Infectious Disease Stories

Patients visit our campus every day, seeking our expert care for infectious diseases. Read our patients' stories and learn how you can support our work in infectious disease research and treatment.

‘National Jewish Health is the reason I’m here’
A chronic lung condition hasn’t kept Jon Bernhard from living a life of adventure. For 30 years, he has been a National Jewish Health patient. Today, he gives back to the institution in unique ways.

Kay Williams

‘They gave me back my life.’
When Kay Williams needed care for a challenging respiratory infection, her doctor in Florida sent her to National Jewish Health for “expert” care. Today, she is back to doing the things she loves.

Kara Haines

‘I owe my life to National Jewish Health.’
Kara Haines struggled with a lung infection for two decades. With the expert care she received at National Jewish Health, she is breathing easier.

Essie Keyser

Finding answers for a 17-year cough
Essie Keyser of Baltimore suffered for 17 years with a cough before finding answers at National Jewish Health. “I know if it was not for National Jewish Health and Dr. Gwen Huitt, my story would be markedly different,” Essie says.

Singer Judy Collins

'What I really remember was the kindness, the total focus on the professional direction of the recovery.'
The “gurgling” in her lungs should have been a warning to singer Judy Collins. But in the fall of 1962, the 23-year-old folk singer was touring regularly before finally being diagnosed with tuberculosis and traveling to Denver for treatment at National Jewish Health.

Emily Cinquemani

'I don't know how I would've managed if we hadn't figured this all out.'
Emily Cinquemani flew from South Carolina to National Jewish Health, where an entire team of health care professionals, including an allergist, nutritionist, pediatric pulmonologist, nurse practitioner, social worker and respiratory therapist, worked together to discover what was plaguing her and how to treat it.

Alberto Fuentes

'I have a normal life again.'
Mysterious ulcers on Alberto Fuentes’ legs forced him to give up work and the things he loved. After seven years of failed treatments, he came to National Jewish Health where he finally found answers.

Tommy Thomas

Exceptional care for a challenging infection
When Tommy Thomas of Georgia was diagnosed with Mycobacterium abscessus, he asked his doctor, “What would you tell your husband if he was diagnosed with this?” His doctor said, "We would go to National Jewish Health in Denver." After treatment and lung resection surgery in Denver, Tommy's life is back to normal.

Gina Ladinsky

'I thought that life would never be the same, but now it is.'
Gina Ladinsky lived with bronchiectasis and MAC for years before finding the answers and care she needed at National Jewish Health. After undergoing lung resection surgery, there is no sign of infection. Today, Gina is focused on staying healthy by exercising every day – whether it is surfing, biking, hiking or walking.

Deborah Schwartz

'There is no other place in the world like it.'
More than eight years after being diagnosed with Mycobacterium avium complex, Deborah Schwartz is feeling great thanks to the care she received at National Jewish Health.

Marcia O'Bryan

A “Picc”-Me-Up During Treatment for MAC
Marcia O’Bryan’s pursuit of “the best” care for her respiratory condition not only guided her to National Jewish Health; it also led to her discovery of an innovative medical product that would become a thriving business.

Marian Sofferin

'National Jewish Health Saved My Life'
Marian Sofferin, 57, has experienced far more than her share of health problems over the years,  but none puzzled her doctors in Seattle as much as Mycobacterium Avium Complex, or MAC. Then, she discovered National Jewish Health.

Connie Hofmann

She finally found help for her bronchiectasis
While trying to treat her bronchiectasis, Connie Hofmann visited eight doctors before finding help at National Jewish Health.

W. Merrill Carter

Two Second Chances at Life
After a shocking diagnosis of tuberculosis, National Jewish Health saved W. Merrill Carter’s life not once, but twice.

Colombe Nicholas

"The best" care for a MAC infection
Colombe M. Nicholas learned about National Jewish Health as a supporter at benefit dinners in New York. Years later, when she needed expert care for a lung infection, she knew where to go.