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  • Jackson Miracle Stories

Jackson Miracle Stories

People posing and smiling to the camera

Glenn Forshee

“After years of depleting health and living a life that seemed like I always had one foot in the grave and one foot out, my double-lung transplant has given me a vibrant, new life.”

Glenn Forshee, 63, had been in good health for most of his life, until he started having some worrisome issues with his lungs in 1994. After an eventual diagnosis of sarcoidosis – a condition that causes small collections of inflammatory cells to grow in the lungs – Glenn continued to struggle over the next 28 years as his condition worsened. After starting to develop signs of heart and lung failure, Glenn sought treatment in March 2022 at a new lung center established at the Miami Transplant Institute (MTI), an affiliation between Jackson Health System and UHealth – University of Miami Health System. One month later, he received a successful double-lung transplant at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Glenn is now enjoying life with his family, and has gone back to work as a minister in his Miami Gardens community. He’s grateful for the team of doctors, surgeons, and healthcare staff at MTI for giving him a second chance at life.

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tubed baby

Joseph Fusco

“Working at Jackson, I hear miracle stories all the time. But you never think you’re going to be one of those miracle stories.” – Patricia Fusco, Joseph’s Mother

When Patricia Fusco and Katrina Wegmann were in high school, Patricia shared that she would not be able to carry and birth her own children. Little did they know that more than 20 years later, not only would they still be close friends, but when Patricia and her husband, Andrew, had trouble finding a surrogate, Katrina would step up. Twelve weeks into her pregnancy, Katrina’s blood pressure was high – something she’d never experienced before, causing the pregnancy to be considered “high risk." Patricia, a Jackson Health System employee, asked Katrina to consider meeting with Jackson's maternal fetal medicine team. Multiple complications followed, and at 25 weeks, a routine ultrasound showed that the baby was not growing and there was concern with the placenta, which was no longer providing critical nutrition to the baby. Patricia, Katrina, and their husbands then came together to make the difficult decision to deliver the baby early. On May 27, 2021, Joseph was born weighing just 1 pound 4 ounces. After 123 days, a long road of multiple ups and downs in the neonatal intensive care unit at Holtz Children's Hospital, and expert care 24/7, Joseph went home. And now, three years later, Joseph is a happy, healthy little boy.

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Woman at the hospital

Sulamyn Diaz

“My life has changed completely post-bariatric surgery. I feel like the person I was before my accident.”

Sulamyn Diaz was saved by Jackson after a severe car accident in June 2021. She lost both of her legs as a result of her injuries, but continued to persevere. Two years later, she underwent another transformative journey at Jackson West Medical Center. Struggling with depression and weight gain post-amputation, Sulamyn consulted Irving Miranda, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Jackson West, and opted to have gastric sleeve surgery. After the procedure, she shed 48 pounds, attended physical therapy, and pursued a goal of driving and full use of her prosthetic legs. A licensed esthetician, she also recently opened a spa, and has regained her independence. Sulamyn is grateful for Dr. Miranda and the bariatric team for her second chance at life. She hopes her story inspires her daughters and others to be resilient and have strength, despite adversity.

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In the photo you can see a group of eight doctors from the Jackon Health hospital

Erika Carter-Rolle

“Out of all the hospitals we have been to, Jackson has been the best."

In 2006, Erika Carter-Rolle was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Her condition worsened over time, resulting in strokes, congestive heart failure, and ultimately the need for a heart transplant. While awaiting a donor heart, she had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted. Facing her challenges with determination, Erika formed a support group for patients in her same situation. In October 2011, she underwent a successful heart transplant. Grateful for her second chance at life, Erika credits her support system, including family, friends, and co-workers, as well as the donor's family and her medical team. She considers the day she received her new heart her "second birthday" and is now forever grateful.

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Women doing medical therapy

Carrie Bloemers

“This was a very unique procedure, and they went after it with my own goals in mind. Without this team, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. They've given me a lot of my life back.”

Carrie Bloemers, 34, faced a life-altering challenge after doctors discovered a tumor intertwined with her femoral nerve during surgery in January 2021. The procedure led to the loss of function in her right quadriceps, leaving her initially bedridden. Despite rehabilitation and being told she might never regain muscle function, Carrie sought hope with Allan D. Levi, MD, PhD, chief of neurosurgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital. In June 2021, Dr. Levi performed a rare nerve transfer surgery, using the obturator nerve to restore function to her quadriceps. Over 18 months of perseverance and rehabilitation, she regained muscle strength, achieving milestones like stationary cycling. Grateful for this innovative procedure, Carrie can now walk, climb stairs, and pursue her active lifestyle once again.

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Couple posing to the camera

Hayley Dodge

“It was very cool to see that Jackson has attracted all of the brightest minds and these incredible doctors. I can’t imagine having given birth anywhere else because the most equipped and expert team is at Jackson Memorial.”

Hayley Dodge, 35, faced a challenging pregnancy due to a history of renal complications, including atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and a kidney transplant, after exposure to E.coli as a child. Therefore, Hayley sought care from specialists at UHealth and The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial. Anna Sfakianaki, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, and Dr. Erika Correa, MD, a hematology specialist, collaborated on a comprehensive birth plan. To mitigate risks of preeclampsia and potential HUS relapse, Hayley received a carefully monitored treatment plan, including a new medication to stimulate red blood cell production. Despite not reaching the ideal 37 weeks, she delivered a healthy baby boy, August, on October 2, 2023. Both mother and son are now home and thriving.

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