Patient Stories; Women's Health

For Mother's Day, 6 stories of survival

Patient Stories; Women's Health

Message to Mom written in the sand
Happy Mother's Day!

There is no way to truly measure a mother's will to survive for her children. But we see it nearly every day at UT Southwestern –whether it's an expectant mom facing down a brain tumor so she can give birth to quadruplets or a grandmother undergoing a liver transplant so she'll be able to watch her daughter's family continue to blossom.

Moms give us life and the wisdom to live it. They give us love. And on Mother's Day we can try to give back by celebrating their strength and saluting their sacrifices. So, in honor of moms everywhere, we are proud to share these six inspiring stories of survival.

Answering the Call

Laurie Enright, an active mother of two girls and Marketing Director for UT Southwestern's O'Donnell Brain Institute, was on a video call for work when she was struck by an excruciating headache, couldn't speak, and briefly lost consciousness. Laurie couldn't know it yet, but one of four aneurysms in her brain had burst. Thanks to quick thinking of her co-worker, EMTs, and neurosurgeons at UT Southwestern, she's alive and well this Mother's Day to tell her story.

Laurie's story

A Daughter's Gift and a Mother's Love

Robin Neely doesn’t have to worry about what to get her mother for Mother's Day, or any holiday, for that matter. When she gave her mom, Pamela Arrington, 60% of her liver in UT Southwestern's first living-donor liver transplant, it was a gift to last a lifetime. As a mother of four herself, Robin said it was an easy decision to help the person who had given her everything.

Pamela and Robin's story

Stephanie's Battle with Breast Cancer: 'I Got This'

When Stephanie Davis was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she sat in her car and cried for a minute, and then she said: "OK, focus. What are you going to do? You have a son." So she fought. And she continues to push through treatments, impressing her doctors and encouraging others to get their mammograms.

4 Babies and a Brain Tumor

Katie Sturm was pregnant with naturally conceived quadruplets, a 1 in 700,000 chance. But when she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor early in her pregnancy, it complicated matters even more. A team of 21 doctors and nurses cared for Katie and help welcome the Sturm quadruplets safely into the world.

Katie's story

Tina Bartolucci with her daughter, Alice Church

A Race Against Time

Tina Bartolucci was feeling a little under the weather one day, but when her daughter, Alice Church, went to check on her, she found her mom with eyes that were yellow and jaundiced. Tina could barely get out of bed. The 50something CrossFit fanatic was trying to tough it out, but little did she know she was in acute liver failure. Tina was raced to UT Southwestern, where she would need a transplant to save her life.

Tina's story

A Hole in Her Heart

Kelly Stebbins had an easy pregnancy and had never really faced a serious illness in her life. But when she began to experience heart attack symptoms at work, it was ultimately discovered the new mom was suffering from pregnancy-related spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). In a dramatic night in the OR, UT Southwestern surgeons repaired a large hole in Kelly's heart – and she fought to stay alive for her daughter.

Kelly's story