Finding Hope, One Step At a Time

Finding Hope, One Step At a Time

Finding Hope, One Step At a Time
When Eden Hoelscher became paralyzed during a simple gymnastic move, her family traveled across the country to get her back on her feet.

On Dec. 23, 2015, Eden was a typical 5-year-old playing with her older sister, Isabella, when the unthinkable happened. Eden was performing a backbend — a gymnastic and dance move she had done hundreds of times — when she fell to the ground in agony. She was paralyzed from the waist down.

“We were in absolute disbelief,” said Kylee Hoelscher, Eden’s mother. “We lived in Los Angeles at the time, and every hospital we took Eden to gave us the same answer: She was going to be paralyzed the rest of her life.”

Crossing the Country for Care

Eden HoelscherUnwilling to give up, Kylee and Nicholas, Eden’s father, moved their family to Louisville to work with the team at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health. The team quickly earned the trust of the Hoelscher family.

“They made treatment fun for Eden and encouraged her goofy personality to come through,” Kylee said. “Some physicians and physical therapists just do what they were taught in school. At Frazier Rehab Institute, they look outside the box.”

Little Miracles

Within 50 days, Eden was able to take her first steps with the support of a friend named Violet, who was visiting Eden from California.

Kylee recalls Eden predicting the progress she made with her friend’s support.

“Eden said, ‘Violet loves me so much,’” Kylee recalled. “‘I think when she gets here, her love will be so strong it will make me walk.’”

During a physical therapy session, Eden and Violet had an imaginary swordfight. While the physical therapist held Eden up, she began taking steps toward Violet and eventually made it all the way around the room and into the hallway. The family will always remember the day she took those first steps.

Nicholas, Eden, Isabella and Kylee Hoelscher

Nicholas, Eden, Isabella and Kylee Hoelscher

Grateful for the support and life-changing care Eden has received, the Hoelscher family are now firm supporters of Frazier Rehab Institute. They routinely raise funds for Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation to support the facility that changed their daughter’s life, and invite the rest of the community to do the same.

“People come to Frazier Rehab Institute from all over the world. We want to give to a program that really makes a difference in the lives of children,” said Kylee.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine.

Returning to the Field After a Soccer Injury

Returning to the Field After a Soccer Injury

Kelly Sawyers is passionate about her job as a soccer
coach. Thanks to Dr. Shah and the staff at Saint Joseph London hospital, she didn’t let a torn meniscus and ACL keep her off the field.

Kelly Sawyers, Soccer CoachKelly was coaching high school girls’ soccer for Whitley County when a scrimmage resulted in her injury. Having seen other athletes experience this before, Kelly said she knew almost immediately what had happened.

Treatment at Saint Joseph London

Kelly visited Saint Joseph London where Dr. Shah treated her torn meniscus and ACL.

“Dr. Shah was so professional and patient,” said Kelly. “He walked me through my X-rays and explained everything. He showed me what was torn and told me what it would look like after surgery.”

Dr. Shah provided Kelly with a list of at-home exercises that would prepare her for surgery, including walking and stretching to loosen the muscles that needed surgery. Kelly followed the exercise plan and received surgery within a month of getting injured.

“Dr. Shah fixed everything quickly and always made me feel comfortable,” said Kelly. “You could tell he really cared about me. He offered his phone number and said to call anytime with any questions. He explained every step of the process so that I was never blindsided.”

Recovering from Surgery

Kelly’s procedure was outpatient and she noted how Dr. Shah used small, precise incisions to minimize scarring.

“Before surgery, I was so nervous and emotional. I said to Dr. Shah, ‘Small cuts, small scars,’” said Kelly. “He kind of laughed and said ‘OK,’ but he didn’t let me down. My scars are smaller
than my pinky nail. And it made me feel good that he listened to what I had to say.”

Kelly is now working hard in physical therapy toward her goal of coaching soccer again in June. Dr. Shah is overseeing her therapy and providing protocol for her therapists to ensure she heals correctly. She is engaging in agility training and can already run more than a mile.

“The recovery process has been very encouraging,” said Kelly. “Dr. Shah pushes me toward my goals, but never pushes too hard. Best of all, he understands my passion for soccer and tells me that I will play again. He never says ‘no,’ he just says ‘in time,’ which keeps me going.”

Dr. Jay Shah is an orthopedic surgeon at KentuckyOne Health Orthopedic Associates at Saint Joseph London

 

High School Football Player Gets Back in the Game After Torn ACL

High School Football Player Back in the Game After Torn ACL

High School Football Player Gets Back in the Game After Torn ACL

Since the young age of 5, Jaylon Conwell has loved sports, especially football. The now 17-year-old plays for the Pulaski County High School football team, and was part of the team when it won its first state championship in 2014.

Jaylon ConwellThe Pulaski County Maroons defeated Graves County 14-7 in the state championship game, and Jaylon helped score the two touchdowns for the win. While the team was thrilled to win, Jaylon dreamed of bringing home another state title.

For several years, the Maroons have made it back to the state tournament. It was in the 2015 playoff game before the state championship, however, where Jaylon encountered a setback – a torn ACL as another player’s helmet hit his knee. While the team made it to the state championship again, and lost, Jaylon was thinking about recovery and getting back on the field again for his senior year.

“Jaylon was determined to make it back to the state championship,” said Georgia Reed, Jaylon’s mother. “It usually takes nine months to recover from an ACL tear. Jaylon did it in eight months.”

All summer long, as students were enjoying time off from school, and the football team was training for the approaching season, Jaylon was working with Dr. Jay Shah with KentuckyOne Health Orthopedic Associates in London. He never lost his focus of returning to the field for his last season at Pulaski County High School, and returning to the state championship.

Returning to the Field

After working with Dr. Shah and going through rehabilitation, Jaylon was able to return to the football team this year for his final season. There have been minor setbacks on the field, including a shoulder sprain, but every step of the way, Dr. Shah has been there to help Jaylon. The leading rusher has even found a friend in his doctor, who has showed up at games to support Jaylon.

“Now, Jaylon is even interested in working in the medical field someday,” said Reed. “He’s considering being an orthopedic surgeon, like Dr. Shah. Jaylon is thankful that Dr. Shah helped him to return to the sport he loves, and is interested in doing the same for others.”

Jaylon plans to attend college within the state of Kentucky next year, and will continue to pursue his love of football. Thanks to Dr. Shah, his dream to return to the football field in time for his senior year was reached.

Dr. Jay Shah is an orthopedic surgeon with KentuckyOne Health Orthopedic Associates at Saint Joseph London.

Double Trouble

Double Trouble

Double Trouble
When sports injuries threatened to slow down the Phelps twins, they found the help they needed to stay on track at Saint Joseph London, part of KentuckyOne Health.

The 16-year-old sophomores, Madison and Payton Phelps, attend Southwestern High School in Somerset and are active in their school’s athletic program. Unfortunately, they have both had personal experiences with one of the greatest downsides of playing sports — injuries. But, with the help of Jay Shah, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Saint Joseph London, the Phelps twins are working toward an exceptional comeback.

Madison: A Scrimmage Misstep

A wrong step during a basketball scrimmage left Madison in agony. It only took a moment, but the intense pain in her knee told her that something was seriously wrong.

After visiting her primary care physician, who ordered an X-ray and MRI, Madison was diagnosed with a strained anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). When her pain continued despite physical therapy, Madison’s doctor recommended she see Dr. Shah for a second opinion.

Dr. Shah diagnosed Madison with a 70 percent ACL tear and advised her that surgery would be the best way to free her from pain. Shortly after, Dr. Shah performed corrective surgery, and Madison’s real recovery began.

“After surgery, Dr. Shah called to check on me multiple times,” Madison said. “He asked if I had any questions and made me feel comfortable about the process. I saw him for follow-up appointments, and he kept up with my progress from physical therapy until I was completely healed.”

Madison has been cleared to continue playing basketball.

Payton: A Tricky Catch

About a year after Madison’s knee injury, her brother, Payton, injured his finger while catching a football. At first, the family thought it was jammed and would heal with time. However, the swelling and pain continued getting worse.

A visit to his primary care provider revealed that Payton’s finger was broken and would require surgery. The Phelps family knew exactly who to turn to.

“We emailed Dr. Shah on a holiday about Payton’s finger, expecting him to respond the next day, and he replied within 10 minutes,” said Paula Phelps, the twins’ mother. “The next day, Dr. Shah saw Payton and did his surgery. It was great to feel that personal connection.”

Payton’s surgery was successful and Dr. Shah is optimistic that his finger will continue to heal.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine. For more stories like this one, subscribe to One Health today.

New Heart Means Second Chance for Versailles Patient

New Heart Means Second Chance

When physicians told Pat Sutherland she needed a heart transplant, she was stunned.

“Time just stopped,” the 57 year old said. “It was like Charlie Brown’s teacher was talking. All you could hear was, ‘Blah, blah, blah.’”

Sutherland had cardiomyopathy, a condition that makes it difficult for the heart to deliver blood to the body. Despite the distance between Louisville and her hometown of Versailles, Sutherland believed having her transplant at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, was the right choice.

“The day we found out about my new heart was the 15th anniversary of my dad’s death,” Sutherland said. “I felt like he was an angel floating around me.”

On March 23, 2016, Sutherland’s heart transplant was performed. During her 60-day stay in the coronary care unit, she bonded with her nurses.

“We became like a family,” Sutherland said. “No matter what kind of day they were having, they made sure I was doing OK and checked to see if I needed to go for a walk or needed a laugh.”

For her continuing recovery, Sutherland transitioned to the Healthy Lifestyle Center (HLC) at Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health. Sutherland loves its fun crew.

“They laugh with you and encourage you if you’re having a hard time,” Sutherland said. “They have the know-how, and teach you how to use the machines, how to care for yourself and tips for healthful living.”

Sutherland hopes to one day meet her donor’s family and express her appreciation. She and many of her family members are now donors because of her experience.

“How many times do you get a second chance to live?” Sutherland asked. “What a blessing it is to be able to thank the Lord and people for everything they’ve done for me.”

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Winter edition of One Health magazine. For more stories like this one and news and information on heart health, subscribe to One Health today.

A Heart for Transplant

A Heart For Transplant

Kathy Anderson has a heart for organ donation. Literally.

When she was just 20 years old, Anderson received a donor’s heart. Now, 30 years later, she doesn’t miss a beat.

Anderson, of Brandenburg, had been taking medicine while she was pregnant with her twin girls that she later learned had caused her heart to deteriorate. By the time the girls were delivered, her health was serious. Her babies were just three weeks old when her physician, Dr. Laman Gray, flew to Florida to retrieve the heart of a 23-year-old donor.

Kathy Anderson and Family

Kathy Anderson, center, and family

“Transplant was so foreign back then,” Anderson said.

Organ donation took on a new meaning for their family in 2010, when Anderson’s brother died in a car accident. His liver was donated to a woman who was being treated at the University of Kentucky.

Anderson now returns to Jewish Hospital every year for a checkup, and she’s actively helped raise funds to support the hospital system through the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

“Jewish Hospital is the reason I’m here,” she said. “I’ve had this heart longer than the one I was born with.”

Dr. Kapur on Crohn’s Disease [Video]

Dr. Kapur on Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition in which the body attacks the lining of the bowel.

Dr. Ashok Kapur describes the symptoms.

“Something’s triggered in the body and the battlefield is the lining of the bowel and that leads to chronic inflammation,” said Dr. Kapur. “A majority of the patients will have pain, diarrhea or weight loss.”

Doctors at KentuckyOne Health can offer expert, individualized treatment for patients with Crohn’s disease.

“A majority of the patients will do fine with medications. The aim of the treatment is to not simply get relief from their symptoms but also to get them back to normal in terms of their functional status,” said Dr. Kapur.

How to Become More Physically Fit [Video]

How to Become More Physically Fit

Are you making a new year’s resolution to become more physically fit? If so, KentuckyOne Health Sports Medicine specialist Jason Bracco has some tips to help you succeed.

The key is really about progressive loading so starting slow and gradually increasing the level of challenge. It usually takes about 21 days to build a habit. Then what you see is that they start to recognize the improved quality of life. They can do more. They feel better.

If you do suffer an injury don’t wait to seek care.

We have a sports medicine urgent care facility at Medical Center Jewish Northeast that’s open after hours and provides an evaluation and even a referral for physical therapy. We do a lot of the same things that we do with the athletes that we care for.

Meet Our Physicians

In each edition of One Health, we will introduce you to some of the physicians who provide care at KentuckyOne Health. In this issue, meet two of the many KentuckyOne Health primary care providers.

Meet Dr. Alvarado

Ralph Alvarado, MD, FACP, primary care physician with KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates in Winchester, attended Loma Linda University School of Medicine in San Bernardino, California. Dr. Alvarado then completed the University of Kentucky’s combined residency in pediatrics and internal medicine, so he and his family have called Kentucky home for many years.

As a primary care physician, Dr. Alvarado works with patients to ensure they receive the preventive services they need.

“I have always felt KentuckyOne Health was an organization I could trust,” Dr. Alvarado said. “It has impressed me that even at a high level, the system’s goals always come back to the mission of providing more care for patients within the Commonwealth and reaching out to those who are underserved.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Alvarado or another KentuckyOne Health primary care physician in Lexington and Central/Eastern Kentucky, call 888.570.8092

Meet Dr. Waldridge

A native of Kentucky, Ron Waldridge II, MD, family medicine physician with KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates in Shelbyville, is a second-generation family physician.

“Because of my father’s love of medicine and the joy I saw him have with his career, I was inspired to pursue the same path,” Dr. Waldridge said. “In medical school, I realized family medicine fit the bill for me best. A lot of it is about relationships with families, and that’s what I enjoy — getting to know people and advising them about their health care needs.”

Dr. Waldridge graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine before completing a residency in family medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

To make an appointment with Dr. Waldridge or another KentuckyOne Health primary care physician in the Louisville area, call 888.570.8091.