Tag Archives: Tunnel to Towers

Scarlet’s Liver Transplant

For years, we’ve been sharing the story of Scarlet Kasperbauer of Chapin, who was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in 2014 at the age of 29. The cancer had spread to Scarlet’s liver. Late last fall, Scarlet received a liver transplant from a donor who was an unexpected match – a Lexington County firefighter. In this WIS-TV Health U story, Dawndy Mercer-Plank shares this story of kindness, grace and a new chance at life.

Scarlet has been receiving treatment with Dr. Steven Madden of Lexington Oncology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, for six years. She’s now 35 years old.

Over time, Dr. Madden and his team used different treatments to keep the cancer under control. But over time, the treatments were not working as well, and were wearing her body down. She needed a more radical approach.

So she put out a plea on social media for a new liver — seeking a donor who knew how to sacrifice to save others. She never imagined who that would end up being.

Chastain Cannon is a firefighter at Station 20 in Ballentine. He works with two of Scarlet’s brothers there. Chastain said he felt called to see if he could help Scarlet. Testing revealed his liver was a perfect match for her.

After a long screening and a lot of preparation, the two families raveled to the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and Chastain gave 70 percent of his liver to Scarlet. Both are doing well.

And the surgery is making history. Scarlet is only the fourth patient in the United States to successfully receive a liver from a living donor for cancer that started in the colon, and only the second on the East Coast.

Chastain is under doctors’ orders not to work for six months. But his fellow firemen are working his shifts and allowing him to get the salary.

It’s saving Scarlet’s life.

Honoring America’s Bravest: Dr. Heather Currier

This week, Lexington Medical Center is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Stephen Siller South Carolina Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk, scheduled for Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia’s Vista. This race is named for New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life while trying to save others on September 11, 2001. It honors all first responders and military members for their service and sacrifice.

Several Lexington Medical Center physicians have served in the military, including Heather Currier, MD, FACCP, cardiothoracic surgeon with Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. Dr. Currier retired from the United States Army this year after 24 years of distinguished military service.

Dr. Currier’s military career began when she attended the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“I wanted to go to school with people who were smart and also honorable,” she said. “I liked being around people who wanted to serve our country.”

She earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry with honors there and then received her medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland where she was awarded with outstanding performance distinction in surgery.

She completed a general surgery residency at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

During her career, Dr. Currier deployed for combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. There, she worked as a trauma surgeon for military service members injured in battle. She treated soldiers with overwhelmingly catastrophic injuries and loss of limbs.

Her job titles in combat included Chief of Surgery, Deputy Commander of Surgical Services and Chief of Surgery.

At the conclusion of Dr. Currier’s deployments, the United States awarded her with the Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal and the National Defense Service Ribbon.

Dr. Currier retired as a colonel from the United States Army earlier this year, while serving as the chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, Georgia and Charlie Norwood Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. She started working at Lexington Medical Center in February.

Dr. Heather Currier

Each year around the time of the Tunnel to Towers race, Dr. Currier thinks about the patients she treated in combat and of the team of clinicians who helped save the lives of America’s Bravest.

“We were all willing to die for a cause we believed in,” she said. “And that makes me proud.”

If you’d like to run or walk in this year’s Tunnel to Towers race, register by going to www.T2TRunSC.org.

Tunnel to Towers 2017

More than 1,700 people participated in the fifth annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K on Friday evening, September 15, in Columbia’s Vista. The race is named in honor of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter and father of five who died on September 11, 2001. Lexington Medical Center is pleased to be the presenting sponsor of the event, held to honor law enforcement officers, paramedics, firefighters and military service members who serve and sacrifice on our behalf every day.

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LMC’s Eric Ashton (right) finished with the fastest time in the 5K: 16:43

The overall winner of the race was Eric Ashton, physician assistant with Southeastern Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. An elite runner, Ashton finished with a time of 16:43.

Speaking of Lexington Medical Center employees, more than 360 hospital staff members and clinicians participated in the 5K.

They wore bright red shirts with “Team LMC” on the sleeve.

The back of each shirt read: “Participating in honor of first responders and military heroes.” Lexington Medical Center enjoys participating in events that enhance the health and well-being of our community, and show our thankfulness for the law enforcement officers, firemen, paramedics and military service members who help keep us safe.

Here is a link to the complete race results.

Thank you to everyone who participated in Tunnel to Towers this year. We hope to see you at the Start line in 2018.