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In March 2020, the world flipped upside down. For many, it was COVID-19 concerns, but for Navy veteran Jeff Hickerson, it was a battle with leukemia.


“I started feeling tired and was getting worn out quickly,” Hickerson said. “I used to have high blood pressure, so I...

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After more than 20 years of fainting episodes, veteran and former peace officer Rickey Mayfield received life-changing heart surgery in Tyler.

In 1997, Rickey Mayfield started having fainting episodes. He visited several hospitals and doctors and could never figure out exactly what was wrong. They told him they thought he was having seizures that were causing his blood pressure and heart...

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Just one week after giving birth to her fifth child, Maria Bell underwent life-saving heart surgery.

“I was sitting on the couch and my chest started to hurt,” Bell said. “I went to get my husband because it was getting worse and I wasn’t sure what it was. My husband is a family medicine physician resident at UT Health East Texas, so I figured if anyone would know what was going on, he was my best chance. By the time I got to him, the pain started to go up to my neck and down my arms. I told him what was happening, and he knew it was a bigger concern than I thought. I thought it...

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All survivors have one thing in common: hope. Without hope, you’ve given up the fight. Liana Fleming is the perfect portrait of a survivor. Fleming survived polio, a heart attack and multiple broken bones before being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Cancer is a scary thing,” said Liana Fleming. “Once you have it, you kind of sit and wonder, ‘Could it happen again?’ And it could. But then...

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We cannot speak highly enough of our own caregivers, especially as we are celebrating the Rehabilitation Center’s 25th anniversary. But it’s always nice to hear it from someone else!

Harry O’Bryant recently attended our Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation program in Tyler. Upon receiving treatment, O’Bryant wrote a letter to our administration letting us know about the exceptional care and education he was receiving from the cardiac rehabilitation team, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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At 77 years old, Janice McMakin wasn’t sure she would be able to handle open-heart surgery when she found out she needed her mitral valve replaced for a second time. Luckily, the cardiothoracic surgery team at the UT Health East Texas Cardiovascular Institute in Tyler had a new procedure in mind for her: the transcatheter mitral valve replacement.

In 2014, McMakin had her mitral valve...

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After recently spending 10 days at UT Health Tyler, Jim Simon had a new appreciation for the dedicated team of health professionals who work at the hospital on a daily basis.

Wondering how he could give back to those who took care of him, Jim turned to what he knows best – tacos.

Jim, managing partner of Torchy's Tacos in Tyler, hand-delivered fresh tacos to caregivers Thursday as a way to say thanks. It was the second delivery he's brought to caregivers since being released a few weeks ago.

"I wanted to do it again as a goodwill gesture," Simon said. "Those people...

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When caregivers at UT Health Athens decided to adopt a senior student to shower with gifts, they had no idea they'd be giving back to one of their own.

UT Health Athens Emergency Department Director Lynett Anderson's own son is a senior in high school so she was aware of a social media campaign to "adopt" area seniors since they weren't able to have a normal senior year. The program's goal was to give them gifts or cards to make them feel special.

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In March 2019, Meri Mullicane got the news that her sister, Maeschelle, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Meri sent her a pink bear with a note that said, “I know I don’t understand your journey, but everybody needs something to cry on.” Unfortunately, Meri would soon understand her sister’s journey all too well.

Meri went in for her annual mammogram in May, which showed no abnormality. However, because Meri had dense breast tissue, it was recommended that she come back for a screening ultrasound. Dr. Michael Klouda, board-certified diagnostic radiologist at the UT Health Tyler...

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John Vaughn is back on the police force 15 years after suffering a heart attack on duty that forced him into early retirement.

“That retirement was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Vaughn said. “But, I was more of a danger to the men I worked with and the public as an officer. That’s when I decided I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t want to hurt somebody.”

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