Hip & Joint Pain Causes & Symptoms

Pain in the hips and joints arising due to arthritis or bursitis can cause difficulties in doing the day-to-day chores. Getting rid of hip and joint pain is easy with the use of the following ways:

EXERCISING:

Indulging in daily exercises like bridge exercise gets the muscles activated, engaged, and working. It is important to follow the steps correctly in order to avoid negative impacts or elevation in the pain. Exercising helps to strengthen the muscles around the hip and other joints, thereby, providing a better support to the bones during various movements.

ICING:

If inflammation is seen in the paining joint, it is better to apply ice on it. It helps to reduce the inflammation. Doctors usually advice icing 4 to 5 times a day for about 15 minutes if the pain is too severe. A common method of applying ice is wrapping a towel around a pack of ice and placing it on the inflamed joint.

HEATING:

Another effective method of relieving pain in hip and joint due to arthritis is warming up the joint. Generally, a hot bath or shower helps to soothe the pain. When the pain in hip is caused due to bursitis, heating is avoided because it can make the inflammation even worse.

STRETCHING:

Stretching is a good way of relaxing the muscles around the hips and joints. It is especially effective in case of hip pain from bursitis. Different types of stretching exercises are employed to relieve the pelvic muscles and overcome the hips pain completely over a period of time.

STRENGTHENING OF INNER AND OUTER THIGHS:

Inner and outer thighs are important muscles group that help in supporting the hips. Therefore, strengthening them can prove highly beneficial in case of hip pain. Exercises of thighs are generally performed with the use of a large ball.

SWIMMING:

Water aerobics & swimming are great ways of getting relief from joint and hip pains. Such exercises allow the strengthening of muscles without putting much pressure and stress on the joints.

AVOIDING HIGH-IMPACT EXERCISES:

Exercises like jumping, running, and climbing can make the pain from bursitis and arthritis worse. People with conditions of hip and joint pain are advised to avoid such exercises. Walking at a slow pace is best suited for them.

LOSING WEIGHT:

People with extra weight in their body are likely to suffer from severe conditions of joint pain. If there is already a condition of hip pain or joint pain, the few extra pounds put excess pressure, causing the joint muscles to wear & tear and worsen the condition. So, it is better to loses body weight and offset the excess pressure from the joints & it also people goes to chiropractors in Oklahoma City for release pain.

If the use of above measures do not bring positive results, it is better to seek other options of treatment such as medication, alternative therapy, injections, braces & splints, etc. Different types of pain relievers are available in the market that helps to reduce the swelling and pain in hips and joints. Cortisone injections are also used to provide immediate relief from pain. Usually, injections are recommended is the pain unbearable. Alternative therapies like magnetic pulse therapy and acupuncture Okc have proven greatly effective in treating joint pain. These therapies are used to stimulate certain specific areas and bring about relief.

From Cake Decorator To Clinical Nurse specialist, Her Focus Is always On The Heart

Methodist nurse is retiring after 26 years spent working with heart patients.

Linda Rohyans has a heart for people and a heart for service. Is it any wonder then that the longtime nurse followed her heart into the field of cardiac care?

For more than a quarter century, she has cared for patients, working as a bedside nurse in IU Health University Hospital’s cardiac transplant unit, as a clinical research nurse in a study of heart-failure patients, as a heart coach at IU Health Methodist and as a clinical nurse specialist with clinical informatics at Methodist, specializing in heart care, of course.

But way before she found her passion for nursing, she thought life was leading her down a different path. Many paths, actually. First it was working in the radio control tower at Indianapolis International Airport when her mother was a pilot. It was a fascinating job but very stressful, she said.

Next, she worked as a deli manager at Kroger, which then led to an interest in professional cake decorating. “I lived for cakes.”

But that job, too, had its stressors. Everything had to be perfect for the client’s big day, and weekends were consumed by weddings. Rohyans even made her own wedding cake. She wouldn’t give up cake decorating, but she decided to branch out.

The medical field came calling next. She worked as a graphic designer in the medical illustration department at what was formerly known as the IU Medical Center. That led to a friendship with renowned cardiologist Dr. Jacqueline O’Donnell, who inspired Rohyans to think bigger.

“I worked for her as an administrative assistant and fell in love with the way she treated her patients,” Rohyans said. “I saw her caring attitude and just how smart she was about everything.”

She was the one who told Rohyans she needed to be a nurse. But by that time, Rohyans was 40. “I wondered am I too old? Am I smart enough?”

Fast forward 26 years and Rohyans has the answers to both of those questions. After earning her bachelor’s in nursing, she later went back to school again to get her master’s as a clinical nurse specialist.

Her work as a coach with heart failure patients at Methodist opened up a new world for her.

“That was my passion, sitting and talking with the patients. It was so wonderful, even the ones who were ornery and stubborn. It was all in how you presented it.”

The key, she said, was helping the patients identify why they needed to make changes to live better, longer lives. And it’s not because a nurse or physician is telling them to do it.

“That was a hard pill for me to swallow. You want them to do it because it’s what they need to do, but it’s not about you. It was just miraculous to see, once it became about their goals.”

It was the most important lesson she learned in her nursing career. “Put the patient in charge and then give them the resources they need to get there.”

Rohyans would go on to become an expert in matters of the heart. Professionally, she is a member of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses and has chaired the group’s publications committee. She also served on the editorial board of the Clinical Nurse Specialist Journal, for which she has written numerous articles.

Personally, she and her husband, Tom, have two children and three grandchildren whom they love to spoil.

Rohyans has spent the past four years working on the clinical informatics team at Methodist, which is where she met longtime nurse Susie Crichlow.

“When Linda came to the Clinical IS team, she had limited Cerner experience,” Crichlow said. (Cerner is the hospital’s electronic medical records system.)

But what she did have was more important.

“She was asked to join the team because of her strong cardiology background and the intangible qualities that define her,” Crichlow said. “A desire to learn, kindness, compassion, gentleness and a broad accumulation of life experiences outside of computers and nursing.”

In 2016, she received the Red Shoes Award from Riley Hospital for Children, which recognizes those in the hospital system who go above and beyond to care for patients and their families.

Her nominator was none other than the manager of the Red Shoes Program.

“I know that it is unlikely for someone on the Cerner team to receive a Red Shoes nomination because the staff does not interact with patients and families,” wrote Susan Henderson-Sears. “However, I felt Linda needed to be recognized. Despite a wide array of challenges trying to access and work in Cerner, Linda was a master communicator and committed to finding the best solution for us to serve families. She is a wonderful collaborator, and we have felt like she has been part of our team during this journey.”

Over the years, Rohyans has followed many career paths, always with the faith that they will lead her to where she is supposed to be.

And now she’s at a different crossroads. She is retiring Dec. 31, a fact that both thrills her and leaves her feeling a bit unmoored.

“I am a nurse. If I’m not doing that, who am I?” She wrestled with that question of identity before coming to terms with the bigger picture.

“I have a very strong faith, and I know God has led me down this road and that road, and they meet up here. But I am more than a nurse. This is a starting point to build future memories.”

She will use her good heart as a volunteer now, sitting with the dying in Eskenazi Health’s No One Dies Alone program, leading the health ministry team at her tiny country church in Greenwood and holding preemies in Methodist’s NICU.

And she will bake the occasional cake for family members and good friends. She will not, however, be making her retirement cake. Someone else will be in charge of that.

Her time with IU Health has been extraordinary, she said, “but I know there’s more out there to experience. This place is going to be fine. It will move on without me. And I will be fine.”

— By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist
   mgilmer1@iuhealth.org

An Educator; A Caregiver Who Exudes Confidence

People see Crystal Crayton, wearing a big smile and green scrubs in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at IU Health University Hospital but what they don’t know is she had a former life that included working in a prison.

She was 18. It was her first job after high school and Crystal Crayton remembers the lesson well. She started out as a stocking clerk at a popular retail store and no matter how hard she worked, her manager pushed her to work harder.

“His criticism elevated me. I didn’t know it at the time but now I know it got me to where I am today,” said Crayton, a certified technician and unit secretary on the bone marrow transplant unit of IU Health University Hospital.

Within no time at all she was promoted to data entry, accounting and payroll.

A graduate of Lawrence Central High School, Crayton has one sister Dorian Shirley who works at IU Health Saxony.

“I was popular and confident in high school. I was involved in lots of clubs, played basketball and performed with the drama club,” said Crayton.  Through one business club she landed a job working at Fort Benjamin Harrison as a file clerk in the library.

For the bulk of her career before IU Health, she worked as an isolation facilitator for an IPS alternative school and then spent 15 years with the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center as a manager and trainer. 

“I was always full staffed because I treated my employees the way I wanted to be treated. We had a really good rapport and I’ve learned how important that is over the years when it comes to job satisfaction,” said Crayton. She ended her career in criminal justice working with the GEO Group, a correctional program focused on providing evidence-based rehabilitation to people during incarceration and post-release. Crayton taught a class “Thinking for a Change” that covered various topics including substance abuse to life skills.

“Working in the prison system taught me about nurturing and teaching. Sometimes people just need you to talk to them, to listen and to care,” said Crayton. She came to IU Health four years ago, starting out in dietary at Methodist Hospital.

“Working in the bone marrow transplant unit at University is like home. I love helping the patients. I’m still a nurturer and I’m still an educator – teaching them the importance of drinking enough, eating enough and getting out of bed even to do a lap – it’s all part of the healing process,” said Crayton. 

More about Crayton:

  • Her aunt was a patient on the Bone Marrow Unit several years ago. When people ask her how she does it, she tells them she feels like her aunt’s spirit is guiding her.
  • She has two adult sons and a 6-year-old granddaughter.
  • She recently moved back home to care for her aging parents.
  • What might surprise people to learn? “I started a young women’s mission group and hosted a prayer breakfast with 65 women in attendance. One of the women had just been released from prison and we helped her find a place to live, a job and get a new start.”
  • Advice to people who fall on hard times: “Learn to put God first and always treat people with respect. When you treat people with respect, you get respect.”

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

What Mom Learned at Rev Helps Daughter Walk Again

Because she and her husband are avid racing fans, Amanda Cohoon decided in 2014 to volunteer for Rev Indy, the Indiana University Health Foundation’s signature event, held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Cohoon had no idea how important that decision would be. Contributing her time and talent to Rev led to medical care that helped her daughter walk again after a horrific boating accident in 2016. 

Rev kicks off the month of May at the Speedway, and its proceeds benefit trauma and critical care programs at IU Health. Over the past five years, the event has raised more than $2.5 million. Cohoon’s role as a Rev volunteer has been securing restaurant participants and sponsors and finalizing their contracts. Carol Howard, executive director of Rev, said, “Amanda is the first one to raise her hand and pitch in.”

Exactly the kind of person you want nearby in an emergency, like the emergency that hit the Cohoon family on Labor Day weekend in 2016. Cohoon, her husband and their four children were on their boat when a larger boat zoomed by at a high speed, sending a wake directly toward them. The force of the wave knocked 16-year-old Madison off her feet, onto the boat deck. Madison couldn’t feel her legs. 

Cohoon held Madison still until they reached the dock. With no cell service, she carefully strapped Madison to a wakeboard and drove her to the nearest hospital. The emergency room staff there recommended surgery. 

Because of her experience with Rev, however, Cohoon was certain that IU Health Methodist Hospital was the only place to go for trauma care. Cohoon insisted that Madison be helicoptered there. Cohoon’s instinct was right. The surgeon on call that weekend was the highly regarded Richard B. Rodgers, MD, a neurosurgeon with Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine, who is also an associate professor of clinical neurological surgery at the IU School of Medicine. He placed two steel rods in Madison’s spine. 

Madison Cohoon

Madison spent three weeks in the hospital, and Cohoon knew both she and Madison were in good hands.

“Everyone treated me like I was family,” said Cohoon. “They were such a good support system for us.” Now in high school, Madison has decided that she wants to be a surgeon, and she recently completed a surgical internship in Spain. 

By giving her time and talent to Rev, Cohoon has made a difference in the lives of critical care patients all over Indiana. Little did she know how much her actions would give back to her own family. 

Tickets for Rev 2019 go on sale Dec. 1, and the event (on May 4, 2019) is usually a sellout.

Genetic Counselor’s Goal: Knowledge Is Power

IU Health Precision Genomics genetic counselor Leigh Anne Stout is part of a team, helping patients navigate their diagnosis and treatment.

She’s like a sleuth of sorts. Leigh Anne Stout focuses on removing impossibilities and uncovering clues. Similar to any primetime detective drama, she works with a team – all investigators of sorts.

“A typical patient in our Precision Genomics clinic is usually someone already diagnosed with cancer. We are looking for any sort of genetic differences in the tumor that we can match with a treatment. A small percentage of those differences are ones patients are born with,” said Stout, who joined the Precision Genomics team about six months ago.

Precision Genomics is a program dedicated to the integration of cutting-edge genomics – the care of patients with metastatic cancer. Stout joins a team of specialists who sequence all 22,000 genes in a patient’s genome, including genes of a specific tumor, along with healthy tissue. That research serves at the driver for a specific treatment program for the patient.

For Stout, one of two genetic counselors on the team, that research goes beyond patient care; it extends to family.

“A lot of people are concerned about their kids. That’s the number one question: ‘Is my child going to have cancer and is there anything I can do to ideally prevent or at a minimum diagnose it at an early age?’” said Stout. One facet of genetic testing is determining if a parent has a genetic predisposition to develop cancer. If so, their children are often at a 50/50 chance of being diagnosed with that cancer.

About five to 10 percent of cancers are hereditary and include, ovarian, breast, and colon cancer, said Stout, who generally meets patients when their results are complete.

“When our whole team is going through various treatment options with a patient I will talk about their germ line finding and then we usually offer confirmatory testing. I will meet with them again after that testing is complete. I will then meet with them again after that testing is complete. At that point, they have often had some time to process the information and possibly share it with family members,” said Stout. Often she meets with one of two family members; some patients will include extended family members for gene testing.

“Think of it as knowledge is power. If there is a hereditary predisposition to cancer then we may suggest medical management such as early mammograms or colonoscopy screenings,” said Stout.

“I really like working with families and helping support them through what has the potential to be very difficult information to understand and share with family members. I like knowing we’re coming up with a personalized medical management approach to caring for family members,” said Stout. In addition to helping patients understand the information they receive, she may refer them to support groups and specialists.

More about Stout:

  • She is married to Daniel Stout. They have two dogs.
  • She enjoys playing tennis and trying out new restaurants.
  • She grew up in northwest Ohio where her father still lives. She has two brothers. Her mother was diagnosed with rectal cancer and passed six weeks after starting treatment.  “When you experience a loved one going through a traumatic experience like that it shows that everyone has a unique story and a unique family story,” said Stout.

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

Pancreas Transplant Patient: “The Doctors Saved My Life.”

Marie Beaver has been a patient of IU Health transplant surgeon Dr. Jonathan A. Fridell for nearly 12 years. She recently spoke about a life-saving transplant that changed her life.

It wasn’t what she expected. Marie Beaver said she was riddle with fear when she first met Dr. Jonathan Fridell.

“Wow. It wasn’t what I expected. I talk too fast, I’m hyper, and I found someone who could keep up with me. He was no ordinary surgeon, He accepted my medical mess with enthusiasm,” said Beaver. And so started a long road to her transplant and ongoing healing. But the health challenges started much earlier.

In 1994 Beaver had been diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). She was 21. SLE is an autoimmune disease that attacks the body mistaking it for healthy tissue. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect various body parts including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. To help treat her symptoms, Beaver had been on regular doses of Prednisone. In 2001 she developed diabetes.

“My introduction to diabetes started out with me waking up in a hospital bed and being told I’d been in a diabetic coma,” said Beaver.  “I was spending three weeks a months inpatient. My sugar would hit 500 and by 3:00 I’d be in the 30s we could not control it. It was like being punch drunk all the time. It was scary and it was medication-induced but I couldn’t stop the medication.”

There was hope.

Thirty years ago, surgeons at University Hospital performed the hospital’s first pancreas transplant on a patient who suffered diabetes. From then on, pancreas transplant became a viable option for patients like Beaver who are unable to maintain a healthy blood glucose level consistently.

For Beaver, receiving a healthy pancreas meant restoring her life. A graduate of Arlington High School, she attended IUPUI, studying psychology and started her career working at a hospital. But her illness took its toll and eventually she was unable to work.

“Through everything, my family has been so supportive,” said Beaver, the daughter of Jo and Russ Beaver. She has two sisters – Liz Fleetwood who is a nurse at Riley Hospital; and Mary Lehmkhl.

By the time she went in for her transplant she weighed about 180 pounds, was swollen, complaining of aching ribs, and was afraid to go to sleep at night because of her severe fluctuating blood sugar levels.  On October 10, 2007, she was transplanted.

“I was told it was a life or death situation. I couldn’t go on any more like I was. Dr. Fridell and the doctors at IU Health saved my life,” said Beaver. “When I woke up from transplant I felt like I was 17 again – healthy and alive.” 

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

‘What do you do for people who saved your kid’s life?’

Their 10-year-old son could have died on a school track that day, but a Brownsburg couple have a trio of nurses to thank for coming out of the stands to do CPR.

When Jen Murray saw her 10-year-old son go down as he rounded a turn on the school track, she first thought he was being overly dramatic after running a mile. When Brooks Murray didn’t move, his mom tamped down the fear that began to swell inside her and turned to calm one of her other sons who was sitting with her.

“I’m thinking, ‘Don’t be a helicopter mom; he’ll be fine.’ When he didn’t get back up, that’s when I headed out of the bleachers.”

Before she could get to Brooks, strangers were at his side.

———

Jennifer York, a respiratory therapist in the NICU at Riley Hospital for Children, was cheering for her daughter, who was competing in the same Brownsburg track event. She saw the boy collapse in front of her, and when he didn’t get up, she hustled through a nearby gate onto the track.

She knew immediately that it was bad. “He had no heart rate. I said, ‘call 911’ and started CPR.”

Within seconds, a friend was by her side, performing rescue breaths on the boy. Annie Newman worked as an OB nurse at St. Vincent Hospital. Together they worked to keep Brooks alive until help could arrive. Another nurse, Chris Thompson of IU Health, soon arrived on the scene to alternate with York giving chest compressions.

“A couple times (Brooks) acted like he was coming to and we would turn him to his side, then he would go limp again,” York said. “We just wanted the paramedics to get there.”

———

Brad Murray was at a church meeting a few minutes up the road when his cell phone rang once, then again. Cell service is spotty in the basement of the church, so Murray walked upstairs to take the call from his wife. All he could hear was “one and two and three and four …” The call dropped.

“I immediately thought it sounded like CPR, so it scared me a little bit, but it didn’t come to my mind that one of my healthy 10-year-olds was having a problem,” Murray said.

Jen Murray called again, telling her husband that their son was down. “You need to get here,” she said.

Brad Murray handed off his toddler son to someone in the church – “I don’t even know who it was, but I trusted everyone there” – and he and another son raced out of the building to a car driven by a church elder. “As we drove, I had Jen on speaker and we could hear the CPR.”

It was maybe a six-minute drive to the school track. In those excruciating minutes, with his wife on speaker phone and Brooks’ identical twin Clark in the back seat, Brad Murray prayed out loud.

“The first thing that came to mind was just to give Brooks to the Lord,” he said. “We’re Christian, and we believe that our kids are gifts from God to start with. I thought, God’s given him to us for 10 years and I don’t want to give him up, but it’s not up to me. I thanked God for Brooks’ life and said, ‘But Lord, we desperately would like to have him back.’ ”

———

Brooks Murray is a quadruplet, born at 32 weeks. He weighed 3 pounds, but he was a St. Vincent Hospital NICU champ, his mom says. He and his brother Isaac were the first to go home — after three weeks in the hospital. The other boys, Henry and Clark, followed their brothers home in the next two weeks. The couple also have a 2-year-old son, Hudson.

“We had these NICU babies and we thought, ‘Hey, we made it out of the NICU and everybody’s good. It’s smooth sailing now,” Jen Murray said. “This was shock for everybody.”

———-

As the three medical professionals continued CPR, Brooks’ mom stood to the side, frantic but confident in the lifesaving care her son was receiving. She remembers looking up into the stands and seeing a woman with her hands raised, praying for her son.

“We didn’t know anyone there, and these complete strangers came out of the stands to help Brooks. I remember at the time not knowing who these people were but thinking they knew what they were doing,” she said.

“My thought the whole time was I didn’t want to lose him by myself. I wanted Brad to be there. I just wanted him to get there.”

Her husband arrived just as EMTs were loading Brooks into the ambulance. By then, Brooks was breathing on his own.

Jennifer York estimates she did CPR with Newman and Thompson’s help for seven minutes. Brooks spent eight days at St. Vincent after the incident, but in that time, doctors were stumped about what caused his heart to stop.

He later was diagnosed with CPVT (catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia), a condition characterized by an abnormal heart rhythm. He now wears an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a small electronic device connected to his heart that continuously monitors and helps control arrhythmia.

———-

May 3, 2017 was a rainy, cold, miserable night, Brad and Jen Murray say today. But it also was an amazing night. A night when they almost lost their son before a group of strangers came together to save him.

After the chaos calmed and their son was safe, Jen remembered how she kept seeing an RN badge waving back and forth as Chris Thompson did compressions on her son. At the time, Thompson was a cardiac nurse for IU Health; he now works in Clinical Solutions. She didn’t know if she would ever see him or the other two lifesavers again, but with help from friends and social media, the group reconnected soon after the frightening incident.

York still gets emotional when she talks about that day. Like the Murrays, she lives in Brownsburg with her family, but it took an emergency to bring them together.

“I met them when he got out of the hospital. They came to our house, brought a flower, and the kids all signed a card. It was awesome, but heart-wrenching,” she said. “It was hard not knowing how he was at first, so it was nice to have them think about us and want to thank us. Not that I needed thanks, I just needed to know that he was OK.”

The Murrays consider York, Thompson and Newman family now. They celebrated the one-year anniversary of Brooks’ rescue with them at a yogurt shop in Brownsburg.

“We wanted to take that day and make it good and celebrate Brooks’ life,” Jen Murray said. “We just keep thanking them. What do you do for people who saved your kid’s life?”

— By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist
   Email: mgilmer1@iuhealth.org
   Twitter: @MaureenCGilmer

IU Health Has Its Own Singing Nurse

Hospice nurse Casie Williams connects with her patients through song.

Casie Williams doesn’t like to sing her own praises. But she does like to sing.

Williams, a home hospice nurse for IU Health, is known in some corners as the “singing nurse.”

Like the Michigan nurse who recently gained fame on the Internet for singing “You Light Up My Life” to a man in hospice care, Williams finds that music is a great connector with her patients.

“Music speaks to a lot of people in a lot of different ways,” she said. “For those who don’t understand it (like Alzheimer’s patients), it might calm them down. For those who don’t have energy, it might pep them up. I just think it speaks to the heart, the soul and the mind.”

Williams has been singing to her patients for years, but it was one particular patient whose story caught the attention of Williams’ supervisor, Gail Wind, who nominated her for a Care Champion award. (She didn’t win this time, but she was recognized and awarded Colts tickets for her commitment to the IU Promise, Wind said.)

Williams’ first visit with the 67-year-old female patient and her husband occurred in July 2017. Due to the woman’s Alzheimer’s disease, she would sometimes become agitated during the nursing assessment. Turns out, music calmed her.

“It was really kind of an accident,” Williams said. “Her husband always played the radio for her. I was trying to get her blood pressure, and a song came on that I sang at karaoke, so I, of course, start to sing it. She just looked up at me and smiled and just calmed down.”

After that, whenever the nurse would arrive for a visit and find that the woman was having a rough day, she would sing her a song. Sometimes they would walk together, singing, while Williams tried to get her blood pressure.

Eventually, thanks to a more effective medication regimen – and a little music – “her true sweet nature was able to come through,” Williams said.

The same could be said of Williams, who takes pride in being fully present in her visits with patients, caring for them physically and psychologically, according to Wind.

“Music and song can provide that link in our human experience of reaching out, connecting and comforting,” Wind said. “Casie’s expertise in palliative care is illustrated by her willingness to bring her whole self to the patients she cares for.”

Williams studied to be a music teacher but found her true calling in nursing. Now she combines both skills in her work.

“I believe when you have a God-given talent, you’re supposed to share it,” she said, so she sings and helps lead praise and worship at her church, in addition to singing on the job.

In September, the Alzheimer’s patient died, and her husband invited Williams to sing one last time for his wife.

At the woman’s funeral, Williams sang “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone),” as well as a song at the closing benediction when the crowd of mourners joined in.

“It was a very beautiful and peaceful funeral. I was honored that he asked me.”

Williams doesn’t do any of this for personal glory. It’s about the patients, she said. That’s where it starts and ends for her.

“I start out every single day with a prayer that God uses me to shine some light and to bring someone peace. That’s why I do what I do, just to bring some peace and comfort to people. If singing to them does it, that makes me really happy. It’s my joy to be able to do that.”

— Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist
   Email: mgilmer1@iuhealth.org 
   Twitter: @MaureenCGilmer

He’s The Oldest Liver Transplant Recipient

When Bruce Anderson was denied by other hospitals, he traveled from California to Indiana to receive a liver transplant at IU Health.

They said he was too old. But Bruce Anderson wasn’t taking “No” for an answer. It’s typical of who he is. At 79, he still practices medicine, hikes and plays tennis.

When he was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) there was no other answer. He needed a liver transplant. PSC is a chronic, long-term disease that slowly damages the bile ducts of the liver. It travels through the bile ducts to the gall bladder and small intestine. Many patients may have the disease for years and not know it. Symptoms may come and go and progress gradually until liver failure occurs 10-15 years after diagnosis.

Anderson was diagnosed Dec. 20, 2016. He and his wife Audrey will be married 56 years in December. They have three children and three grandchildren. The couple met while both were undergraduate students at Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif. The private liberal arts college is located in Napa Valley – their home. Audrey is a nurse who has practiced in OB/GYN with Stanford Health; Bruce practices psychiatric medicine.

In part, due to their experience in the medical field, they knew there was a means to an end. They were sure they could find a hospital that would accept Bruce as a transplant patient.

“Everyone said Bruce was too old and wouldn’t even bother looking at him,” said Audrey. That is until they met with Dr. Paul Kwo, Professor of Medicine and Director of Hepatology at Stanford University. He knew both Drs. Shekhar Kubal and Marco Lacerda with the IU Health transplant team.

IU Health’s liver transplant program – the only one in the state – has been ranked fifth for volume of surgeries in the United States. Last year, 151 liver transplants were completed at IU Health including 139 adult surgeries and 12 pediatric surgeries. 

“I can’t say enough about the team at IU Health. They are world-class from top to bottom,” said Bruce. “They recruit great people who are dedicated professionals,” added his wife. 

Bruce was added to the transplant list August 24 and was transplanted on October 13. During his recover the couple is staying with friends in Ohio. Bruce said he is getting stronger every day and plans to return to his routine of hiking, playing tennis, traveling and practicing medicine. He also plans to do some public speaking about his experience with transplantation and IU Health.

“No one knows the cause of PSC. We have always been teetotalers and lived a healthy life, but when you need a new liver, you need a new liver,” said Bruce. “I guess some places just felt they should use those precious organs to save someone who has more life left to live. I am proud to be known as the oldest recipient at IU Health and possibly the oldest recipient in the nation. I hope it breaks some of the stereotypes about transplantation.”

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

Second Bout With Cancer, Ready For A Fight

Thirty-four years ago Tyler Warren was a freshman in high school when he first heard the word: “Cancer.” Now he’s back at IU Health Simon Cancer Center for a second diagnosis.

There’s a picture that Tyler Warren likes to show people. It’s a picture of a young man using a crutch. He’s standing on one leg. The picture was taken of Warren shortly after his left leg was amputated – a result of Osteogenic sarcoma.

“I was a freshman in high school. I wasn’t about to use a prosthesis because this was the only thing I had control over at the time,” said Warren. Osteogenic sarcoma, a cancer that starts in the bone, is most common in the thigh, upper arm, and shin. It is generally associated with patients between the ages of 10 and 30 – especially teens going through growth spurts. It is known to start in the ends of bones where new bone tissue forms as a child grows.

Over time, Warren embraced the use of a prosthetic leg. It gave him newfound freedom and allowed him to take part in sports he had never considered. 

He graduated from Centralia High School in 1988, in a town of about 13,000 people, named after the Central Railroad. The town was actually built where the two original branches of the railroad meet. But Warren is more interested in talking about his high school. Known as the “Orphans,” Centralia’s basketball team was once recognized as the high school with the most wins in the nation. The team reached the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State Finals more than two dozen times (starting in 1909) and capturing multiple state championships. It was in that same high school where Warren formed friendships that continue today.

He’s returned to Centralia for class reunions, and talks often about those special people in his life.

“I was very social in high school and had lots of friends. They’re still my friends today and have helped me through some very tough times,” said Warren, the youngest in his family, including three sisters. “They looked out for me.”

He never played on that winning basketball team. In fact he never really had an interest in the sport except cheering from the stands. “I think not having an interest in basketball or baseball was God’s way of preparing me to lose my leg,” said Warren. He was 14.

Other pictures show Warren with crutches standing next to Sammy Davis Jr., and with Lisa Hartman – 80s Dynasty fame. But mostly, his pictures are with high school friends. He went on to graduate from Centralia, attended school with General Motors in Carbondale and began working as a mechanic. Later he worked as a heavy equipment operator on the I-69 construction project in Southern Indiana.

He lived in Madison for a time where he owned a retail shop and has added life events that some people only dream about – including skiing the black diamond slopes in Lake Tahoe. He’s also participated in wheelchair tennis and a billiards league. Since his freshman year of high school, Warren says he’s had 18 prosthetic legs.

He learned to find humor in the situation. When he was asked if he could run with his leg he answered: “I have no interest in running. If I need to go anywhere fast, I get in the car.” 

It is a point of pride that he talks about freely – living life to the fullest and not feeling sorry for the cards he’s been dealt.

“I wasn’t going to let it slow me down. I’ve tried to stay active,” said Warren who turns 49 in January. “I look back and I think that I’ve really made a lot of friends through it all and I’ve found the support I needed now.”

The “now” he speaks of is his second cancer diagnosis. Last summer he became ill and when he went for treatment he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal cancer. It was tough for him to swallow or keep down foods. At one point he weighed about 100 pounds, collapsed with a stroke, and spent time in a nursing home. His balance was so poor he had to learn to walk again.

At the beginning of the year Warren came to IU Health Simon Cancer Center where he is under the care of Dr. Shadia Jalal, who specializes in hematology/oncology. Every other week he drives nearly 200 miles for chemotherapy.

“I come here to IU Health in Indianapolis knowing I’ll be miserable and weak for the next seven to 10 days, but I do it because I know there’s something more to this life . . . There’s those three to four days I’m maybe 50% of what I used to be and for now that’s what’s its all about. I love life, I love nature, I enjoy socializing with people, and trying to be a good man,” said Warren. “. . . I know why this fight hasn’t ended. I’m not in charge of any of this; God is. He has a plan for me and I have a purpose. He’s not finished with me yet, and I’m not giving up.”

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.