Stories

Each patient comes to St. Luke’s with a unique story, and leaves with an inspiring next chapter. The only thing more rewarding than sharing these stories of tenacity and achievement is having the honor of personally knowing the extraordinary people behind these narratives. 

backpack image
August 1, 2017
With the new school year approaching, people are rushing to get equipped with the proper school supplies. While backpacks are one of the most convenient ways to carry books and supplies, an overloaded or improperly worn backpack can put youth and adults at an increased risk for spinal or back injury. 
preston2
Jun 21, 2017

Preston Ochsner of Spokane, Wash., didn't think the Cardiac and Pulmonary Program at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute fit into his lifestyle. The prescribed 36 visits after having his heart attack seemed like too many. But, he says, once he fully committed to the idea of...

Michael and Lori
Aug 9, 2016

Michael Whetstone 480 359 MUV Fitness Manager Michael Whetstone and St. Luke's Physical Therapist (PT) Lori Serbousek know how to put excellent physical therapy to work. Living an active lifestyle, Michael is no rookie when it comes to surgery. He has had five knee surgeries in the past five

michael andersen photo
Jun 30, 2016

"I just tripped and fell on the floor, and for the life of me I couldn't get back up," says former St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute patient, Michael Andersen. Active in his retirement, Michael's fall was not the cause of the back pain he had been experiencing...

Chris Vogel 2
May 17, 2016

It wasn't at a spa or a weekend retreat that Spokane resident and middle school teacher, Chris Vogel, age 51, found his healing experience. It happened during his 36 visits to St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute's Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program after he suffered...

Angela Flink Healthy Heart
Mar 8, 2016

Angela Flink 480 359 Angela Flink, 47 years old from Spokane, thought her episodes of rapid heartbeat and feeling a little weaker was simply a reaction to a decongestant she had taken. Without a family history of heart disease, she had no indication she was having a heart attack.  "I kind of

Kaleb Southwick at St. Luke's
Sep 22, 2015

For any parent or family member to know their child is in pain is nothing short of agonizing. When Jennifer Southwick of Potlatch, Idaho heard from a neighbor that her 12-year-old son, Kaleb, and 10-year-old daughter, Ryleigh, had been in a 4-wheeler accident along with a friend...

Ryan Remington and family
Jul 27, 2015

At 28 years old, Ryan Remington of Medical Lake, Wash. and his wife, Miranda, knew the back pain caused by a car accident could only worsen if they did not seek treatment immediately.

Jeff Zeiger and Therapist
May 27, 2015

60 year old Jeff Zeiger considers himself fairly well informed about health. He earned his doctorate in health, physical education and leisure science and served as a professor for 25 years.

 
Jenny Volland and fam
May 26, 2015

Jenny Volland is as upbeat as they come. At age 50, she is also healthy and relatively young to have suffered from heart disease, especially since she had no prior symptoms and no family history. But after waking up and feeling a little "off," Jenny says her optimism was tested...

Jimmie Allen 2
Jan 13, 2015

Millions suffer from persistent pain, whether from illness or injury, that hinder the daily lives of those encumbered by back pain, headaches or other aches like arthritis. Jimmie Allen, age 34 from Clarkston, Wash., says he found a way to cope with his chronic pain through St. Luke's Structured Intensive Multidisciplinary Pain Program (SIMP).

jocelyn carr 2
Jan 5, 2015
At 10 years old, Jocelyn Carr is notorious for having a huge heart for people, being outdoors, participating in sports and playing with her younger sisters. When diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, Jocelyn was left paralyzed from the neck down, turning the lives of the Carr family upside down.
Andrea Staton 2
Nov 3, 2014

While going to breakfast after an intense CrossFit workout, Andrea Staton took a wrong step off of the sidewalk and heard a loud pop in her calf muscle. “I turned to see who threw a snowball at me – then the pain set in,” she says.

stephanie ingwaldson
Oct 8, 2014

Stephanie Ingwaldson, a nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, was used to taking care of patients. She never expected that one day she would be a patient herself. Stephanie injured her neck and was unable to work.

Dan Bonogofski
Sep 26, 2014

Dan Bonogofski’s daughter, Susan Osborn, says it started with a few slurred words after his typical Wednesday evening 5k run during Spokane’s summer months. “He always records his time and distance,” Susan says. “When he tried that night, we noticed he was having trouble writi

M Ryan
Jan 31, 2014

Ryan McElgunn, 39, never thought that as a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute he would one day be a patient. Ryan has worked for St. Luke’s since 2009 in both inpatient and outpatient settings, helping patients recover from spinal cord i

Jan 6, 2014

Ed Hamilton was asked where he would like to go for his rehabilitation therapy, and he chose St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. “I know how they work with you,” he says. And even though the therapy may be difficult, Ed says it pays off in the end."

Nov 18, 2013

“It’s a straight out miracle,” says Nathan, Griffin’s dad. At just two years old, Griffin Stevens is one tough little boy.  After falling out of a stationary truck, Griffin suffered a skull fracture. Griffin was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and lat

Jul 10, 2013

Dick Hilton had the scare of a lifetime. What started as making a pot of coffee turned into Dick’s left leg shaking and him falling to the floor, pinning his right arm underneath his body. Dick had suffered a stroke. Conscious, but unable to move he lay helpless on the kit

Kate O
Feb 13, 2014

Kate Odorizzi 480 359 In 2012, Southwest Airlines landed at the St. Luke’s Community in Spokane, Washington, a 2,200 square foot real-life therapy area at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute dedicated to helping people recover after an injury or illness. A portion of a fuselage sponsored by Southwe

Thomas Stewart with therapist on the Lokomat
Mar 19, 2013

Thomas Stewart Not giving up is important to Thomas Stewart after an injury sent him to the hospital then St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. In July 2010, Thomas was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was helping get a beached dock back into the water. He and his family tied the dock to their boat and

Dennis Meyers Small
Jan 23, 2013

Dennis Meyers Dennis Meyers injured both his upper and lower spine while on the job at a local manufacturing company. His injuries and need for rehabilitation resulted in a referral to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, where he spent one month enrolled in the Structured Intensive Multidisciplinary Pain Pro

Jerry Larson small
Jan 24, 2013

Jerry Larson Jerry Larson was referred to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute after being advised to start exercising by his doctor to be a candidate for a heart catheterization. Jerry did what was recommended and began exercising three times a week as part of his Cardiac Rehabilitation therapy at St. Luke’s

Ryan McNeice
May 9, 2012

Ryan McNeice "St. Luke’s is miraculous. They are phenomenal," he said. "I just couldn’t say enough positive things about St. Luke’s." Just a couple weeks earlier McNeice, who’d run a half marathon the previous summer, noticed he didn’t have normal dexterity in his hands while typing. By the end of the day h

Harry Lewis
Mar 14, 2012

Harry Lewis Ten years ago, Harry Lewis, then 60, received a life-changing MRI telling him that he had a herniated disc and he needed surgery to abate the pain and numbness in his right leg. He went into surgery in April 2002 at 310 pounds, but due to stress gained an additional 90 pounds by the following yea

Oct 12, 2011

Libby McDonaldIn April 2011 Libby McDonald tripped on a step in her home and launched across the room. “I hit the corner of a table and down I went,” she said. “I knew I was injured. I could only use

Travis Gonder
Jul 25, 2011

Travis GonderSometimes, just when you think you have life figured out it throws you a curve ball. That’s what happened to Travis Gonder. Living his dream job, Travis was a military firefighter with the United States Air Force stationed in

ryan esvelt on lokomat
Apr 19, 2011

Baling alfalfa hay on his cattle ranch near Rice, Washington, a farming accident left Ryan Esvelt with a smashed vertebrae in his spine, paralyzing him from the waist down.

Jul 20, 2010

When four year old Aliondra Cady got sick and didn’t get better, her mom, Bonnie Garrison, knew something was gravely wrong.

Leonard Pielli with his grand-daughter, Kimberly Rickle, at her wedding.
Jul 20, 2010

Born with a congenital birth defect, two of Leonard Pielli’s vertebrae were fused together.  Now 71, the defect had taken its toll.

Carol Wendle photo
Oct 6, 2008

“When I first got to St. Luke’s in a wheelchair, I couldn’t push it with my right arm — it would keep falling off the wheel,” Carol recalled. “I went in circles because I had one strong leg and one strong arm."

Apr 27, 2010

John Fisher injured his back lifting weights. He had a disketomy but after three years had to retire from his job as a diplomat with the U.S. Embassy in Thailand because of the back pain. Returning to

Keith Schwartz
Jun 1, 2010

During a workplace injury in 2005, Keith Schwartz received two compression fractures in his spine.The back trauma led to chronic pain, spasms and burning sensations that persisted through a host of treatments. He tried physical therapy,chiropractic care, massage therapy

Dr. Gregory Luna
Jun 1, 2010

After a waterskiing injury, vascular surgeon Dr. Gregory Luna had two spinal surgeries and a four level neck fusion over the next two years.While he was left with some pain, for several years was able to control the

Dr. Terrance Judge
Jun 1, 2010

After rupturing a disk in his lower back, retired cardiologist Dr. Terrance Judge had a diskectomy and fusion. The surgery was successful and he returned to his active lifestyle, which included skiing, tennis and flying.But about two years

Ronnie Grigsby 2
Oct 6, 2008

When Ronnie Grigsby arrived at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute it was the sixth hospital he had been to since his traumatic brain injury (TBI) and broken neck.

Valerie Wang
Feb 19, 2010

As a women’s health therapist I was aware of the valuable work that specially trained therapists provide for women recovering from breast cancer. However, it all became more personal when

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Jan 4, 2010

Randy Helt had been around heavy equipment his whole life, so when the throttle on the bulldozer he was driving in September 2007 malfunctioned, it caused an accident that nearly killed him.

Cindy Glidden
Nov 30, 2009

Right after her last surgery in summer of 09, Glidden went straight to St. Luke’s inpatient program. As part of her discharge plan, Glidden transferred to St. Luke’s valley outpatient clinic where she had a combination of pool and land therapy.

 

Nov 20, 2009

While working as a training specialist with developmentally disabled adults, Sandra Lawson sustained a painful neck injury when a client suddenly grabbed her by the hair and yanked her to the ground. The injury caused vertigo and constant pain,

Cindy Roth photo
Apr 22, 2009

Nothing was working after a car accident left Cindy Roth with chronic pain – until visiting Steven R. Goodman, MD for Intramuscular Stimulation therapy at St. Luke’s Physiatry Practice.

Logan Olsen
Jun 19, 2009

After waking up from a coma, Logan Olson had to relearn everything and was upset that life would never be the same again. With the help of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institution, Logan learned not only how to survive, but

Healthy Hearts
Jan 28, 2009

 For Shirley Phillips, the idea of ending her cardiac rehabilitation at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute was bittersweet. She was excited about the progress she had made, and the opportunities that faced her, but at the same time was

Larry Miller photo
Oct 6, 2008

At the age of 64, Larry Miller has been through cardiac rehabilitation at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute twice. Not because it didn’t work – but because it worked so well.

Dr. Michael Tate pictured here with students
Jul 27, 2009

After several months of headaches and flu-like symptoms, Dr. Michael Tate would come home exhausted. It wasn’t until he looked at the ceiling fan and it appeared to be on the wall, that he realized something was gravely wrong.

Ben Goodman - St. Luke's
Nov 20, 2009

During the final leg of a weeklong 2200 mile motorcycle trip, Ben Goodman, 30, wiped out in the beautiful and remote mountains of Idaho near Lolo Pass on August 23, 2008. Goodman doesn’t remember loosing control of the motorcycle.

Ron Amsden photo
Oct 6, 2008

Two traumatic back injuries left Ron Amsden suffering from severe pain until he came to St. Luke’s.

Chad Church photo
Oct 6, 2008

Chad Church graduated from the pain and neuromuscular outpatient programs in Spring, 2007. He and his wife, Lynnette, credit the multidisciplinary approach at St. Luke’s for his success.

Michael Jensen photo
Oct 6, 2008

When 10 year old Michael Jensen was attacked by three American bulldogs near his home in the summer of 2007, he suffered serious injuries to the right side of his face, left arm and elbow and both legs.

Bill Smithpeters photo
Oct 6, 2008

The chance to compete in the 2007 World Senior Games spurred Bill Smithpeters, 77, to seek therapy for his chronic back pain.

Helen Bonsor photo
Oct 6, 2008

With osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease, Helen Bonsor has had more than her share of pain, back and joint problems.

Bill Heitzman photo
Sep 30, 2008

Painkillers were not the long term answer. Bill Heitzman only wishes he had come sooner to the pain program at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute.

Jolen Stewart photo
Oct 6, 2008

Jolen Stewart wanted to have a baby, but before getting pregnant she wanted to get her health in order and set good habits that would last.

Tom Pitzer photo
Oct 6, 2008

Tom Pitzer is not your typical cardiac rehabilitation patient, but when this long time marathon runner collapsed at the finish line of Bloomsday, that fate changed.

Phil Sandifur
Jan 21, 2009

Father’s day should be a time of celebration, love and laughter. But for Phil Sandifur, the father of 2½ year old son and expecting a new little girl, June 19, 2005 wasn’t such a good day. Following a swimming

Rhenn Casto
Jul 20, 2010

Rhenn Casto hurt his back while moving heavy block, resulting in two perforated disks and a lot of pain. Over the next three years Casto tried a variety of treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic care and cortisone shots.

Peter Johnson
Dec 6, 2010

For years Peter Johnson’s life revolved around the piano. He’d earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and was working on his master’s degree with the goal to play professionally when his hands started to hurt.

St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
711 S. Cowley St.
Spokane, WA 99202-1330
509.473.6000

Inpatient Information: (509) 473-6058
Outpatient Information: (509) 473-6869