Barnes-Jewish Hospital | Washington University Physicians

LAST WORD

Breakthroughs from the lab.

STITCHED TOGETHER

BY CONNIE MITCHELL
Tina Briggs-Ahring quilt
Photo courtesy of Werremeyer Creative

Tina Briggs-Ahring made this quilt for the Heart Transplant Association. The heart she had received in her first transplant, in 2002, was failing; she was hoping for another. To make the quilt, Tina first traced one hand of every person on her care team at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center. Next, she cut blue hands, red hearts and blue squares out of fabric and stitched the pieces together to make a whole. Ms. Briggs-Ahring died on June 10, 2017. She left behind a testimony to the strength it takes to offer—and to receive—compassion.


THE HONOR WALK

THE HONOR WALK

It could happen in the morning. Or the middle of the night. A quiet group of people — cooks, technicians, nurses, doctors, administrators — line a hospital hallway to acknowledge the passing of life, the death of someone who has chosen to become an organ donor.

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THE CHAIR NEXT TO THE BED

THE CHAIR NEXT TO THE BED

The patient room I enter is quiet. It’s late morning, and I’ve walked here from my desk at the other end of the hospital after receiving a text message that says I’m needed. I feel uneasy at first, an interloper in a space that’s unfamiliar. But the nurse I meet in the room is grateful I’ve arrived and tells me so. Then she talks with me about her patient, who is in the bed near where we stand. His name is Frederick. His eyes are closed, his body still, his breaths shallow.

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ME AND MY MIRROR BOX

ME AND MY MIRROR BOX

BY ANNE KARR SAPPINGTON
ILLUSTRATION BY DMITRI JACKSON

My story is about neuroplasticity and mayonnaise. I spent the greater part of my 20s living in Dublin, where I was working on a doctoral thesis in history and where mayonnaise comes in glass jars. While growing up, I had lived in just one St. Louis house. In Dublin, I was on the move, quite literally, living in three different apartments and one guest bedroom over four years, thanks to Dublin’s turbulent rental market. For the most part, I did my moving on my back and on my own.

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PEERING INTO THE FUTURE

PEERING INTO THE FUTURE

BY MARTY REISWIG

Do you want to know if you’ll develop Alzheimer’s in the next 10 years? This is the question i’m faced with daily. My name is Marty Reiswig, and my family has been studied for decades because we carry an extremely rare genetic mutation that causes early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

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