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At UNC Medical Center we know patients are looking to connect with others who have gone through a similar experience, those who find comfort in knowing they are not alone in their fight. That is why we are sharing the inspiring and emotional stories of patients that have walked through our doors.

April 14, 2021

Lee Conner

Lee was diagnosed with influenza A, a severe strain of the flu, coupled with Strep pyogenes pneumonia. This combination left Lee unconscious, forcing his family to make the decision to put him on ECMO. His pregnant wife and family stayed by his side as he fought to heal. Read more
March 25, 2021

Brighid Willis

Breast Cancer Treatment During COVID-19 Finding the Lump COVID-19, a diagnosis that everyone understands and all that anyone can talk about these days. People are still staying home, staying in quarantine, wearing masks and trying to go about their everyday lives. For tho… Read more
February 1, 2021

Maria Frangella

A Story Twenty-Five Years in the Making The year was 1995, and Maria Frangella was a 27-year-old New Jersey native. A young woman looking forward to getting married to her future husband and best friend. However, Maria was suffering from rectal bleeding, constipation, and… Read more
January 21, 2021

Linda Kelly

Linda Kelly, a 66-year-old mother of four daughters, was a special education teacher for sixth to eighth-grade students in North Carolina for many years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago and received treatment that included a mastectomy and radiation. The… Read more
December 2, 2020

Harrison McNally

Harrison McNally is like any other two-year-old boy. He sits in the living room with his four-year-old sister laughing, playing, and having a good time. However, Harrison has a unique path in front of him. At three months old, he was diagnosed with Kabuki syndrome, a rare… Read more
September 4, 2020

Cynthia Stingone

In July of 2013, 60-year-old Cynthia Stingone, known to her friends and family as Cindy, had a persistent cold and cough. Living in Homestead, Florida, with her husband, they enjoyed the sun and sand while dealing with the occasional hurricanes and palmetto bugs that come… Read more
June 26, 2020

Harvey Jeffries

Who is Harvey Jeffries? A former professor in the UNC Gilling’s School of Public Health, Harvey Jeffries is no stranger to the UNC system. Born in Virginia, raised on a small farm in Fayetteville, Harvey spent his childhood days exploring the woods around his home, collec… Read more
June 2, 2020

Helen Nance

Acid reflux. That’s what doctors initially thought Helen Nance was suffering from. Her primary doctor listened to her complaints of nausea and did an ultrasound. The tests were inconclusive, so they set up an endoscopy for the following day. That way, doctors could use a… Read more
April 15, 2020

John Ozols

While the risks are low, there is still a possibility of men developing breast cancer. That possibility became very real for John Ozols, who at 72 had settled comfortably into retirement. At 6’6”, a retired engineer living in Seneca, SC, his days included doing work aroun… Read more
February 25, 2020

Bill Wild

From the age of 14, Bill Wild knew he had a heart condition. His pediatrician detected a slight heart murmur and sent him in for additional tests. Doctors diagnosed Bill with bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital condition in which the main artery that leads to the body—the… Read more
November 19, 2019

Margot Halpin

Margot Halpin was born at Mount Sinai in New York City with a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Three months later the Halpin family moved to Chapel Hill and met with the Cardiology & Surgery teams at UNC Children’s Hospital NC Pediatric Heart Center to plan her care. Read more
November 7, 2019

Jett Leahy

Suzi Leahy was told her son Jett had little chance of survival. He was born with a congenital heart defect that ultimately required a heart transplant before the age of one. Suzi, her family, and the team at the NC Children’s Heart Center at UNC Children’s Hospital fought… Read more
August 5, 2019

Doug Neumann

After seeing a Facebook post about a friend in need of a kidney, Doug Neumann, filled out the paperwork to see if he would be a match and ultimately a living kidney donor. Doug hit challenges during the testing process but was able to connect with Amy Woodard, the Kidney… Read more
Robert Martin adventure
July 30, 2019

Robert Martin

Three years ago, Robert Martin, at the age of 59, was on the brink of losing his job. As a group leader for process mechanics at a biopharmaceutical company in North Carolina’s research triangle, Robert’s job was physically demanding, keeping him on his feet 8 to 10 hours… Read more
May 9, 2019

Deanna Williams

Deanna Williams was a 27-year-old mother of two, pregnant with her third child, a ticking time bomb. She had no idea she had been born with a rare congenital heart defect and that her pregnancy could unexpectedly put too much pressure on her heart leading to possibly fata… Read more
April 22, 2019

Pastor John Hedgepeth

Pastor John Hedgepeth has spent over 50 years providing advice and guidance to members of his Northwood Temple Church. When it came to his own medical needs, he turned to the doctors at UNC Health Care for support. Read about his story and how he connected with Dr. Karyn… Read more
March 7, 2019

Ruth Sykes

Diagnosed in utero, Abbey and Heath Sykes found out that their child was suffering from Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT), a rare fetal tumor. “Just because there is something not quite right in utero, these great doctors can give your child a fighting chance. We’re strong an… Read more
February 19, 2019

Carter Mae Kennedy

4-year-old Carter Mae walked through UNC hospital dressed as Disney’s Princess Elsa days before the Halloween holiday. As she walked from pharmacy to pharmacy, her mother Lindsey, a pharmacist who works at the hospital, was thrilled to be able to give her daughter this gi… Read more
February 6, 2019

Love Creates a Miracle

My flight just landed in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. I had flown across the world to attend a close friend’s wedding on Sunday and then present a seminar at Academia Sinica of Taiwan the following Monday. I noticed it was a beautiful afternoon as I started to leave the… Read more
January 23, 2019

Anna Crollman

UNC Surgery patient Anna Crollman is a breast cancer survivor and sat with us to tell her cancer story. She opens up about her journey with the disease and how it led her to be an advocate for other young women fighting breast cancer. Read more
January 22, 2019

Eve Van Buren

Fatigue, brain fog, irritability and an overwhelming desire to sleep were constant feelings for Eve Van Buren. Eve had just begun a new job at UNC and was running a successful side business, in addition to being a mom of two children. If that was not enough, she found her… Read more
December 6, 2018

Richard Sutphin

At 57 years old Richard Sutphin is getting a new opportunity to live again. Plagued with digestion issues his entire life, he was finally diagnosed at the age of 40 with Crohn’s disease. A construction worker by trade, Richard had found his way down to Louisiana after the… Read more
October 16, 2018

Georgia Mae Braddy

A hole inside a heart. A tiny heart. A heart the size of an infant’s fist, with a hole the size of a penny. A hole that helped to keep a little girl alive. Georgia Mae Braddy is, without doubt, a fighter. At four months old, she has already undergone three major surgeries… Read more
October 8, 2018

Aisha Talley

It’s common to find twenty-seven-year-old Aisha Talley sitting at the organ during church service every Sunday. Her fingers move smoothly and effortlessly across the keys as a melody flows over the congregation. If she’s not playing at church, she may be hitting chords on… Read more
July 16, 2018

Brenda Hensley

“I feel guilty. As a parent, I feel guilty that I’m healthy and she’s not.” Brenda Hensley, a 54-year-old elementary school teacher in Jacksonville, North Carolina shares her feelings about what it was like when her daughter, Krystle, was diagnosed with cancer. “We have t… Read more
July 13, 2018

Krystle Hensley

Krystle’s journey started in July of 2016, when she was a 27 year old graduate student at Tulane, and had her whole life ahead of her when she felt a bump during a breast self-examination. When the results of her mammogram came in, Krystle was diagnosed with stage 1 invas… Read more
Howell Graham cropped image
February 26, 2017

Howell Graham

Howell Graham, who received a lung transplant at UNC Hospitals, is now the longest-surviving lung transplant patient in the United States. He talks about his transplant, the first for a cystic fibrosis patient at UNC, and his appreciation for the better life he received w… Read more
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If you would like to share your story, please contact Sheerah Coe at