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Full Circle: Former UIHC Pediatric Patient, Current UI College of Nursing Student Determined to Pay it Forward

Jesse Weiss

From surgery to student: former patient returns to UI, pursuing medical career

By Connor Morgan CBS2/FOX28 3/26/2017

The sheer number of patients admitted and treated at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics provides a basic overview of the facility's significance.

Some of the tens of thousands seen annually travel from the far corners of the country in search of world-renowned medical service.

Others who make the trek to Iowa City do so upon the recommendations of local physicians.

For New Jersey native Jesse Weiss, the latter was the case.

After experiencing severe headaches as well as numbness in his hands and feet, Jesse's parents took their then six-year-old son to prominent medical facilities on the east coast.

A variety of diagnoses left Jesse's family feeling overwhelmed and exasperated, still in search of the answers to resolve Jesse's symptoms.

One pediatric neurosurgeon at New York University suspected basilar invagination -- compression of the brainstem that can lead to paralysis -- suggestion the family seek a second opinion.

A very specific second opinion.

"He suggested going to the guy who knows what he's doing and he's the leader of the field in the world," Jesse recalls the doctor at NYU saying.

Jesse was referred to Dr. Arnold Menezes, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the University of Iowa considered the foremost authority on brain-related issues in children.

Menezes quickly confirmed the diagnosis, and performed surgery in July 2005 at UIHC.

… Jesse returned home to Glen Rock, New Jersey, but the relationships he forged during his time in Iowa City brought him back at least once a year.

“We made so many good friends here and so many good memories that you can’t just erase that part of your life and just pretend it didn’t happen.”

Those friendships and the medical care played a major role during college consideration.

During Jesse's search, Iowa made the short list of schools. He applied, and three days later, received his letter of acceptance.

Click here to read the full article or view the related video, as it was produced by CBS2/FOX28

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Posted On: 
Mar 30th, 2017