Patient Stories

Patient Stories

Search by Category
Featured Story

Nurse Becomes First Patient of Hoag’s Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Program

The weight gain happened slowly, following a back injury that benched the soccer-loving Lori Zaccari at the age of 31. Then health issues started to creep in – rising cholesterol levels and blood pressure, borderline diabetes. By the time Lori Zaccari was 44, her appearance and health had undergone a troubling transformation. She stopped posing … Read More

Featured Story

Virtual Connections Leading the Way

Daniel Diaz, 30, said one blessing in disguise of the COVID-19 pandemic was that his Hoag Type 1 diabetes support group meetings went virtual. He recently moved to San Diego and was upset at the possibility of not going to First Friday gatherings. “I was so sad about it, and then the pandemic hit; I … Read More

Digestive Health

GERD Took Its Toll for 30 Years. An Advanced Procedure Gives Patient a New Start.

Frederick Tuerck knew he suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that causes acid reflux to backwash from the stomach, eroding the lining of the esophagus. Over time, this led to frequent pain traveling from his chest to his spine, leaving him increasingly frustrated. Over the course of 30 years, as he served his … Read More

Neuroscience

How the Epilepsy Team’s Multidisciplinary Approach Restored a Family’s Smile

From her family’s smiling faces, it’s hard to imagine that just months before this photo was taken, Katy Cohen (pictured above on the left) was ​in and out of the hospital and even placed in a medically induced coma​ because of a condition that was causing her to rapidly decline.  Katy’s youngest child was born at Hoag … Read More

Neuroscience

Nurse ‘Navigates’ Her Father to Pain-Free Living

When Charlotte Davis’s dad complained about his back, the Hoag Spine Center nurse navigator knew two things: 1. The pain must be really bad for her active father to mention it and 2. Burak Ozgur, M.D., would be able to help. “We were at dinner, and I told her I was scared to death of … Read More

Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trial Patient Partners with Hoag to Take Control of His Health

“I think about Jon every day,” Ruud said. “I feel lucky, in a way, to be part of this trial.”   Not a day goes by that Olav Ruud doesn’t think about Jon Engen. Ruud befriended the three-time Olympian cross country racer years ago, bonding over their shared first language, Norwegian, and their love of … Read More

Cancer

When an ER Doctor Battled Cancer During the Pandemic, She Turned to Hoag

“I feel so blessed. Hoag has been such an amazing place to receive care.”   At the height of the pandemic, people across the nation stood outside their homes, banging pots and pans and cheering to show their deep appreciation for health care workers. Meanwhile, one of those health care workers sat in a recovery … Read More

Neuroscience

Hoag Sends Stroke Patient on Road to Recovery

“I was blessed to come to Hoag,” she said. “Dr. Baker has been so kind. He listened. He didn’t rush me. I appreciated that. All my doctors at Hoag have been really good.” In February 2019, Josie Smith started seeing double and developed an earache and toothache. She thought little of it but scheduled an … Read More

Women's Health

Hoag Maternal Mental Health Clinic Helps New Mom Overcome ‘Intrusive Thoughts’

“I would tell any new mom that she absolutely deserves to take care of herself and seek the help she needs,” she said. “There are so many resources out there to help her. She’s not alone. Taking that first step can be scary, but I hope she doesn’t hesitate. It’s worthwhile.” Taylor should have been … Read More

Women's Health

Introducing Mila Rose, One of the First Babies Born at the Fudge Family Birthing Suites at Hoag Hospital Irvine

Everything came together for the birth of Mila Rose Rubalcava. Everything came together for the birth of Mila Rose Rubalcava. Born on Jan. 1, 2021, Mila was one of the first babies to be born in the spacious new Fudge Family Birthing Suites in Irvine. Her mom, Ciara, gave birth without medication, under the guidance … Read More