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Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Kidney transplant patients may have new way to fight off rejection

    A kidney transplant that lasts for life. It’s the ultimate goal. But the drugs that keep a donor organ going also pose the greatest threat. Now a new approach to fighting off rejection – but is it safe? One woman says she’s willing to take a chance to find out. It looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie … a bag of human cells sways steadily. Scientists prep tubes and machines in an ultra-sterile lab. But what looks like […]

  • Alternate breast cancer treatment more direct route to tumor cells

    An alternative form of a common breast cancer drug glides on the skin instead of traveling the distance through the blood stream. It’s a more direct route to tumor cells, and it may help patients avoid obstacles along the way.   Rosalie Saviano, breast cancer survivor: “I had three different areas of cancer in my right breast.”   The diagnosis wasn’t a surprise for Rosalie Saviano. Her mother and sisters had faced the same news. Her doctor recommended a lumpectomy, […]

  • A calming touch: Massage helps sick children

    For the sickest children who rely on life-sustaining technology – a calming touch helps them breathe a little easier. Outside they swing happily, freely. An adapted playground hints at the more complex equipment housed inside Maryville’s Children’s Healthcare Center. There’s room for 12 – all classified as medically fragile. The young patients rely on respirators, pumps and monitors to keep them alive and well. This is transitional care – the children stay until they’re stable enough to go home and […]

  • Scuba diving an unlikely tool for kids and adults with autism

    Going deep in search of a sense of calm. Scuba diving builds confidence, especially for those with disabilities. But for kids and adults with autism spectrum disorders, there’s an added benefit. The lesson starts at the side of the pool. Twenty-six-year-old Nick Johnson and his dive buddy – his dad Glenn — gear up. Nick Johnson, scuba student: “Ever since we started diving, felt we’re part of a team, we’re more connected.” Glenn Johnson, Nick’s father: “I’ve always wanted to […]

  • Increase in bike use brings increase in head injuries

    They’re everywhere! It’s bicycle season and riders are taking to the streets and paths in numbers. It’s a carefree way to navigate the city, but doctors say don’t be careless when it comes to safety. It’s a perfect day for a ride. Cyclists breeze by … some geared up, some not. And at this bike share stand near Millennium Park, a steady stream of customers. Jay Snyder, Divvy rider: “We want to go to Navy Pier … thought the best […]

  • ‘Ride Ataxia’ raises awareness of debilitating disease

    It’s a debilitating disease that robs patients of strength and mobility then shortens their lives.  But this weekend in the Chicago area, they ride up to 52 miles to show there’s no stopping them until they have an effective treatment, maybe even a cure. “I’ve been in a wheelchair for about 3 years now. All these sports were leaving my life. I loved playing golf and baseball, and I loved downhill skiing and basketball.” The rare neuromuscular disorder known as […]

  • Local student unlock possible advances in dementia, Alzheimer’s research

    What if? It’s the question that sparks all science experiments. So when two local electrical engineering students looked deep in the brain for answers – their results opened up possibilities for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Phillip Arteaga, undergraduate student, Purdue University Calumet: “If you could delay a disease like dementia or Alzheimer’s, or just have the brain be able to retain more, that’s a huge improvement.” It’s a huge problem the world’s leading scientists are embracing – and […]

  • New type of stents could help brains

    A new generation of stents – but not for the heart. This device travels to vessels in the brain where large aneurysms loom. Dr. Bernard Bendok, Northwestern Medicine Neurosurgeon: “Very large aneurysm right there.” It’s tough to miss. Classified as a wide-neck aneurysm — the giant, balloon-like bulge in Sue Wakulich’s brain vessel left her with double vision and regular headaches. Sue Wakulich, aneurysm patient: “Right away panic sets in because you don’t want your head cut open.” Northwestern Medicine […]

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    Home health care nurse delivers care and compassion

    House calls are one of the most compassionate forms of medicine. But for those who believe in the value of healthcare for everyone – they are willing to pay the price for delivering that basic need. Take a ride with us as we accompany a home healthcare nurse on a real journey to improve the lives of her patients.   Their day begins in the parking lot of a Chicago police station, that’s where Atundra Horne, a nurse for Advocate […]

  • Heart

    Family raises awareness about daughter’s little-known condition

    What started as a family ski trip last December quickly turned into a life-threatening emergency for his daughter. Now, Wally Posner and his family are determined to change the fate of others – and bring awareness to the little-known condition that nearly took his daughter’s life. Robbie Ventura, Vision Quest Coaching: “I think he’s probably close to six or seven thousand miles of training just for this event. He’s been so consistent. There’ve been bad days, rainy days, cold days. […]


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