Patient Stories

Saving a Student’s Heart

Dr. lee - Cinthia stethoscope

In March, Cinthia Zapien became one of the first patients in the Bay Area to receive a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) that treats irregular heart rhythms. Cinthia’s physician, Dr. Michael Lee, a cardiologist with Alta Bates Medical Center expects Cinthia to have a full and productive healthy life.

A year ago, Cinthia Zapien – a 21-year-old college student with a bright future – learned that she had a genetic heart disorder that put her at risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest. Cinthia has Long QT Syndrome, a rare abnormality of the heart’s electrical activity that causes dangerous heart arrhythmias. Cinthia started suffering fainting spells and other symptoms about five years ago and much of her father’s side of the family all suffers from the same disorder.

“My aunt and three of her daughters have the same condition and one of my cousins died when she was 11,” said Cinthia. “All of my sisters and my father are being monitored for Long QT Syndrome as well.”

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Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

If your weight loss challenge has led you to consider surgery, you will want to check out a new website dedicated to sharing comprehensive information about surgical options available. Learn more about bariatric surgery.

Screen shot of Sutter bariaric webpageThe site will help you understand the criteria such as age, health status, Body Mass Index (BMI) and lifestyle habits that determine if bariatric surgery is indicated. You can discover the health factors that determine which bariatric procedure would be best for you as well as helpful information about your decision-making process.

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Born Too Soon: Brooklyn’s Story

The Rantz Family:Kathy, Brooklyn and Rich, Ambassador Family for the 2014 March for Babies Walk

The Rantz Family (l-r): Kathy, Brooklyn and Rich, Ambassador Family
for the 2014 March for Babies Walk















When the painful contractions began the morning of Nov. 16, 2007, Kathy Rantz and her husband, Rich, had no idea that their daughter Brooklyn would be born prematurely two days later. Weighing just 1 pound, 5 ounces, her chances for survival were very slim.

“Brooklyn wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the outstanding care she received at Alta Bates in Berkeley,” says Kathy. “I make it my mission to share our story with anyone and everyone who’ll listen.” Read More

Three Hospitals, One Mission—Delivering Compassionate Care One Patient at a Time

We’ve talked about the importance of working together as a region to create a network of care for our patients. Thanks to your hard work, it’s paid off!

Watch the story of Kimberly Noack, whose life was transformed because of the compassionate care delivered by our staff at all three medical centers from Sutter Health’s East Bay.

Kimberly Noack, a grateful Sutter patient

Knee Pain Management Options for Active East Bay Lifestyles

Woman, free of knee pain, jogging in an East Bay park

After you finish jogging around Oakland’s Lake Merritt and that nagging pain in your knee has worsened, what should you do? Read More

Every Minute Matters with Ischemic Stroke: Joe’s Story

Joe and June Rio

If Joe Rio had not taken a truck ride with his son Dino the morning of June 22, he probably would not be alive today.

“We were driving along and suddenly, my vision was blurry. Then I lost my speech. I couldn’t speak—even though I knew exactly what I wanted to say the words wouldn’t come out,” recounted Mr. Rio who was at work with Dino, delivering fire extinguishers.

“My son knew exactly what to do and drove as fast as he could to the Emergency Department at Sutter Delta Medical Center. Within minutes of arriving, the Emergency Department doctors and medical staff knew I was having a stroke.

“I was surrounded by a medical team who took care of me right away. They worked very quickly to save my life at Sutter Delta.” Read More