Jessie Wallace points to the University of Mississippi Medical Center transplant team as the one that made it possible to beat cancer and do so closer to home.
The Brandon resident, 75 when she had a liver transplant in June 2015, is the oldest patient to receive a new liver since UMMC restarted its transplant program in 2013, said her transplant surgeon, Dr. Mark Earl.
Hepatitis C likely led to Wallace's cancer, said Earl, associate professor of surgery. “Most people who have transplants have liver disease through no fault of their own,” he said. “They may develop hepatitis through blood transfusions.”
Wallace had cirrhosis, a slowly progressing disease, in which scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. Hepatitis C, fatty liver and alcohol abuse can cause it.
“Right now, we're at the peak of folks who got hep C from blood transfusions in the early 80s before the virus was identified,” Earl said. Since the virus was identified, blood has been screened for hepatitis C before it's offered for transfusion.
For every bead, there's a story of courage.
Red ones tell the story of blood transfusions. Magenta beads tell the tales of courage during ambulance rides. Pokes from blood draws turn into jet black beads, and aqua ones represent catheters and tubes. Silvery anchors tell of bravery and support during the “stormy seas” of treatment, and meeting medication and mobility challenges are symbolized by beads that are bumpy, just as life sometimes is for a child with cystic fibrosis.
Patients with CF being treated by pediatric pulmonologists at Batson Children's Hospital get their bling-bling from the “bead fairy,” social worker Melissa Underwood. For the past two years or so, Batson Children's Hospital has been the only site in Mississippi to implement the Beads of Courage program as a psychosocial and emotional intervention. Through the program, children and teens are able to record, own, and tell their stories of courage.
“My favorite one is the blue swirly one,” said patient Braeden Johnson of Philadelphia, “and the stars. Those show I've had surgery."
How does a cardiology nurse from Toomsuba, only two weeks before his wedding day, find himself presenting a lecture “Telehealth and Nursing in the Rural Community” in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea? (That's North Korea, home of supreme leader Kim Jong-un, not South Korea, host of the 1988 Summer Olympics and diplomatic partner of the United States.)
For Jacob Crouch, a nurse at the University of Mississippi Medical Center who is enrolled in the BSN-PHD program offered through the School of Nursing and the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, his interest in North Korea began at a prayer meeting when a friend prayed that the leader of the DPRK would be saved.
“I remember thinking that's a very noble thought, but it's highly unlikely,” Crouch said. “It kind of exposed in my mind a challenge of my faith. I started wanting to go to North Korea to see if I could have any kind of impact there.”
Crouch learned about the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology through a friend with Mississippi ties who teaches at the English-speaking, private university located in the capital city. The university is adding a nursing school and will soon need instructors. Crouch entered the BSN-PhD program in order to one day be qualified to teach at PUST.
The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff.