SNI Patient Stories

Every year, the Swedish Neuroscience Institute at Swedish’s Cherry Hill campus takes care of thousands of patients. In 2013, we had more than 75,000 visits to our clinics for all types of neurological care, and we performed nearly 19,000 surgeries and procedures. That’s important, because it’s been proven that greater experience truly results in better outcomes. 

More experience and better results explain why the Swedish Neuroscience Institute at Swedish’s Cherry Hill campus received this recognition by CareChex, the hospital rating service of Comparion:

  • Number one in Washington state in 2014 for medical excellence and patient safety for major neurosurgery
  • Number one in Washington state in 2014 for patient safety for spinal surgery

Behind the numbers and the awards, though, are people — patients and families who rightly take their care very personally, and the physicians and other medical professionals who have devoted their lives to serving others. We’ve included some of their stories here so they can express in their own words why the Swedish Neuroscience Institute was the right choice for them.

Learn More About:

Brianne Cassidy


The last thing 24-year old Brianne Cassidy had on her mind was the possibility of having a stroke. But that’s exactly what happened after she took a particularly hard hit on the water in a tubing mishap. A team of neuroscience specialists, including Drs. Tom Kushner, Yince Loh and Stephen Monteith successfully employed a combination of clot-busting drugs and medical devices to remove the clot, averting what could’ve been a very bad outcome.

Listen to Brianne’s story

Read Dr. Kushner’s bio

Read Dr. Loh’s bio

Read Dr. Monteith’s bio

Learn more about the TeleStroke program

Shirley Cogswell

Spine Surgery: Meningioma

As an avid 75-year-old tennis player, Shirley was amazed when sudden sharp pain in her back turned out to be a benign spine tumor. In a painstaking 7-hour surgery, Dr. Rod Oskouian literally did take the pain away.

Listen to Shirley’s story

Read Dr. Oskouian’s bio

Learn more about spine tumor treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute

Brian Nelson

Brain Tumor: Glioblastoma

Just before his 50th birthday, a trip to the ER led to the discovery of a brain tumor. After two surgeries, Dr. Charles Cobbs recommended experimental treatment of an anti-viral drug — and it’s working.

Listen to Brian’s story

Read Dr. Cobbs’s bio

Learn more about the Ivy Center and the treatment of brain tumors at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute

David Erickson


After a lifetime of debilitating epileptic seizures and mostly ineffective medications, David met with Dr. Michael Doherty, who made a surprising recommendation: brain surgery. Four years later, David is seizure-free.

Listen to David’s story

Watch a video of David’s Story

Read Dr. Doherty’s bio

Learn more about epilepsy treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute

Kippen Westphal

Brain Tumor: Meningioma

Kippen’s benign tumor had been removed at another hospital years ago in a 10-hour surgery. When it came back, she stayed out of the OR and saw Dr. Sandra Vermeulen, and received a series of brief, painless CyberKnife treatments instead.

Watch Kippen’s story

Read Dr. Vermeulen’s bio

Learn more about CyberKnife radiosurgery at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute

Helen Donnelly Goehring

Subdural Hematoma

After traveling around Rome, Assisi and New York, Helen Donnelly Goehring was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. Before her surgery, the anesthesiologist wrapped her hand with gauze so she could keep her rosary, that had just been blessed by Pope Francis,  with her through the surgery. Thanks to her neurosurgical team, Helen came through with flying colors.

Read Helen's story