Your top stories of 2022 | Health Beat

Your top stories of 2022 | Health Beat

Hope. Courage. Resilience.

And new beginnings.

These themes shined through in the stories that made Health Beat’s top 50 list in 2022, as patients, families and friends shared their inspirational journeys with the world.

We are honored to document their courageous stories and proud to highlight the compassionate, skilled team members who devote their talents to helping us fight for our futures.

And that team shaped new vistas this year, as two of Michigan’s most respected health systems—Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health—came together as Corewell Health.

With each story, each photograph, we gain insight, strength and wisdom.

Through it all, we embrace the challenges, celebrate the triumphs and marvel at the new discoveries that continue to advance the treatment of patients of all ages, from all walks of life. Together, we continue to connect people to the care they need, helping change lives for the better.

We thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives. We’re honored and humbled at the opportunity to share these remarkable stories.

Your Top 10 stories of 2022:

1. That’s just adorable

NICU babies are dressed in handmade costumes to celebrate Halloween.

2. ‘I wanted to live’

After surviving some of the worst injuries trauma doctors have ever seen, Kim DeWind intends to “live life a little fuller.”

3. Jameson’s Journey

In the quest to treat their 6-year-old boy’s rare disease, a California couple finds answers in West Michigan.

4. Small babies, big blessings

Every day mattered to improve the odds for two tiny twin newborns—and they’re now thriving.

5. ‘Like a warrior’

Tiny Riley Bosma has already met a host of challenges—a rare procedure before birth and two open-heart surgeries as an infant.

6. ‘So thankful to be alive’

For senior pictures, Bree Town, 18, returns to the children’s hospital where she spent months of her childhood.

7. ‘I can take on the world now’

Gender-affirming surgery gives Jameson ‘Jay’ Dunn renewed confidence as he sets out for a bright, new future.

8. ‘They are both little miracles’

With a loving family and guidance from doctors, a pair of young siblings with spinal muscular atrophy are thriving.

9. Ava, Ollie and Caramel Willy

With a cat and a new puppy awaiting her return home, a West Michigan girl ventures across the state for a precision cancer treatment.

10. Tiny babies in ugly sweaters

Premature babies in the NICU get dressed up for the holidays.

Wondering which stories rounded out the Top 50? Here you go:

11. ‘She’s overcome so much’

After pregnancy loss, ovarian cancer and the birth of her “miracle babies,” Heather David hopes for normalcy.

12. ‘The puzzle pieces made sense’

Genetic testing helps a Michigan mom and dad find answers to their baby’s rare condition.

13. ‘Worth it in the end’

After adopting a healthier lifestyle, a 50-year-old Michigan man sheds pounds—and much of his medication.

14. ‘Such a joy’

A colorful string of bravery beads shows a baby girl’s remarkable journey.

15. The indomitable Daniel

While battling a rare condition, a college student is full steam ahead on his dreams.

16. ‘Exactly what I wanted’

A baby boy arrives a week early to claim the title of first baby of the new year.

17. An end to years of pain

With a new electronic spinal implant, John Watson is finally returning to the active life he knew.

18. Amazing Amelia

Born with a rare syndrome, a 5-year-old Michigan girl is thriving as she undergoes a series of reconstructive surgeries.

19. ‘I just love what I do’

Three nurses forge a special bond after working more than four decades together in the NICU.

20. ‘I wouldn’t trade it for the world’

Amid the many demands of official business, Officer Nicole Bowl and police dog Max always make time for the essential—patient visits and playtime.

21. Miracle Marilyn

Perseverance played a lead role in a Michigan woman’s recovery from a heart attack and COVID-19.

22. ‘Forever changed’

Battling fatigue and heart trouble, Tim DeGeest learned he had a rare genetic mutation—and he’d need a heart transplant to survive.

23. ‘The sky’s the limit’

Lauren Vegter doesn’t just live with lupus—she soars.

24. ‘Exciting possibilities’

Parents, grandparents and caregivers assemble their time and talents to help a Michigan boy in his battle against a rare form of epilepsy.

25. ‘Top of the cool chart’

A passion for art and classic cars keeps a Michigan teen in good spirits amid a battle with cancer.

26. ‘The tumor is just melting away’

A 10-year-old girl’s fight against a rare cancer brings her to West Michigan for precision treatment.

27. ‘Keep a close eye on them’

Trampolines make for great childhood fun. But it’s important to recognize the inherent risks, doctors say.

28. ‘Providing a safe space’

Physicians take steps to bolster care for the LGBTQ+ community.

29. In the footsteps of caregivers

At 13, Sarah Conway lost her leg to cancer. Now a student in college, she’s chosen a career in medicine.

30. ‘I feel like a living miracle’

Robot-assisted surgery helps Deb Borst, 73, return to her active life after a cancer diagnosis.

31. ‘This disease doesn’t define me’

For Austin Gossard, 16, a multiple sclerosis diagnosis came ‘out of the blue’—but he’s still full steam ahead on a bright future.

32. ‘Yes, I can do this again’

When twin hockey players faced debilitating hip pain, minimally invasive surgery helped them return to the ice rink.

33. ‘Honored to be his mom’

Forget all the tests and treatments. Jase Amesbury embraces life with joy—swimming, bike riding and playing with his sister.

34. ‘Something special’

Five-year-old Louis Ribbens and his parents have undergone quite a journey of the heart.

35. ‘I changed everything, cold turkey’

After a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, Alan Barchett’s commitment to diet and lifestyle change has helped him reclaim his health.

36. ‘Daddy’s still here’

Children of adult patients in the hospital receive emotional support through a new Child and Family Life program.

37. A celebration of service

Four Corewell Health team members reflect on their years in the military—and how it helped shape their work today.

38. ‘My life is a blessing’

A clinical research study opens the door to a cure for sickle cell disease for a new group of patients.

39. ‘So much more energy’

Short medical fasts are giving a Michigan mom improved health and vitality.

40. ‘This really makes our kids smile’

An emergency department nurse delivers bright bundles of love on Valentine’s Day.

41. ‘I do everything now’

After doctors installed a small device in his spine, Don Ferris is enjoying a life without back pain—for the first time in years.

42. Time equals brain

When she suffered a stroke, quick treatment led Mary Kleinheksel to a remarkable recovery—and a chance to sing again.

43. ‘The best feeling in the world’

Advanced brain-mapping technology and brain surgery give a Michigan boy, 6, hope for a life without seizures.

44. ‘In good hands’

A fast-acting surgery on a ruptured hemangioma pulled Victoria Beauregard back from the brink.

45. ‘It was a wonderful year for us’

A breakthrough discovery and new chemotherapy medication give new hope to the family of an incredible 3-year-old.

46. A reunion of the tiniest fighters

Families and NICU care team members gather to celebrate health, happiness and promising futures.

47. ‘I’m proud of myself’

With help from a pediatric psychologist, a Michigan teen identifies anxiety as the source of her severe pain. Together, they’ve shaped her strategy for wellness.

48. ‘We’re running it together’

In battling leukemia, pharmacist Jeffrey Conzelmann found a perfect bone marrow donor in his longtime running partner—his brother.

49. More than a frequent flyer

In his battle against kidney disease, 11-year-old Isaac has become a familiar, smiling face at dialysis treatments.

50. Back on track

Intense rehab helps high school sprinter Allie Delost overcome a severe hamstring injury—just in time for an impressive showing at state finals.