Hope Is a Thing With Feathers

Neuroendovascular surgery attempts to help some of the sickest patients with life-altering conditions. Decades of determination and innovation have led to tremendous improvements in what we can offer to patients. However, the uncertainty of neurologic prognosis can leave families and providers feeling uncertain and overpowered. "Hope is the thing with feathers," is dedicated to telling the stories of a battle well fought, the challenges of an uphill recovery or even the bittersweet saga of going down swinging. Chronicling the experiences of the patient, their family and friends remind us to keep hope and to reinforce our resilience. The intent is not to heroize the neurointerventionalist, but, rather, to acknowledge the daily struggle of the patients or their loved ones.

The Stories 


On August 16, 2017, my wife Frances suffered a double aneurism. This is the story of her survival, and my reprieve from grief and loneliness. All because of the work of the doctors and staff of Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and God. [read more]


Lorena was living her best life and had her dream job, teaching middle school music. It was September and she was looking forward to one child graduating from college and another from high school the following spring. Suddenly, she was struck by a series of deadly health crises. [read more]


A youthful, 41-year-old woman suffers a stroke that could render her profoundly disabled for the rest of her life. Within hours of treatment by a stroke team at Adventist Health Glendale in Greater Los Angeles, she is up and walking and amazing everyone in her care. This is Rhea's story. [read more]


This is my story, and it’s about hope.  But at the place this story begins, I wasn’t thinking about that. After all, who needs hope when life is all good? Memorial Day weekend, May 2019. For the first time in twelve years, our four daughters and son are back with their mom, Irene, and me, at our home in Chester, a quiet Orange County town, sixty miles north of New York City. We talk and laugh, lots; hike and fish; take way too many photos. Forgive each other for past mistakes. It feels unbelievable to be all together. Too good to be true.[read more]


Debra Born, 25, awakened feeling off about 4 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2019. The new college graduate was nauseous and extremely dizzy. "I thought I was just exhausted and figured that was why I could not move. I kept trying to say that I was fine, but I had a hard time talking." Her father, Frank Born, says it's fortunate she couldn't speak. "She was trying to tell us, 'I'm OK. Just let me sleep.' And we might have." Instead, he dialed 911. [read more]

Submit Your Own Story

Submit your story through email it to us 

  • Stories should be no longer than 2,000 words.
  • A HIPAA release is required with all submissions [click to open and download HIPAA form]
  • Stories are encouraged to highlight unsung heroes: family, friends, nursing, rehabilitation workers, providers.
  • Photographs of patients, families and the clinical team are strongly recommended.
  • Stories should include direct quotations and relay a diversity of perspectives.
  • Remember that the goal of these stories is to spread hope; the theme of each story should reflect this goal.

“Hope" is the thing with feathers

by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops - at all.

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm.

 I’ve heard it in the chilliest land

And on the strangest Sea;

Yet, never, in Extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

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