At Swedish, we're with our patients and their loved ones every step of the way

Most people who become patients weren't expecting to be suddenly fighting for health and life. Being hospitalized is often a life-changing event, challenging the physical, emotional, psychological and spritual well-being of patients and their loved ones. Swedish caregivers and doctors understand that every patient faces these challenges, and we do our best to improve the health and well-being of each person we serve. We put those who need us first, and provide them with the high-quality care, compassion and commitment that everyone deserves. Their accounts of our journey together are inspiring. 



Liver Transplant

For years, Don Elliget was in and out of his local hospital for treatment of his end-stage liver disease. When he was referred to Swedish last December, his liver was not functioning well and he was severely confused.

Days later, he was told to prepare for hospice.

But thanks to the tenacity of his caregivers in the Transplant Program at Swedish, Don received a new liver earlier this year and today is home with his wife, Kanji.

Stories like Don’s are possible thanks to the generous support of our community.




Focused ultrasound for essential tremors

For nearly 20 years, Gregory suffered from essential tremor. His hands shook uncontrollably, making every day things like writing a check impossible because you couldn’t read his writing.

But today, that’s all changed for Gregory. Last fall he turned to Swedish to treat his rhythmic shaking using focused ultrasound for essential tremor. And thanks to the philanthropic support of our community, we’re the first in the Northwest to offer this breakthrough technology.





Our first child, Isabella Grace, was born on Feb. 24, 2014 at Swedish First Hill. Unfortunately, it was a challenging delivery. Isabella Grace was not breathing when born and shortly thereafter began having seizures. She was immediately admitted to the neonatal ICU where she received ‘round the clock care and special guidance from the pediatric neurology team. It was a very scary and tough time for me and my wife, not to mention our baby daughter.

Over the next 10 days things began to stabilize and her outlook progressed. The team at Swedish, both doctors and nurses were amazing in their care of our daughter and support for us. As we began to understand that our daughter’s prognosis was improving, we became joyful parents and enjoyed some of the wonderful things first time parents learn such as feeding, diaper changes, and bath time.

Our lives are so filled with the joy and beauty of our amazing daughter. She is doing so well and is a happy little girl who is learning all the wonderful things in life. To hear her giggle is so heartwarming, we will never forget the blessing that came to us through the wonderful care of the Swedish team.




Some of those stories are life changing

After months of dizzy spells, Kami Combes collapsed into a seizure. Her physician referred her to Swedish where she learned that she had a brain tumor and it was cancerous. That was eight years ago.

Today, Kami lives a full life with her husband and their two children. And, she’s found a way to give back to Swedish to help other patients who may be facing a similar diagnosis. Each year since her diagnosis, Kami has captained the Titanium Makes You Stronger team at the annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk to benefit The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at Swedish Neuroscience Institute. To date, Kami’s team has raised more than $36,000 for our brain cancer research and patient care.




Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute

Last winter, Mike Houser had four heart attacks – one nearly every three weeks. After months of visits to his local emergency room, Mike started to fade and give up hope.

When he was told to get his affairs in order, Mike’s wife, Lori, stepped in. After all Mike had been through with his health, Lori wasn’t about to let him give up. She knew Mike’s life could be saved. That’s when Lori called Swedish.

Thanks to Lori’s persistence and the collaborative care provided by his team of physicians at the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute, Mike has his life back.




Swedish Community Specialty Clinic patient

I’m extremely grateful that I’m in a position now – healthy – where I can look back on things and say, without their help, I never would have had that opportunity to be as good a father as I am now.




You saved my child's life

Donations from supporters like you helped save the life of Anna and Brian Hulen's daughter, Evangeline. What seemed like a normal pregnancy for Anna took a surprising turn when Evangeline was born nearly four months early. 

With extraordinary care and medical support from our neonatal intensive care experts, Evangeline went home to her family after spending the first four-and-a-half months of her life at Swedish. Your generous support makes innovative care at Swedish - and stories like Evangeline's - possible. Thank you.






Hearing Loss

When Abby went in for a minor hearing test, it was discovered that she had significant hearing loss. The news and figuring out next steps was overwhelming for both her and her mother. Swedish made sure that all questions were answered and helped everyone was at ease.



Emergency C-Section

Twenty-nine weeks into Patty’s pregnancy, her amniotic sac ruptured causing an emergency c-section. The medical team at Swedish saved her baby’s life, and safely delivered a baby boy. After the procedure, Patty stayed at the hospital while nurses took care of her and her son. As an active person, Patty wasn’t used to being immobile and requiring so much care from others, but it brought her peace of mind knowing she and her child were in good hands.



Celiac Artery Dissection

A routine jog with his wife nearly resulted in disaster when his celiac artery dissected and he collapsed. Swedish not only saved Jerry's life, but took the extra step in comforting his wife during a stressful and emotional time.



Pulmonary Disorder

John, a firefighter, had a cough so bad he broke three ribs. When he went into urgent care to get that looked at, he instantly felt comforted and consoled. His pulmonary doctor stayed with him for as long as he needed, answering John's questions and giving him updates on what was being done and why. John has become a lifelong Swedish patient due to their respect and treatment of him. 




Open Heart Surgery

That’s the mantra that got Scott through his open heart surgery. When his irregular heartbeat wouldn’t go away, Scott turned to Swedish for help. After a series of tests, he soon learned he had a hole in his heart and that it needed to be repaired.

As his surgery approached, Scott was faced with fear and anxiety. He credits his nurses for being patient and letting him take off his brave face. “They helped me get through those times when I didn’t know how to get through myself,” Scott says.

It’s this kind of extraordinary caring that you make possible with your support. Today, Scott is stronger than ever thanks to the generosity of our community. 




Breast Cancer

"What? I have breast cancer,” Teri McClain remembers thinking. Teri was like most who learn they have breast cancer—completely caught off guard. She drinks five cups of green tea a day, eats kale salads and steel cut oats and doesn’t smoke or drink.

After discovering a lump while in the shower, Teri contacted her naturopath who confirmed her concerns and then gave her a list of places to consider going to for care. She then chose the Swedish Cancer Institute.

At this point in Teri’s life she was managing through hard times. She had recently lost her dad, had shoulder surgery and then breast cancer. It was suggested to Teri that despite the smile she wore and the positive vibes she put out that she seek out support. So that’s exactly what she did. Teri sought out support from everyone.

She found immense comfort in telling people what she was coping with and how she was feeling. “When you open up about breast cancer and put it out there, you become part of an amazing community, you help one another and get inspired,” she said.

During Teri’s visits with her medical team, she realized the tremendous resources available to patients at the Swedish Cancer Institute. Not only did her care team provide her needed comfort, there were classes like art and music therapy, meditation and knitting, and Teri participates in all of these classes and makes an effort to connect with as many people as possible.

Beyond the excellent care from her medical team, Teri believes these support groups and her involvement are a key factor in helping her manage her cancer day-to-day with the most positive outlook possible.

“I would choose Swedish all over again, knowing what I know now,” she shared. “Having breast cancer has been a life changing experience and through cancer therapy I have learned what true wellness is. I am thankful for Swedish and am so fortunate to have all of these resources in my backyard.”



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