Neil’s Story:  After Falling Off a Roof, a Carpenter Makes a Remarkable Recovery

Neil Ericksen, a 61-year-old carpenter and Broadway set builder who lives in Hurley, is lucky to be alive. He credits his miraculous recovery to HealthAlliance Hospital and the doctors and nurses at Westchester Medical Center.

Neil suffered severe injuries when he fell off a neighbor’s roof while trying to fix a leak. He was initially brought to HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston and was then transported to Westchester Medical Center for treatment. Neil spent two months in a medically induced coma there due to brain injuries. He also had severe injuries to his shoulder and arm.

“I know that I fell 25 feet and that my girlfriend found me,” he said. “I don’t remember much else except waking up months later at Westchester Medical Center.”

What Neil does remember is the kindness and skill of the nurses at Westchester Medical Center. “The severity of the accident was such that I am very lucky to be alive. I can walk and talk, and that is a miracle. The nurses were very caring and experienced,” he said. “They were absolutely selfless and dedicated.”

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Amanda’s Story: Cancer Care Close to Home Provides Support for Young Mother

Amanda Batista is grateful for the care she received at HealthAlliance Hospital’s Infusion Center after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Shortly after giving birth to her first daughter in March of 2020, Amanda Batista noticed a lump in her breast. At first she thought it was related to breast feeding until she got the diagnosis. Despite the fact that she was knowledgeable about cancer, she said she was still terrified.

“That’s why it was so important to have a place like HealthAlliance Hospital. A place close to home where you can receive the support you need. That is invaluable. I remember my first day of chemo. I wondered whether I would live to see my daughter turn 1, but after my first time at the Infusion Center, I felt like they got me. They were so thoughtful and caring. I’ll never be able to express how grateful I am,’’ said Amanda.

Amanda is now cancer free and enjoying her role as a new mother.

“Without HealthAlliance Hospital and the Oncology Support Group, I don’t know how I would have made it. It allowed me to continue working full-time. If I had to travel for care, not to mention taking care of a baby, it would have been impossible. Having this infusion center so close to home, was such a blessing,” she said.

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Lana’s Story: Care Close to Home Gives Kingston Resident Piece of Mind

Lana Kaminskaya of Kingston is grateful that she can receive treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer close to home.

Lana, 75, discovered a lump in her breast during a routine self-exam in October of 2022. When further tests confirmed that it was cancer, her doctors immediately began chemotherapy treatment at the Infusion Center at HealthAlliance Hospital. Since then, Lana’s tumor has shrunk. Her doctors continue to monitor her progress.

Lana is so grateful she receives care just minutes from her front door. “People told me I need to get treatment in New York City and I said no. Without family support, without your own bed, you can’t heal,” she says. She is also thankful for the hospital’s Oncology Support Program, which has connected her with various local resources and help groups. Lana says, “My doctors and nurses are amazing, and so is the community’s support. It really matters when so many people are behind you.”

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Gregory’s Story: Saugerties Man Makes Miracle Comeback after Battle with COVID-19

For Gregory Roque of Saugerties who spent 72 days at HealthAlliance Hospital after his battle with COVID-19, he is grateful for the dedication of doctors, nurses and staff who kept him alive.

“People said ‘You are a miracle.’ I had a 10 percent chance of making it, and I did,’’ he said. “A lot of that had to do with the care I received.’’

Raised in Colorado, the part-time rancher, retired police officer and ex-military man lost his foot in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, but he said that was nothing compared to his bout with COVID-19. Gregory said that not only did hospital staff do a miraculous job treating him, but they served as a lifeline to family and friends who could not visit because of COVID-19 restrictions.

He formed a special bond with one of the nurses in the Intensive Care Unit who kept his family informed.

“I credit doctors, nurses, for absolutely saving my life,’’ he said. “I would not be here today if it wasn’t for their skill and dedication. They texted my seven siblings with updates daily and that was critical to keeping my family sane.

Roque is back at his job as a manufacturing manager and said that he and his wife still keep in touch with the ICU nurse.

“I’ve made friendships I will cherish for the rest of my life,’’ he said.

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Agnes’s Story: Agnes “Cookie” Reis Gets Expert Heart Care at HealthAlliance and WMC

For Agnes “Cookie” Reis, who underwent a cardiac catheterization procedure in January, HealthAlliance Hospital’s new Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory ensured that she got the advanced care she needed right in Kingston. And because HealthAlliance is a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, when it turned out that Agnes needed open heart surgery, her transfer to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla was seamless.

Agnes who was nicknamed “Cookie” because her mother said she was no bigger than a cookie at birth, has been through many medical challenges in recent years and says she is grateful for the care she received.

“I can’t speak more highly of WMCHealth,” said Agnes. “Every doctor, every nurse, every aide took a personal interest in me. I received wonderful, wonderful care in Kingston, and Valhalla. It was a very positive experience.’’

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Brendan’s Story: Young Stroke Victim Gets Second Chance at HealthAlliance Hospital

Brendan Fleming has a lot to be thankful for. The 23-year-old Mechanicville, NY personal trainer is in good health after suffering a stroke while at his grandparents’ home in Kingston.

Thanks to the quick action of his grandparents and the medical team at HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston, Brendan is doing well. The medical team at HealthAlliance Hospital — a designated Primary Stroke Center — intravenously administered a drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which can dissolve stroke-producing blood clots.

“It’s like a miracle medicine,” says Fleming, who was transferred to the intensive care unit at Westchester Medical Center for three days, and was attended to by Ellis Lader, MD, a cardiology and critical-medicine physician with the WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute. Dr. Ellis discovered that the stroke was caused by a congenital heart defect, which the surgical team at Westchester Medical Center was able to correct.

Today, Fleming is back to his regular routine and working once again. He is grateful to his quick-thinking grandparents, as well as to Dr. Lader and the staff at HealthAlliance Hospital and Westchester Medical Center for their life-saving care. “They were always there, being supportive of me and telling me everything would be okay,” he says. “They did a great job.”

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