Success Stories

  • Karen D. CassardKaren D. Cassard
    Karen D. Cassard may just be the healthiest 82-year-old around. “I’m one of those people I get out of bed and I shoot off till the end of the day,” says the energetic retired professional, dedicated volunteer, and loving grandmother. Sure she’s had a few “mechanical defects,” as she calls them, including 14 surgeries and two bouts of breast cancer, but nothing ever kept her down. That is, until she contracted bacterial meningitis in October 2010.
    Carey ColeyCarey Coley
    On June 9, 2008, Carey Coley of Claxton, Georgia, got a headache. It took the 72-year-old by surprise. He had not experienced a headache since retiring from the corporate world 16 years earlier.
    Dallas DeenDallas Deen
    Like many victims of serious accidents, Dallas Deen has no memory of her head-on collision on March 20, 2009. She recalls loading her belongings and her cat, Miss Amy, into her car and leaving her parents’ home in Newington, Ga. With a newly earned degree as a certified nursing assistant, she was headed to Asheville, N.C., where a new job and a new life awaited her.
    Peggy KreinestPeggy Kreinest
    Peggy Kreinest will never be the same since her 2009 multi-trauma car accident. And that’s OK with her. “I like my life better now than before the accident,” she says. “I drive, I live by myself, I eat food, I talk. I have a lot of new friends; some of the old ones I don’t see as much. I think it’s because a lot of them were lawyers and that’s all we had to talk about.”
    Cornelius MyersCornelius Myers
    Every single day, Cornelius Myers feels lucky to be alive. On April 8, 2009, he was cutting down trees deep in the woods in South Carolina. A sudden gust of wind blew a tree over and it landed on top of him. Myers was pinned to the ground, face down, alone in the woods.
    Gene NeesGene Nees
    It was a simple household chore that turned into a two-month medical ordeal for 67-year-old Gene Nees. Nees says it was late evening on June 22, 2011, and he was taking out the garbage at his downtown Savannah home. On his way back inside, he noticed vines growing on the air conditioning unit. An easy fix, he figured. He climbed onto a ladder, tugged at the vines, and fell backward off the ladder, then forward onto the pavement.
    Ora Lee OliverOra Lee Oliver
    There’s something about Ora Oliver that makes you want to sit down and stay for a while. Maybe it’s the way she calls everybody “Baby.” Or her infectious laugh. Maybe it’s that her life has an abundance of love, and she’s quick to share it with others. Whatever it is, this 74-year-old Savannah resident knows she’s lucky to be alive, and she feels grateful for every day.
    Steve StephensSteve Stephens
    After a night at the movies, Steve Stephens came down with a painful migraine. He never suspected that he was actually experiencing a stroke.
    Mark Wright, M.D.Mark Wright, M.D.
    On March 23, 2012, Mark Wright, M.D., celebrated his 53rd birthday. Life was good. He’d been working as a neonatologist for 27 years, caring for preemies and newborns with complex medical conditions. It was stressful work, which may have contributed to his slightly elevated blood pressure. But he didn’t smoke or drink, he maintained a healthy weight, and he felt fine.