Emergency Department, but after four days of excruciating headache pain, she knew something was very wrong. She explains, "I had the worst headache of my life..."
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Brad Gusloff

Brad Gets New Knees Despite Pandemic

When Brad Gusloff went to visit his son in Colorado, he couldn't keep up with the rest of his family. "I was miserable," Brad explains. "The pain was relentless." He started asking everybody he saw with a cane or a walker if they had knee surgery...
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Debbie Oppold

Meniscus Surgery Helps Debbie Strike a Pose

All it took was a quick slip on the ice to tear Debbie Oppold's meniscus, a disk-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber inside the knee joint. "Every step hurt," Debbie explains, "So I called my family physician...
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Katy Lartz

FHN Nurse Hopes Her Experience Helps Her Patients

It came out of nowhere. With no family history of cancer, no risk factors, and nothing but time on her side, Katy Lartz was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 at age 30. Her eyes still fill with tears when she talks about it...
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Carol Richards

Winning the Fight Against Cancer for 18 Years

Carol Richards has been fighting cancer for eighteen years, and she takes it all in stride. She is simply not one to sit and dwell. She will be on preventive chemotherapy for the rest of her life. She knows it. She accepts it. And she deals with it...
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Julie Wenzel

Hip Surgery Brings 'Immediate Relief'

Julie Wenzel was in a lot of pain. Her back and hip hurt, making it difficult to walk, and it was cramping her style. A busy woman, she had a long list of things to do...
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Don Graybill

'You Can't Milk Cows With a Bum Shoulder'

It was evening chore time, and Donald Graybill was moving cows in the barnyard, just like he does every day. And then, just like that, he fell. He knew by the numbness in his shoulder and how his arm just ‘hung there’ that it wasn’t good.
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Valerie Schubert

'I promised the kids I would come back with healthy legs.'

Valerie Schubert's "normal" day doing missionary work in Honduras includes lots of walking. From inner-city streets to the hills and mountains of rural villages, she and her husband cover many miles a day serving hundreds of at-risk children through their foundation, Casa de Luz (House of Light).
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Jim Kerr

TruMatch® Makes Jim Kerr A Happy Camper

Before his knee replacement surgery, Jim Kerr couldn't mow the lawn, climb a ladder, or participate in some of his favorite campground activities. TruMatch from FHN changed all that...and now he is doing things he hadn't done in quite some time.
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Shane Stouffer

The Test Was No Big Deal — Yet It Ended Up Saving My Life

"I would never have done it if it wasn't required by my health and wellness program." That's what Shane Stouffer of Winslow said about the colonoscopy that, according to him and his doctors, saved his life.
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Josie McDermott

"I Am So Grateful That FHN Helped Keep Me On The Playing Field"

Josie McDermott heard her knee 'pop' at club soccer practice. It didn’t really hurt, so the determined standout just kept playing. When it started to buckle later, she knew she needed a professional opinion. That's when she turned to FHN orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Greg Dammann.
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Tom Klemm

FHN Team Puts Alderman Back On His Feet

Ten years ago, Tom Klemm missed a step and hurt his foot. For years the discomfort would come and go, agitated by exercise or long shopping trips. When the pain got more frequent and severe, Tom decided he needed expert help.
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Larry Feiner

"My Heart Was In the Right Place"

Larry Feiner was sitting at his desk at Midwest Bank, working on the computer like any standard workday. But when a sharp, numbing pain radiated across his chest two days in a row, he knew it was anything but normal.
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Catherine Banks

Happy for the ER "Just Down the Street"

Two decades ago, Catherine Banks had a scary long-term episode with hives that was never fully resolved. After that incident, her doctor told her to hurry to the emergency room if she ever experienced swelling of the tongue or difficulty breathing. Twenty years later, she recalled his advice...
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Dorothy Ellinor

FHN Hospice Care Helps Stitch Together Final Memories

Soon after Dorothy Ellinor entered FHN's hospice program, her daughter, Diane Dietmeier, found 20 embroidered quilt squares in her mother's linen closet. Dorothy had always wanted to make a quilt with them, but hadn't quite gotten to it. Pragmatists at heart, the two looked at each other and said, "We better get going."
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Porter Krolow

Introducing Porter's Top-notch Tonsil Team

Porter Krolow had a typical childhood ailment. Trouble was, he didn't know it. Come to find out, he needed surgery.
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Jerry Gill

Putting Miles On My Model A...

Jerry Gill fought head and neck cancer for six years before coming to The Center for Wound Healing at FHN. Because the cancer was of unknown origin, he needed broad radiation. This procedure caused significant side effects, including stubborn infections that simply were not healing.
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Pat Willging

FHN Was Her Lifesaver

She usually has a lot of energy. But three years ago around Labor Day, Pat Willging was exhausted. "Just beat," she said, "and out of it after putting in my shift at CONTACT. I sat for hours. When I got up, I collapsed in a heap. It was the start of quite an ordeal."
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Jeff Lyrenmann

Shoulder Surgery Is A Weighty Issue — At FHN, We Help Lighten The Load

Jeff Lyrenmann is an award-winning competitor and tenacious trainer. The owner of IPF Training in Freeport makes his living helping people maximize their fitness and meet their CrossFit goals. So when he heard a loud 'pop' in his right shoulder in August 2013, he knew it could be a serious injury - one that could impact his livelihood and his passion.
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Vivienne Yvonne Marten

A Star Is Born...With The Help Of FHN's OB Team

When Vivienne Yvonne Marten made her debut six weeks early, she made it very clear she was ready for primetime. Though premature, she was healthy overall and a big hit with her mommy and daddy. With a few days' time amid the skillful care of FHN's OB team, the 'tiny but terrific' infant was able to avoid a trip to Rockford and stay close to home.
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Brian Stewart

"I Just Wasn't Feeling Right — But I Didn't Want To Make A Big Deal Out Of Nothing"

Personally, I am grateful for the security I get from knowing FHN is right here when I need help. If it wasn't for the professional and insightful care I received in the FHN Emergency Room, I might not be here.
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Ronnie Bush

Diabetes Education: Nutritional Management

Ronnie had attended classes with Certified Diabetic Educator Nicolette Drane years ago, but needed a refresher. "I knew I was tempting fate by not eating right."
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