Medical and health's most compelling local stories on ABC 7

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Local medical news goes beyond procedures, treatments and cures

It's ultimately about you, the people in our community brave enough to stand infront of a camera, and share information and your experience

Bradenton resident Mary Leverett's son died of sickle cell disease at thirty four.

About 1 of every 500 black or African Americans born are affected by the disease, yet his mother still has hope for others.

"I'm hoping that they find a cure so that they'll be able to help other people that have this problem." She said.

At forty-four former paramedic and R.N., Betsy Gertz knew she was in trouble,her meningitis symptoms included pain, paralysis, and in and out of consciousness, but she survived. "I had to learn the alphabet again, learn how to walk again," She said.

She urges others to research. "We basically have to know where we're going, who is taking care of us, who practices medicine with a lot of experience."

Gertz now focuses on her photography, and has a gallery in Down-town Sarasota.

Weeks before Angelina Jolie announced her double prophylactic mastectomy, Suncoast oncologist, Claudia Mallorino, M.D., shared her story with ABC 7

"I was recently diagnosed with lobular carcinoma insitu which is the earliest you can have cancer, and I looked at my options and I decided that bi-lateral mastectomy was the right thing for me to do." She said.

And another young mother takes fate into her own hands by having the preventative procedure at the tender age of twenty-five.

Some said her decisions too radical, but she laughed when she said. "I think they're silly, I have a loving family and a little girl and a husband who I want to spend the rest of my life with. If I can take away one chance of possibly getting breast cancer of course I'm going to do it.

ABC 7 went into the operating room to bring you the catheter ablation procedure for those with symptoms of Afib.

Dillup Matthew said, "We use a tube or a catheter an ultra sound catheter which we place in the chamber of the heart."

The minimally invasive TAVR procedure helps inoperable patients with aortic stenosis.

Gino Sedillo, M.D. said, "It can be done through the groin the femoral artery, or right through the chest wall through a key hole approach."

Our ABC 7 phone banks manned with medical professionals answered your calls live.

We covered a variety of topics, and look forward to your suggestions on future interesting stories.

And who can forget young Tiffany Chen, her mother killed by a drunk driver on Siesta Key.

"After she passed away, I kind of like threw it up, I threw my hands up in the air and I said, forget about it its not worth it I stopped trying, I stopped trying." Said Chen.

But, through it all, she still is able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It boils down to what you do. Rather than waiting to feel o.k about it, you can be waiting forever, you just have to go and keep going.

The one compelling thing about all those who shared their experience is that no matter how challenging the situation, there is always hope.

As we end this year and begin a new one, I hope you will reach out and share your health and medical stories with us at ABC 7.