Dell Ascension Seton celebrates one year of care

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Happy Birthday, Dell Seton!

It’s been one year since Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas opened its doors and to celebrate, many gathered for a birthday breakfast on May 21. Dell Ascension Seton is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Redefining the future of healthcare in our community,  Dell Ascension Seton highlights one year of  patient care made possible by the new hospital’s patient-centered physician focus to support medical education and advanced healthcare innovation,  and an entire team whose expertise has led to thousands of patients being successfully brought back to health.

Here are some of those amazing stories:

Advanced technology helps prevent stroke, enhances patient care

Dell Seton’s new hybrid angio-suite with diagnostic and operating capabilities allows physicians to complete complicated, comprehensive surgical procedures which could help prevent stroke and other diseases. The hybrid suite contributes to a lowered risk procedure and enhances patient care by reducing their time coming back-and-forth to the hospital, helping them save time and money.

Ramsey Ashour, M.D., chief of cerebrovascular surgery at Ascension Seton Brain and Spine Institute and assistant professor at Dell Med, completed a carotid endarterectomy on 75-year-old patient Linda Anthony who had an almost complete blockage of the carotid artery in the neck, making her a high-risk stroke patient. Utilizing the hybrid suite, Dr. Ashour completed her diagnostic angiogram, surgical procedure and intraoperative angiogram all in one day, without leaving the room.

“The hybrid angio- suite with operating capabilities is a unique resource for Dell Ascension Seton,” said Ashour. “Since having access to this room, we can make a diagnosis, complete surgery and check our work in the same day. In the past, we might bring the patient in one day for the diagnostic, and then again for the surgery. This resource offers higher quality, lowered risk and better utilization of resources for our patients.”

Anthony, who originally visited her physician for ear pain, was referred to Dr. Ashour after carotid artery blockage was suspected.

“I was impressed with Dr. Ashour’s recommendation to use the hybrid suite and very happy we were able to complete everything in one day,” said Anthony. “I was at high-risk for stroke, and now I feel much better and am able to do yard work again.”

Second chances granted Day One at Dell Seton

The day Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas opened in May 2017, a 64-year-old man was flown in. He had fallen from a horse with devastating consequences: a cervical fracture transected his spinal cord and left him permanently paralyzed from the neck down.

In the 24 hours that followed, after communicating with his wife and children through eye blinks and an alphabet board, the man let his wishes be known. He asked for three things: to be made comfortable; for the removal of all tubes and lines; and for the donation of his organs once his heart and lungs ceased functioning.

The bedside nurse contacted the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), and together with hospital staff and the family, agreed that it was ethically and legally appropriate to grant the patient’s wishes. The man gave the gift of life to two people through organ donation, and impacted the lives of countless others through tissue and eye donation. His family felt cared for and supported, and their goodbyes were full. And the Dell Ascension Seton and TOSA team members lived our mission with reverence on Day One in a facility designed to support patients and their loved ones through life’s travails and fresh starts.

Most people do not have the opportunity to choose organ donation after a catastrophic or terminal event. Typically, donated organs come from those who haven been placed on a ventilator after irreversible brain injury, and who have made their wishes clear through both conversations with the people who love them, and through registration. There are more than 110,000 people in the U.S. awaiting an organ, but only one in three will receive one timely. 

In celebration of our first anniversary, please share your wishes surrounding organ donation while you are healthy, and please consider registering to be an organ, eye, and/or tissue donor on the Texas State Registry www.donatelifetexas.org/dsmc-ut. Your advance planning can save as many as eight lives through organ donation; restore sight to others; and touch many others through tissue donation. It takes only moments, yet could be someone’s second chance of a lifetime.

After two decades of pain, acid reflux sufferer gets relief

Patients diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) often experience life-limiting symptoms such as severe heartburn, acid indigestion, chest pain, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing and more. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), 20 percent of the United States’ population suffer from GERD.

63-year-old Jeffery Friend was no stranger to the adverse effects of GERD, and after a decade of dealing with chronic coughing, frequent regurgitation, sleepless nights and persistent pain, he was ready for relief.

Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas offers innovative LINX Reflux Management System to treat patients with GERD, a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid irritates the stomach lining. During the LINX procedure, a small flexible band of titanium beads, each with a magnetic core, is placed laparoscopically around the patient’s esophagus to allow foods to be swallowed and prevent reflux, according to John Uecker, M.D., FACS, Ascension Seton Family of Doctors Ascension Seton Surgical Group and associate professor and program director of general surgery residency program at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.

While life style changes and mediations can help manage GERD symptoms, for some, surgical intervention is needed. “Friend experienced severe GERD symptoms that greatly impacted his quality of life,” said Uecker.

Friend made many attempts to treat his GERD before the LINX procedure in 2018.

“For more than 20 years, I suffered from severe reflux symptoms which prevented me from living a normal life,” said Friend. “After the LINX procedure, I can finally eat and sleep normally, and live my life without the chronic pain caused by GERD. It was truly a life-changing procedure.”

Community and caregivers weld seamless support for skateboarder at Dell Ascension Seton, Dell Children’s

Taylor Hardin’s Christmas miracle came in the form of a broken collarbone.

The then-16-year-old had arrived home after falling off the longboard he’d received only hours before on Dec. 25, cracking his head and bruising his back. When Taylor complained about the pain in his shoulder, his father, Brett, took him to an emergency room in Georgetown.

There, about to be treated for a broken clavicle, Taylor experienced a seizure. He was intubated and transferred to the Level I trauma center at Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, where the neurosurgery team found a large brain bleed. Even after a craniotomy, Taylor’s prognosis seemed grave.

“We didn’t accept the worst predictions,” said Taylor’s mom, Kelly.

Family, friends and congregants of First Baptist Church of Pflugerville poured into Dell Ascension Seton and kicked off prayer chains that stretched around the globe. In a facility designed in every way to foster physical, emotional and spiritual healing, the combination of experienced neurosurgeons, dedicated nurses, engaged staff members, and deep community affection worked wonders: Taylor’s condition began to improve. By mid-January, he was transported to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas for a month of inpatient rehabilitation.

Taylor returned to school Feb. 22. Last week, he attended prom, and this week, caught up on his studies, he is taking his finals at Jarrell High School. He’ll enter his senior year in August, when he will pick up two more classes in welding. Taylor continues to receive therapy to increase his mobility, and he and his family continue to heal.