Stories of Courage at NNMC

Patients share their experiences about their care at Northern Nevada Medical Center:

Local Family Experiences the Healing Gift of Organ Donation

The Lyson family never expected their vibrant and healthy teen son to leave their lives so soon. But through the gift of organ donation, he was able to give back in ways that have become so special to his family and community.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation with Donor Network West at

Justin Howell, Patient

Advanced Procedure Gives Patient His Life Back

Justin Howell’s foot pain was so severe, it made it difficult to do his job as a waiter. “It was awful being on my feet all day and not being able to take a break and sit,” says Howell.

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Innovative Procedure Alleviates 20 Years of Suffering

Linda Luster had been living with debilitating pain since 1997. At the time, Golden Valley was hit by a snowstorm that left her housebound for two days. When she was finally able to get out of her house, the snow was waist deep.

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Donald Walters

How One Patient's Experience Inspired Him to Honor the Life Journey of Others

Donald Walters had finally decided it was time to do something about his chronic acid reflux. He had dealt with it for five years with no improvement. He also had a hiatal hernia that contributed to his discomfort.

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Stroke Patient Bounces Back Thanks to Quick Care

Taking her long-haired Chihuahua on a daily two-hour walk to a local marina is how Jacquelyn Smith spends her mornings. After selling Mary Kay cosmetics for 35 years, the 88-year-old mother of two enjoys her free time and active lifestyle. Her life took a dramatic turn, however, when she suddenly suffered a stroke.

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NNMC Provides Local Pastor Quick Relief From Pain

“I’ve always had a very high tolerance for pain,” says Rev. Don Butler, Sr. “I’ve had a broken leg, three knee surgeries, a broken back, back surgery, emergency appendix surgery and shoulder surgery. But none of these can begin to compare to the pain that I experienced that night."

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When Minutes Mattered, Help and NNMC Were There

It was springtime when the patient experienced horrible chest pains. A family member acted quickly by driving their loved one to the fire department, where Steve Kuntz, firefighter and paramedic was on duty. Kuntz took one look at the patient and realized they needed to get to Northern Nevada Medical Center.

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Stroke Patient Gets Rehab With a View

Tears come to Brenda Wilson’s eyes when she speaks about the exceptional care her husband received at Northern Nevada Medical Center’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. “Rick is doing so well because everyone has gone above and beyond,” says Brenda, 55, of Tonopah.

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Where Emergencies Are Treated Like Emergencies

Katie Knapp, a local business proprietor for Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique in Reno, hopes to never need to visit an Emergency Department again. But if she does, she says she will choose Northern Nevada Medical Center. Katie’s husband, Chris, lost his breath and almost passed out.

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Paramedic Thanks Emergency Department For a Life Saved

Critical care paramedic Steve Tafoya was miles from his destination when the patient he was transporting began experiencing breathing problems. Without the quick response of NNMC’s Emergency Department staff, “there’s a chance the patient wouldn’t have made it,” Tafoya says.

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