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We’re celebrating our history by sharing 100 stories of care, compassion and commitment. Check back as more stories are added throughout the year.
September 2017 marked the one-year anniversary of the day Keith Pridgen donated 65 percent of his liver to his sister, Amy Thomason.
Amy was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis – a rare condition where your body attacks your liver. Her doctors didn’t feel she was healthy enough to receive a cadaver liver, so her brother decided to donate a portion of his own. “I couldn’t stand seeing her get worse. So, I volunteered to give her a portion of my liver as a living donor,” said Keith Pridgen.
At a celebration marking the one-year anniversary of the launch of the living donor liver transplant program at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, Amy and Keith shared their story and successful outcomes following both their surgeries.
“The importance of this program is undeniable to those who need a new liver. It can truly mean the difference between life and death,” said James Eason, M.D., Program Director.
At only 17 weeks pregnant, Courtney Smith’s doctor noticed something wasn’t right on her ultrasound. That “something” was a series of small signs that her baby’s brain and spine were not forming normally. A disease known as Spina Bifida.
After the initial shock of the diagnosis, Courtney and her husband, Webb Smith, decided to do as much research on the disease as possible. That’s when they found Dr. Frederick Boop. One of the world’s best neurosurgeons – who just happened to practice in their hometown at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Over the past eight years, their son, Carter, has undergone 26 surgeries with Dr. Boop and a team of physicians at Le Bonheur. “Our son is a happy, energetic little boy because of the fantastic care we have received at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital,” said Courtney.
“I can’t imagine finding another team of doctors. I can find another good surgeon, but I can’t find somebody that feels like they’re part of our journey.”
In 1899, Katie and Jack Sherard’s great-great-great grandfather, John Holmes Sherard, traveled to Memphis and helped plant the seeds for a hospital that people now call Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.
To this day, their family connection to the system is undeniable. Multiple generations of Sherards have donated time and money to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and diligently served on its boards – resulting in a wing and the chapel being named after the family.
To honor the multiple family members who’ve given back over the years, seven members of their family have decided to renovate the Sherard Chapel as a gift to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.
“The chapel needs to be available for prayer and a quiet place to go,” said Jack Sherard. “A hospital is not necessarily a place you want to be, but if you have to be there, Methodist is the best place to be.”
Terry and Mallory Himelrick, a mother and daughter duo, work side by side at Methodist North Hospital.
They have over two decades of nursing experience between them, and love the opportunity to work together. Terri’s dedication to her patients and career is what drove Mallory to become a nurse herself.
"I have it really, really good because I not only have her to look up to as a mother, but as a nurse as well," said Mallory.
In addition to their daily requirements at the hospital, Terri and Mallory devote their time to health fairs, community events and local churches.
"It's been a great thing to watch your child become an adult and then be able to move into a friendship mode. We have a lot of fun together," said Terri.