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Patient Stories


Adelle Madison, Mother of Jesse Madison

Epilepsy Patient

After receiving a vagus nerve stimulator implantation at Summa Health, Jesse is more alert, and his seizures are shorter and less severe.


Adelle: This is Jesse, my son. Jesse is 28 years old and Jesse was born with a chromosomal anomaly. Jesse has nonverbal autism and he also has uncontrolled seizures.

Jesse is a patient at the Complex Care Clinic at Summa Health, and it was through the Complex Care Clinic that we were introduced to Dr. Marvin Rossi. He recommended that Jesse have a VNS implant which is a vagus nerve stimulator, and it sends stimulation into the brain to help shorten or stop seizures.

Jesse is more alert. The seizures seem to be shorter and not as powerful when they do happen, and Dr. Rossi is very kind and warm to Jesse. Jesse's very comfortable with him. He smiles a lot when we're in the office with Dr. Rossi and Dr. Rossi is just one of the wonderful team at Summa Health and to have this kind of care available is brought just a level of peace that I know that he's in the care of such wonderful people.


Michele Cantrell

Aneurysm Patient

Grateful to the "amazing" Summa Health neuro team for saving her


Michele: Out of the blue, I experienced a headache from hell. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. I couldn't see. The ambulance rushed me to Summa Health, Akron Campus. They discovered I had an aneurysm or a brain bleed.

An aneurysm is a life-threatening event if it is not caught in time. Many people have died from this. Dr. Donich performed a clipping procedure of the blood vessel to stop the bleeding.

What I would say to Dr. Donich is thank you. Dr. Donich, Dr. Bowling, and the entire team are amazing. They saved me. I love them. I'm here.


Gwendolyn Hayes-Wright

Aneurysm Patient

Surprised to learn that she had an aneurysm and required a coiling procedure


Gwendolyn: I went to Summa for unrelated issue, which needed a MRI. They discovered I had a aneurism, I couldn't believe it, I didn't have no headaches.

My primary care doctor, let me know I needed to be seen by a neurologist. Now, he quickly made an appointment for me to see Dr. Anand. Dr. Anand told me how dangerous a aneurysm was, and that I would need to do a coiling procedure to fix it. If it got any worse, I wouldn't be here to tell you about it, so I wasn't gonna take that chance.

Now, I've had the surgery, I feel good and I'm so thankful to Dr. Anand and his team, and God and everyone else who had their hand in it.


Debra Davis

Brain Aneurysm Patient

Shares how coiling procedure saved her life


Debra: I was at friends, and we were playing games, and out of left field, this severe headache just came on, and I couldn't see and I was scared. And my friend said right away, let's, we gotta get to the hospital. And they took me to Summa Barberton, where they did a C-scan and they discovered I did have an aneurysm. And at that point they transferred me to Akron City.

Dr. Anand and his neurology team quickly determined that I needed to have a coiling procedure, which is where they take a wire and go up through my groin, up to the back of my head, which is where the aneurysm was. And they insert coils in there to stop the bleeding. That procedure saved my life.

Once I fully recovered, Dr. Anand said, "Go and live your life". So I'm gonna go ziplining.


Diane Capretta

Neurosurgery Patient

Was finally able to walk again just hours after spine surgery


Diane: I had had problems with right leg weakness for some months, and all of a sudden, I was losing the ability to walk even with a cane. My arms became weak. My legs were very weak. I had no idea what was wrong with me, and I was scared to death.

I did some research for neurosurgeons, and I found Dr. Borsellino at Summa Health. He looked at the x-ray of my neck and he said, "Your cervical spine has collapsed." He had me in surgery 11 days later. Dr. Borsellino reconstructed my cervical spine by removing one of the bones, three of the discs, and replacing them all with titanium cages. Within hours of the surgery, I found I was able to walk.

It's like a miracle to get your life back, and that's what Dr. Borsellino did for me. He gave me my life back again, him and his team. And now it's been four months. I can walk a mile a day, I can kayak, and the best part, I can play with my granddaughter.


Bambi Miller

Stroke Patient

Appreciates that, during the scariest time in her life, the Summa team treated her with kindness


Bambi: I was a happy, healthy 59-year-old woman, and then I got double vision, couple seconds of double vision. And I was petrified. I went to Summa Health Green ER, they did a cat scan, and within 20 minutes told me I had had a stroke. I had a stroke.

It was at Summa's main campus that I came under the care of Dr. Bowling and her team. And she is a gem among gems. She's a phenomenal woman. She is an angel. And the team that is with her from ICU to Three West, every one of them, phenomenal, personable. Fortunately, they were able to manage my case with medication, and surgery wasn't needed.

During the scariest time of my life, that team treated me with kindness, treated me like I was a person, like I was a member of their own family. I know I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for Dr. Bowling and her outstanding team of nurses. Thank you all.


James Jones

Stroke Patient

Recalls wanting to ask for help, but couldn’t say anything at all


James: It was a day just like any other day. I got up, and I had my coffee, and I just started feeling a little weak, and I felt like I was having a stroke and called the squad. And they took me to Summa Barberton Hospital. They gave me a clot-busting drug, and they rushed me to Summa Hospital in Akron.

It was a very scary time for me. All I wanted to do is just say help but I couldn't say anything at all. I had to put my trust into the caregivers because they were the people keeping me alive. Summa gave me a second chance.

Now I can do this, and this, and this, just to pour a cup of coffee, grab a gallon of milk out of refrigerator. Do some dishes for crying out loud. I've got an opportunity to enjoy every day. And I'm gonna take it.


Jeannie Hamilton

Stroke Patient

Thankful that TPA “clot buster” worked like a miracle


Jeannie: My daughter and I are musicians, and we were practicing one evening. All of a sudden, I could not see the left side of my music. My daughter immediately called the EMS in Akron, and they came just in minutes, and we went then to Summa hospital, and that's when we met Dr. Bowling, and she was on a monitor in a robot, and she was just ever so friendly. It was like she was right beside me.

She determined that I'd had a stroke and so, she got her team together to give me the TPA, which is a clot buster. That worked like a miracle. I knew that God had planted these people in my path to take care of me.

You know, I'm 84 years old and the best thing I heard from the doctor was I could play my saxophone again, and that's music to my ears.


Ryan Hay

Stroke Patient

Credits the Summa Health stroke team for him being here today


Ryan: It was just like any other day, and I started getting real dizzy, and I ended up falling to the floor, and I couldn't speak or use any part of my right arm. I was having a stroke. So, The New Franklin EMTs rushed me to Summa Hospital. They called ahead and activated the stroke team, so they were ready for me as soon as I arrived.

Dr. Venizelos and his team performed a thrombectomy to remove the clots that were causing the stroke. I mean I really wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Dr. V. and his team, and the procedure that they did on me.

I have a very strong faith, and I believe that God had put all the right people at the right time and the right place, to get me through this. I'm enjoying life every day, I'm back to playing my guitar, spending time with my family, my fiancé, and just enjoying life, 'cause I'm not a quitter.


Chelsea Susong

Mother of Traumatic Brain Injury Patient

Forever grateful that her son was at Summa Health


Chelsea : On December 17th of 2019, our 16-year-old son Luke was in a horrible car accident. He was ejected from the vehicle and thrown 60 feet, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury.

He was rushed to Summa. It's just too painful to process at that time. The trauma team and neurosurgery team performed emergency neurosurgery.

Dr. Borsellino was wonderful. I mean, he saved Luke's life. I'll never forget Dr. Bowling coming in his room and telling us how she had hoped and prayed that he would be her Christmas miracle, and he was. I will forever be grateful for the entire team, every nurse, every doctor, everybody. They were amazing. Luke is absolutely a miracle. Definitely Dr. Bowling's Christmas miracle. 100%.


Rhonda Weber

Stroke patient describes her physicians as “the best of the best”


Rhonda: It was an ordinary day. All of a sudden I felt woozy, couldn't talk, and then I couldn't walk very well. My husband rushed me to Summa. They were waiting for me, checking me out, asking me questions, and there was a robotic doctor there virtually who ordered the clot-busting drug.

The scans showed that I had had a stroke, an ischemic stroke. Honestly I had never been faced with my own mortality before. I didn't know if I was gonna survive it. Dr. Silver determined that I needed four stents, and that opened up the blocked area of my heart. When I was in the unit I went into atrial fibrillation, and that was the cause of the stroke.

As a former nurse, I would describe Dr. Varian, Dr. Silver, and Dr. Bowling as the best of the best. All three of them contributed to saving my life, yes. I think God put them in my life for a reason. Yeah, I'm back.


Ray Wozniak

Stroke patient is thankful for the gift of time


Ray: I was playing racquetball like I do four days a week, and during a match all of a sudden I had a stroke. My teammates had EMS there and they took me to Summa right away.

When I arrived, they say that time is brain, and like clockwork Dr. Venizelos came in and performed a thrombectomy right away to remove the blood clot.

As soon as they finished the procedure right there on the table, I asked Dr. V. when can I go back and finish my game of racquetball. I felt that good.

Dr. Venizelos, he's an angel. He did save my life. And he brought me back to where I am now. And I think the man upstairs put him there for me. When I wake up I thank God. He's given me another day that I'm able to do what I can do. And the staff at Summa, they've given me that opportunity to do it. And I can't thank them enough.


Steven and Susan Oswald

Grateful for quick, compassionate teamwork during a stroke


Susan: It was just a normal day for me. I met with some friends.

Steven: And all of a sudden, she gets a pain in her neck and a terrible headache. And quick so we got her in the car and rushed her to the Summa ER. They told us that she had a bleed on the brain.

Susan: I wake up several days later in a hospital, and I find out I've had two brain aneurisms and two strokes. The care that I received at Summa was just amazing.

Steven: Dr. V. and Dr. Bowling were clearly working together and it was a team effort to try to get Sue the best care possible.

Susan: People really showed that they cared about us and that they wanted me to get well. We know that the Lord led us to the right hospital.

Steven: Summa is a gift to the community. If they weren't that close she would not have made it. They are a blessing to the community and a gift to the community. I love her.


Rod and JoAnn Carmer

Fast emergency stroke care saves lives


JoAnn: I noticed that Rod was starting to have some unusual symptoms like he was losing the use of his right side. And he was not answering me. He could not talk.

Rod: The words that she was saying made no sense.

JoAnn: We went of to the emergency room at Summa City Hospital, and that's where the wonderful care started for him.

Rod: The professionalism and the care that I got in that emergency room was unbelievable. It just make you feel like this is where I need to be for this. As it turns out, I was diagnosed as a stroke.

JoAnn: I will be forever grateful to both Dr. Bowling and Dr. Finelli because they let me keep my husband, and they definitely saved his life.

Rod: Anyone having stroke symptoms, don't wait. Go to Summa. You can't beat them. Bless them all. I'm back to doing what I love the most. Sharing my music with anybody who takes the time to listen to it.


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