Grateful Patients, Grateful Families
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Heart in the window: Nurses share healing presence beyond medical treatment
An SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital - Oklahoma City patient credits her ICU nurses for saving her life - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Good Genes & Good Doctors
BancFirst Chairman Emeritus Gene Rainbolt chooses to come to SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital - Oklahoma City when he is in need of care. As do so many patients, Gene knows it matters where you go.
Hear from Gene and his health care providers in their own words about not only his experience with St. Anthony, but the tremendous importance of our Ministry in this community and all the communities served by SSM Health throughout our state.
Two Years Later for Jamie Farha
From fundraiser to cancer patient... It has been two years since Jamie Farha celebrated cutting the ribbon on the Frank C. Love Cancer Institute expansion at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital, a project for which she helped raise nearly $5 million. Not long afterward, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and became a patient, utilizing its services for her own critical care.
“They Were Our Angels”
Rick and Jimye Stone were both face-to-face with COVID-19 and suffering alarming symptoms. With little time to spare, they came to SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital for their critical care. They attribute their recovery to their faith in God and in the compassionate care they received while in the hands of their “angels” – the 10th Floor staff at Saints.
A Message from Saints Frontline Caregivers
Over the past many months, the caregivers at SSM Health St. Anthony have felt the weight of their responsibilities and borne it like the heroes they are. They have also heard and felt the thanks of the community around them.
It Matters Where You Go
Brent and Debi Stockwell each found themselves in dire need of critical care. They attribute their choice of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital and its health care teams as a major factor in their survival and recovery.
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Celebrating Life at Saints
For Peggy and her family, SSM Health St. Anthony is a place that gave her comfort and hope throughout their journey.
Today is Sam’s birthday. Peggy packs up his favorite treats—Goose Island Grape Soda and peanut butter cookies—but today they’re not for Sam. Instead, Peggy takes them to the staff and physicians of the Frank C. Love Cancer Institute, the place where Sam spent his last days. But Peggy doesn’t see it as a place of sadness. For her and her family, St. Anthony is a place that gave her comfort and hope throughout their journey.
In 2009, Sam’s struggle began. He started having bladder problems, and soon after, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. After surgeries and treatment, it seemed Sam was back to normal, but unfortunately, that was just the beginning.
In 2013, the cancer was back. The doctors completely removed his bladder. “We called Sam our John Wayne because he never sat down,” Peggy said. “Even though he was so sick, he was still baling hay, checking cattle, and flying all over.” But next came a tumor on his sciatic nerve, followed by cancer in his shoulder. Before long, Sam also began having problems with his kidneys and his heart. He fought a long and difficult 7-year battle, and he passed away in August 2016.
But seven years was a great gift. These treasured years allowed Sam more joy, more memories. He even was able to attend his granddaughter’s wedding. Peggy and his family credit the St. Anthony doctors and staff for the extra time they shared. And now, they want Sam to be remembered.
So here they are—Peggy and her family—here to celebrate Sam’s birthday with their extended family at St. Anthony. Peggy says:
People ask me, why would you go back there? And I tell them, because Saints isn’t the reason he is gone. He was a fighter, and we came to a place that helped him fight.
Peggy knows the value of having a place to feel at home, when you can’t be at your own. She supports the expansion of the cancer institute: “If you believe in something with all your heart, you will want to donate and make it better for the next generation. My heart is here. This is the last place I was with him, and the memories are wonderful. I think you should support what you believe. I believe in St. Anthony.”
Finding Strength in Recovery
Cancer knows no stranger. It touches the lives of everyone—mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, doctors, nurses—all have a story. This is especially true for Oklahomans, as there is a higher death rate from cancer in Oklahoma than in the U.S., and it’s steadily growing. We must grow in response.
We’ve talked to patients, community members, doctors and friends. It’s personal to so many. Sometimes these personal stories are exactly what we need to hear. They motivate us, and they drive us to create more happy endings.
Larry Marlatt is one of many who has come through our doors—and walked back out in full recovery.
“I remember all those that have come before me, like my father who died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1970. My father and others like him were pioneers in cancer research—and I think of all those that may have bene ted by their pain and sacrifice—and I am proud. In the early years, doctors were just starting to understand cancer, the effects it has on the body, the psychological wellbeing of the patient and the family.
Because of those early pioneers, doctors and patients, better treatments are developed, new drugs introduced, and words like hope, faith and belief are not just words anymore.
Larry not only survived—he thrived. He is living his life to the fullest, and advocating for others to do the same. We can and will provide support for more people like Larry, who have lived to tell their stories and show us that projects like this expansion are invaluable, and take much more than just words.
Donate today. Give others like Larry the hope and faith that tomorrow may be the day they beat cancer. Bring their stories life.
From Caregiver to Patient
Shay was the Director of Imaging at SSM Health St. Anthony when her life took a startling turn. One afternoon she volunteered for a mammogram to help test the department’s equipment. To her surprise, the test showed a need for further evaluation. Within days, Shay officially became a St. Anthony cancer patient.
Shay had no reason to suspect she was a candidate for breast cancer. She had no known risk factors and was simply helping out the department when she decided to get the mammogram. She was absolutely shocked to receive her diagnosis.
Everything moved quickly from there… Shay underwent surgery to remove the cancer, then reconstruction followed by chemo. She fought back fast, and she fought hard. Shay won.
As a caregiver, it really brought home what it’s like to be on the other side of health care but I knew that I was in the best hands at St. Anthony.
Shay’s faith, determination and positive attitude helped her tremendously throughout her cancer battle. She made it through daily struggles by focusing on “what’s next.” She kept looking ahead, and never behind. Shay is still doing that today, looking ahead to her future—a life free from cancer—and helping others.
It’s common to see Shay walking the halls, sharing love and support with others going through what she’s now on the other side of. Shay started volunteering while still a patient, delivering cancer care packs to patients after she finished each of her own chemo sessions. “You always forget about yourself when you’re helping someone else,” Shay said.
That’s why this campaign goal is important. We must grow with the need, and an expanded cancer center will allow us to provide more for our patients—our fighters like Shay—who come out stronger and empowered to keep moving forward. Be like Shay. Give back.