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Stories from the Heart

The many stories of how CHI St. Luke's Health has impacted patients, families and friends.

The Bolin's Story: She Runs for His Lungs and His Life

Amy Bolin is preparing for the Katy Half-Marathon on February 7 with 10-mile runs. “I’m doing this for my husband and to raise awareness about the need for organ donations,” she shared. “He wakes up every morning and puts a smile on his face and heads off to work.” Her husband, Bobby, is a CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center double-lung transplant patient on the waiting list for organs.  
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Richard Wilken's Story: Inspired by Care 

Richard Wilken was 23 years old when he was stunned by a testicular cancer diagnosis. It was the beginning of a series of health problems he would be forced to deal with throughout his life. While he received ongoing treatment from at least five different hospital systems, the care he received from CHI St. Luke's Health when he relocated to Houston stood out and inspired him to create a legacy of giving back.
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Shawn Galloway's Story: Recipient of the first SynCardia Total Artificial Heart 

At 30, Shawn Galloway was 20 weeks pregnant with her first child. The shortness of breath and swelling she was experiencing was attributed to her pregnancy. But when the heart palpitations started, she knew something was wrong. At the emergency room, she received a cardiac enzyme test, which revealed that her heart had sustained damage. Although she delivered her daughter without any issues, a year after the birth, Shawn was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
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Jim Wright's Story

Jim Wright had an especially sore throat in December 2012. He had visited his physician multiple times about it, but the pain kept recurring over a few weeks. Then, he recalls, "I started getting that really bad sore throat and this time it was a little different. It started hurting in my jaw and down into my shoulders. Both arms started to ache. I knew something was pretty wrong."   
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James McGarvey's Story: Heart Attack and Quadruple Bypass Survivor

James McGarvey is a husband and the father of two young daughters. For a few years, he had noticed periods of shortness of breath, but doctors said it was just anxiety. But James, an easygoing man who wasn’t even 40 years old, thought it had to be something else. A couple of years later, at just 41, James was at work when his symptoms became worse. He felt a dull ache in his chest and his fingers were tingling. He calmly told his receptionist to call 9-1-1.   
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Amanda DeJesus's Story: 11-Year Heart Transplant Survivor

When all of her peers were focused on homecoming, Amanda DeJesus was waiting on a new heart. She was born with a hole in her heart and as she grew older, it became worse. At 12, she was diagnose with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, meaning her heart was too large for her body, and was given a pacemaker. At 15, on the was to taking her sister to college, she went into heart failure and was put on the transplant list.   
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