Two lives changed thanks to advanced technology

September 26, 2018 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health

Imagine being able to avoid a stroke by having access to a heart monitor that enables you to use your own smart phone to transmit your heart rhythm to your doctor’s office.

Envision what it would like to be told you have a large mass on your kidneys and you need lifesaving robotic surgery as soon as possible.

Thanks to advances in technology, many people who are given life-altering news can have better outcomes.

Take two Elmhurst Hospital patients, Jim Kouba and Marla Wallin. For both, the discovery and treatment of their cancer improved because of access to cutting-edge technology.

Advanced treatment of prostate cancer

Kouba’s story began in 2012 when his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test resulted in spiked levels and was later identified as cancerous.

“Once you are faced with something like this … your mortality becomes a little bit more vivid,” Kouba says.

Thankfully, Elmhurst Hospital has equipment that delivers radiation with greater accuracy and precision, giving Kouba the freedom to go on with his life. For other patients, there is still room for improvement with access to new diagnostic technologies that provide a roadmap to suspicious lesions in the prostate.

3D mammogram detects breast cancer early

Breast cancer patient Marla Wallin is no stranger to cancer. Unlike her first time facing a cancer diagnosis, her symptoms were completely different the second time around.

“I had no idea I had cancer,” she says. “The tumor was a lot closer to my chest and smaller.”

With the help of an advanced breast imaging tool called three-dimensional (3D) mammography, her breast cancer was detected at stage one, when it is most treatable.

A 3D mammogram takes multiple digital images of breast tissue from a variety of angles to create a 3D picture of the breast. Without this technology, discovering Wallin’s second cancer would have been missed.

Renting versus owning advanced equipment

Hospitals can reserve high-tech equipment from medical suppliers directly, but in addition to a fee, renting the machine also comes with scheduling difficulties. Patients are only able to book appointments when the machine is in the hospital’s possession, rather than as soon as the patient needs it.

The ability to acquire new technologies gives more patients access to lifesaving options.

Watch more of Jim’s and Marla’s stories.

Technology, while lifesaving, can be costly. Your gift can make the difference. Donate to the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation now.

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