Patient Stories

Every day the University of Michigan Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is home to countless examples of dedication, hope and perseverance, both on the part of our patients and care providers. Click on the patient stories below to learn more about the real victors at Michigan: our patients, their families, and our team.

 

Still Singing After Palate Cancer Diagnosis

After being diagnosed with cancers of the palate and thyroid, professional singer Jerry Garcia knew he was going to risk his career in order to save his health and life. 

Learn more

Rare Disease Prompts Patient to Become Advocate

Dan Nagridge came to the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery for what he believed to be sleep apnea. His surprise chordoma diagnosis prompted him to get involved with research in chordoma and other types of skull base cancer.

Learn more

An ENT Nurse Finds Joy in Helping Others Around

Bianca Waller, R.N. discovered her passion was working as a surgical nurse in otolaryngology. When she was offered the opportunity to be part of the recent educational collaboration in Kumasi, Ghana, she found joy in educating other medical professionals abroad.

Learn more

Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Provides Advanced Surgical Options

Jennifer Seifferly, an adjunct professor at Saginaw Valley State University, noticed a burning sensation in her throat whenever she swallowed acidic foods and drinks. Learn how our head and neck surgery team used TORS to help Jennifer get back into the classroom.

Learn more

Taming a Medical Zebra

Pamela Klusack is in the business of love. She performs weddings, leading happy couples into wedded bliss. So when a tickle in her throat and dry cough began to impact her work, she didn’t hesitate to see her doctor. Learn how our Vocal Health Center helped Pamela return to her profession.

Learn more

Team Tackle: Combatting Cancer Together

For Mary "Cookie" Wimmer, early detection of a sinonasal carcinoma, diagnosis, and referral to a subspecialist by her ENT expedited her treatment and saved her life. 

Learn more

The Voice I Hear

Tired of being asked if she was sick or a heavy smoker because of her raspy voice, Sekai Ward sought treatment at the University of Michigan.

Learn more

Christina, the Singer

Christina Swanson, a vocal performance major, rediscovered her confidence and passion when she regained her voice.

Learn more

Regaining a Voice

Barbara carried an undiagnosed voice disorder with her for almost forty years before she sought the expertise of medical professionals at the U-M Vocal Health Center.

Learn more

Removing a Teen's Baseball Sized Tumor a Team Effort

A rare, highly vascular tumor put one teen through two intense surgeries. Its genetic link, U-M doctors found, also put his family at risk. 

Learn more