Our Patient’s Stories

Cecilia Serafini-Smith | 2X Heart Attack Survivor

Cecilia Serafini-Smith | 2X Heart Attack Survivor
A fitness buff and mother of four, Cecilia Serafini-Smith is always on the move. When chest pain, arm numbness and nausea stopped her in her tracks (twice), she knew just what to do. She insisted on going to the PVHMC Heart Receiving Center. Our expert cardiac team quickly identified her blocked arteries and stented them. Today, she's filled with gratitude for the lifesaving care she received. While our Stead Heart and Vascular Center has earned national recognition and certifications, it's patients like Cecilia who truly motivate us.

Tonie Cisneros | Robotic Surgery Recipient

Tonie Cisneros | Robotic Surgery Recipient
Nothing stops Tonie Cisneros from attending her kids' soccer games. In fact, she's never missed one. So when her endometriosis worsened, her doctor suggested robotic gynecological surgery. She learned that the tiny incisions, minimal discomfort and accelerated healing offer many advantages over an "old-fashioned" hysterectomy. Tonie went in one day, was out the next, and rallying at her son's game the following weekend. Now Tonie's one of our biggest fans. While our Women's and Children's Center has earned recognition for excellence, it's patients like Tonie who really cheer us on.

Louis Hunter | Cancer Survivor

Louis Hunter | Cancer Survivor
When his voice became hoarse and his breathing changed, classic car buff Louis Hunter made a doctor's appointment. At age 41, he was faced with Stage 3 throat cancer. When an oncologist suggested hospice, Louis didn't give up. Instead, he got a second opinion at our Cancer Center. He stayed positive through three months of radiation and chemotherapy. Louis says he'll never forget the compassion of our cancer team. Six years later, Louis just became a grandfather and fixed up another classic. While The Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center has earned considerable recognition, it's patients like Louis who really drive us to excel.

Gary Brandt | Stroke Survivor

Gary Brandt | Stroke Survivor
Gary Brandt's life stopped on a dime when his wife found him on the floor of their room, his speech slurred and incapable of movement. Clear signs of a stroke. She called 9-1-1 and Gary was rushed to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center where a large clot, blocking blood flow to the right side of his brain, was discovered. A procedure was used to extract the clot, saving Gary from paralysis. Now Gary is back at work and enjoying time with his family and their beautiful black lab. While our Stead Heart & Vascular Center has earned national recognition, it's patients like Gary who truly motivate us.

Denise Nelson | Breast Cancer Survivor

Denise Nelson | Breast Cancer Survivor

An avid tennis player and grandmother, Denise Nelson radiates positive energy. When she discovered a lump in her breast, her mother, a 3-time cancer survivor, told her to Call Nurse Martha at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center's Breast Health Center. Martha immediately helped schedule a 3D Mammography and an MRI for Denise. These advanced screenings revealed cancer in both breasts. After intense treatment and lots of TLC, Denise is loving life and getting back in the game. She says she's grateful to everyone at The Robert & Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center for their excellent care and compassion.

Tessa Morton | Born at 29 weeks - 1 lb, 3oz

Tessa Morton | Born at 29 weeks - 1 lb, 3oz
When the Morton’s learned that their unborn baby girl, Tessa, had a life threatening condition, they were glad they chose the right hospital. At week 29, the baby's heart rate became too erratic and an emergency c-section was necessary. Weighing only 1 pound, 3 ounces, Tessa was tiny, but tough. Our expert neonatal team began their miracle work. After 87 days of intensive treatment, blood transfusions, an operation, and lots of TLC, Tessa went home to her family. Now she's a healthy and happy baby. While our Women's and Children's Center has earned recognition for excellence, our true reward is helping patients like Tessa beat the odds.

Art Pauly | 3X Stroke Survivor

Art Pauly | 3X Stroke Survivor
An avid outdoorsman, Art Pauly's life came to a halt when he was struck by sudden weakness, facial droop, and slurred speech. After two hospitals missed his stroke diagnosis, the experts at our Stroke Receiving Center caught it and immediately administered lifesaving treatment. When he was ready, our physical therapists worked with him to regain his strength and balance. Today, Art's back to fishing and says he owes it all to his highly skilled medical team. While our Stead Heart and Vascular Center has earned national recognition and certifications, it's patients like Art who truly motivate us.

Lauren Lewan | Rehabilitation Patient

Lauren Lewan   |  Rehabilitation Patient

An avid athlete, Lauren Lewan has used the Sports Medicine Center (SMC) services at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center since the mid 1980's, receiving care for her various sports related injuries. When her son injured himself wrestling, she brought him to the SMC as well. As an adult, Lauren has continued to trust the Physical Therapy Department for her rehab needs. Recently, while training for a half marathon, Lauren developed a debilitating hip Bursitis. With the race day approaching, again she turned to the physical therapy department she’s trusted for the past 30 years. '“I’ve been going to [PVHMC] for my sports injuries since I was in high school, and that’s a long time! It’s the only place I would ever go. I just feel so confident and comfortable with them.


Lauren limped into her first physical therapy appointment, unable to walk normally, much less train for a race, due to severe pain on the side of her hip. She was adamant about keeping the half marathon on her race calendar. While others suggested Lauren not train or race at all, her therapist was much more optimistic. Lauren started on a customized therapy program including pain relieving and anti-inflammatory modalities, stretching and strengthening exercises for the hip, and alternative cardiovascular training so she wouldn’t decondition. Lauren was determined, and her therapist was confident.


Competing in the half marathon was important to Lauren, because she was doing so to support one of her students with Tourette Syndrome. Two and a half months after limping into Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), Lauren competed in her first half marathon. There’s no stopping her now, as she’s currently registered to participate in the hospital’s Holiday Half Marathon on December 14th. Lauren’s grateful to the Hospital’s rehabilitation team for their care and support over the years and she’s excited to be racing again!

My Cardiac Experience - Mr. Miller

I want to pay my highest regards, compliments and praise to your leadership in directing one of the finest of hospitals I've ever been in.

On Nov. 15, I was at my yearly doctor check up at the Chino Hills facility with Dr. Wohlert who has replaced Dr. Fontan my former physician. I told her of some chest pain I had recently that happens only when on a brisk walk. She ran a EKG a couple of times and they both came back with an inverted T wave which you may or may not know is a huge red flag in the world of cardiology. She consulted Dr. Mathiau of your top notch cardio team and he said get me to the main hospital ASAP which my wife and I did. My wife also works at PVHMC she is a Nurse Manager in the women's center. Her name is Susan.

Anyway the cardiac team quickly determined through investigative questioning and 9 more EKG's that a deadly widow maker heart attack was imminent because the EKG's were progressively getting worse.

I then witnessed a well greased, fine tuned, everybody on the same page team of intuitive cardiologists, nurses, Cath Lab Crew and support staff urgently swing into action and literally through their efforts and expertise, saved my life! Also the cardio recovery as well as the admitting crew deserve recognition for their urgent diligence. They were all very attentive, helpful, courteous, patient, and very friendly.

Please share this note with all of them as well the rest of the hospital staff so everybody can share in my joy at the second chance they've given me.

I owe my life to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

My ER Experience - Lindsay Cirrincione

Dear Pomona Valley Hospital,

Today I was seen in your ER for an injured thumb. I have been seen by Dr. Moore once before and today he passed by, greeted me, and looked at my chart. He made casual conversation which made an uneasy situation more comfortable. His bedside manner is wonderful - both professional and familiar at the same time. When I overheard his conversations with other patients, I realized the dedication and compassion this man embodies. Dr. Moore is one of the most compassionate doctors I have ever dealt with or seen.

Also I would like to compliment the timely manner in which I was treated and released, for such a minor condition. Furthermore, I'd like to extend my thanks to Erin Miller, PA-C, who saw and released me. She's extremely kind, very positive, gave great advice and references to different doctors that accept my insurance. The EMT Ryan, who helped with my cast today, was great as well, and kept coming back to talk and cheer me up.

Any time I have been there, I've been very pleased with the treatment and the entire hospital. The staff is kind, not cold, and treats everyone the same - nobody is of lesser value. I'm very impressed with the entire staff - in my experience, they double and triple check the patients being seen, and make sure we have everything we need. I'd like to bring to point that the people at registration give a positive first impression of the hospital. The line went quickly, and when I got to the window, they made it as easy as I could have imagined. They're the first people a patient deals with, and their uplifting, positive attitudes put me at ease.

I can guarantee that if I ever (hopefully not anytime soon) get hurt or need to see a doctor; I'm going to Pomona Valley Hospital.


Lindsay Cirrincione
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

She went from an NICU Baby to a hocky player for the Anahiem Lady Ducks!

Our daughter Baylee was born on Feb. 23, 1998 at 1 pound 12 ounces. On February 9th, 1998 my wife Lori was admitted into San Dimas Hospital due to a ruptured water bag. The doctor told her that the only way the baby would survive was to keep Lori out of labor for at least 2 more weeks. So Lori stayed on bed rest at San Dimas Hospital, and on February 23rd exactly 2 weeks later Lori's water bag broke, and was rushed in for immediate emergency delivery. Baylee couldn't wait for her original due date on June 2nd instead she was born 3 months early at 25 and a half weeks at 1pound 12ounces. She was then immediately transported by your Neonatal Transport Team to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center's NICU. For the next 3 months we went through a roller coaster ride of highs and lows not knowing when or if we would ever be able to bring her home.

On May 8th weighing in at 4pounds 10 ounces we were able to bring her home but only on the condition that she was hooked up to oxygen and a heart monitor. We thank God that Baylee was in the hands of a great NICU team at Pomona Valley Hospital who loved her and cared for her very much. Today Baylee is part of another team the Anaheim Lady Ducks 12 and under ice hockey team. Baylee or "Peewee" which is what everyone calls her is in her in her 5th year with the Lady Ducks. Baylee, representing the great state of California, has been to Nationals twice, once playing "up" as a 10-year-old on the 12U team and brought home a bronze medal, and now she is looking forward to a third trip this year. She is a leader on her team in scoring and in attitude she is always positive and has a constant smile on her face. She has zero birth defects and does excellent in 7th grade at Sowers Middle School where she also enjoys running cross country and is determined to break the school record. At Pomona Valley Hospital the staff told us that Baylee survived because she was tough, a fighter, had the heart of a lion and never gave up, and that is true still today in everything she does. Baylee isn't satisfied in just getting by; instead she thrives on being excellent in everything she does, and isn't satisfied until she has "lit the lamp" at least a couple times in a game.

Thank you PVHMC for your love and care for our little girl.
Kevin Trani a.k.a. Dad
PS. I included a video link from her recent tournament.

My experience at PVHMC by Larry Anderson

My experience at PVHMC by Larry Anderson
October 2, 2010

This is an open letter to the ER staff and the CICU personnel at Pomona Hospital Medical Center in Pomona California and the Los Angeles Fire Department who responded to The Best Western Motel on the morning of September 22nd, 2010.

My wife Donna and I were on a road trip and stayed the night in Rowland Heights on September 21, 2010. At 1am on September 22nd I awoke unable to talk and move my left side. My wife called 911 immediately and the Los Angeles Fire Department and their personnel were there in minutes. The next thing I knew I was at the ER room at Pomona Hospital Medical Center and a whole team of professionals were working on me. Not one minute was wasted in evaluating me. The god Lord was on my side and put me in a place where efficiency and compassion walked hand in hand. To Jo Jo I say yes, I will always remember your name. You were beside me the whole time and were extremely kind to my worried wife during my evaluation. I would also like to mention Karen Tse-Chang for her help co-coordinating my care in CICU right up to my release. It turned out I didn’t have a bleed and was a candidate for a tPA injection. Under the right circumstances this is truly a miracle drug and I am still here to prove that thanks to the quick action of all the ER staff.

After the care in the ER I was transferred to CICU and again received the best care a patient could ask for. The nursing staff was excellent and I was treated with the utmost compassion and caring that far surpasses just doing a job. To all who watched over me for the next two days I say “Thank You”. You all are a credit to your profession and will remain in a very special place in my heart.

I have reached a new opinion on life in general and have come to the conclusion there are a whole lot more wonderful people out there than bad. I suppose a near death experience will do that to some but I can truly say I am not the same person that I was before the stroke. I have you all to thank for this change. You are all a credit to your profession. I believe the good Lord put me exactly where I needed to be and you all were His right hand. Thank you all so much for being there for me from my wife and I. Thanks to all of you we are back in our country home in West Virginia and it never looked so good!
Larry Anderson
Donna Anderson
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center - 1798 N. Garey Avenue - Pomona , CA 91767 - (909) 865-9500 - Contact Us
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