11:12 AM

Lights, Camera, Saving Lives

OSF HealthCare patients share their stories

Everybody likes a good story. Especially those with happy endings.

Soon OSF HealthCare will be sharing several about patients who, thanks to quick intervention and the dedication and expertise of OSF's doctors and nurses, are back to leading normal lives. 

These courageous people this week took another brave step by being part of a film shoot to help us relate their experiences

Like Jerry Dearing, of Compton, Illinois, who will be 65 next month. He was admitted to OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center just this past April after experiencing chest pains. Thanks to the team at the OSF Cardiovascular Institute and a double bypass operation he can still go fishing with his grandkids.

Jerry says his story is a cautionary tale about early detection.

"For the longest time I thought it was just heartburn and I was taking Rolaids for it," says Jerry Dearing, OSF Cardiovascular patient. "But it just kept getting a little bit worse, a little bit worse. Then I got to the point where I couldn't hold my arms up and started hurting real bad. That's when I went and had it checked out. They should have made me went a little soon, but I went soon enough."

Jerry Dearing on early detection for heart problems

Special education teacher Morgan Teske's tale began with his daughter dialing 9-1-1 after he passed out in April 2018. Recognizing the symptoms, EMT's brought him to Rockford's only Comprehensive Stroke Center at OSF Saint Anthony. Within minutes our 24/7 neuro-intervention team removed clots from Morgan's brain and his paralysis and lack of speech eased.  

Though still undergoing therapy, Morgan's life is returning to normal. Still, he's always asked the question, 'as a 44 year old, why did this happen to you?' His answer is why he wanted to share his story.

"The standard thing is, you know, diet, lifestyle, exercise," says Morgan Teske, OSF stroke patient. "All those things that the doctors always tell you - you should listen to them, because they are something that can help you, you know, maintain a healthy lifestyle that isn't effecting you in a way negatively. That can impact your life greatly, like a stroke did for me." 


Morgan Teske on healthy lifestyle

Bika Ajvazi helps at her family's Rochelle, Illinois restaurant. Also a student, the then 25 year old was home when she suddenly passed out. Her brother called in the emergency and upon her arrival at OSF Saint Anthony was determined to have a brain aneurysm. Again, quick action by the stroke and aneurysm team saved Bika's life - which is why she wants everyone to know about it. 

The experience has also changed Bika's life. You see, she's a student at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony College of Nursing. She now wants to work in trauma and on the neuro-intervention team.  

"I always knew I wanted to be a nurse", says Bika Ajvazi, an OSF aneurysm patient. "But now it's like a whole different way. Like I want to help people the way I was helped at OSF and the care that I had there by all the nurses, doctors." 

Bika Ajvazi on wanting to be a trauma nurse

Look for these stories in print, on TV and on-line at osfhealthcare.org/saintanthony starting next week. 

Lights, Camera, Saving Lives b-roll