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  • One-Hip Wonder

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Summer 2020

    Same-day, outpatient replacement surgery ensures rapid recovery.

    The four horses that prance around Joan Hoff’s property in Punta Gorda are about as close to “ideal” as you’re going to find for their breeds. Getting them there and keeping them that way were once a big part of Joan’s life. Feeling like a filly again, Joan is walking pain-free following her hip replacement surgery. “I used to do halter,” Joan says of the discipline that emphasizes a horse’s bone structure, musculature and body proportions. “It’s kind of like a dog show, but instead of showing a dog, you walk your horse out and it has to stand perfectly so it can be judged. “I started getting away from it about five years ago. I got too busy with work, man...

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  • Vein Check

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Summer 2020

    Diagnosis for pesky wound calls for look below the surface.

    Robert Shuster understands that everyone has questions about their emotional functioning and the reasons they do what they do. Seeking answers to those questions is what motivated Robert to choose psychology as a career. The venous ulcer on Robert’s left leg is now completely healed. “I wanted to understand myself better,” Robert shares. “I thought that learning about psychology would help me do that and that it would also help me understand other people as well and help them.” Robert’s first year of field placement as part of his graduate school training was done at Hoffman Homes for Youth, a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed boys and girls in...

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  • It’s All in the Details

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Summer 2020

    New digital scanner delivers greater accuracy for a perfect fit.

    The art class that Carmine Forte taught at Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver, New Jersey, for so many years was slightly different than a lot of traditional art classes in that it didn’t offer students a chance to learn how to draw, paint or sculpt. Carmine Forte “I taught crafts like ceramics, enameling and jewelry design,” Carmine explains. “I also taught students how to cut and shape stones, and how to solder and cast in metals. Except, we didn’t cast in gold and silver. They’re too expensive. So we cast in pewter instead.” Carmine might not have taught casting in gold and silver during his classes, but that didn’t keep him from casting in tho...

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  • Safe Haven

    Edition: South Palm Beach County, Published: Summer 2020

    Compassionate, personalized care saves refugee’s ravaged smile.

    Since a civil war erupted in Syria nine years ago, more than 5 million inhabitants have fled their ravaged homeland to escape the violence. Rukaieh Naileh Rukaieh Naileh is among those who found refuge elsewhere. Along with her husband, who owned an appliance store in the capital city of Damascus, and three children, Rukaieh first went to neighboring Jordan in 2015. From there she made her way to the United States. The family eventually settled in Boynton Beach, where adjusting to life in America became more difficult for Rukaieh when a raging toothache made finding a good dentist one of her first priorities. That search proved to be as painful as the toothache....

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  • Magnificent Magnet

    Edition: North/West Palm Beach, Published: Summer 2020

    Non-drug TMS therapy relieves depression, panic attacks.

    After retiring from his career in retail, Chris Deffendall landed his dream job. After several weeks of TMS treatment, Chris was back to being himself. “I’m actually semi-retired,” he clarifies. “I work part time at a golf course. I’ve been doing that for nearly five years, and it works out perfectly for me because I like to golf. Before that I worked in retail for 12 years. “Retail was a good job for me because I’m a good salesman. It comes naturally to me. I started working at a store, and the next thing I knew, I was the store manager. We sold gadgets such as massage chairs, stereo systems and goggles for watching movies. I stayed at the store for a while and did pr...

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  • Reeling in Back Pain

    Edition: West Volusia County, Published: Summer 2020

    Drug-free, nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy provides relief.

    An eight-pound bass he caught and had mounted when he was a kid is one of the few trophies that tournament fisherman John Patterson has on display inside his DeLand area home. John’s house isn’t big enough to hold all the others. “I’ve got boxes of them in storage,” says John, a production supervisor with Florida Power & Light who has been reeling in prized catches for almost as long as he’s worked for the company, which is 31 years. “I’ve won some money, a lot of trophies and a lot of bragging rights over the years,” John adds. “As far as bass fishing goes, the biggest bass I ever caught was nine pounds, 14 ounces, and the biggest bag I ever had was f...

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  • Worth the Drive

    Edition: South Palm Beach County, Published: Summer 2020

    In need of a better bite, patient finds a distant dentist close to her heart.

    The unique ability to fluidly speak several languages, including English, French, Dutch and Hebrew, has served 74-year-old Elise quite well since she moved from her native Belgium to America 47 years ago. Elise is all smiles after her treatment by Regency Court Dentistry. “Since I moved to the United States in 1973, I have worked as an interpreter and a translator for the United States government, for the federal court system and at a number of national and international conferences,” Elise explains. “I mostly worked as a freelancer that whole time, and I’m fortunate that my job has taken me all over the world. I’m also fortunate to have in...

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  • In and Out Same Day

    Edition: South Tampa, Published: Summer 2020

    Go home just hours after knee, hip replacement surgery.

    Since retiring early from his job as a telecommunications director nine years ago, Tom DiBenedetto has been steadily scratching off items from his bucket list. Most are trips he has long wanted to take to countries around the world. Tom DiBenedetto “We’ve been all over Europe, and last year we went to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which were absolutely awesome,” Tom says of himself and his husband. “We’ve also done Australia, New Zealand and Russia, so we’ve been getting around.” Tom gets around a lot. When he’s not traveling the globe, he’s cycling along the riding trails throughout Pinellas County, where it was once typical for him to log 30 or more miles a day. “Th...

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  • Sight Adjustment

    Edition: North/Central Pinellas County, Published: Summer 2020

    Revolutionary replacement lens brings world into greater focus.

    An incredibly positive turn of events has occurred for patients with cataracts. For the first time, there is a cataract lens implant that can be adjusted after surgery to give patients the perfect vision they’ve always wanted. As Mary Arana-Anderson and Lee Stillwell learned, this revolutionary light-adjustable lens, or LAL, can easily give patients freedom from glasses for good. A raccoon that she’s nursing back to health is one the many critters running around Mary’s home. Mary has a little lamb. She also has a goat, two hedgehogs and a raccoon that she’s been nursing back to health ever since it wandered back onto her property in a wounded state a f...

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  • This Sounds Super

    Edition: West Pasco County, Published: Summer 2020

    Modern hearing aids come to rescue with clearer voices, less background noise.

    William Yovic is a real-life superhero. His cape is a lab coat, and his superpower is saving lives by tooling around the Tampa Bay area in a tricked-out motor coach equipped to offer advanced 3D mammography. “Superhero” William receivedthe “best hearing aids” from Trinity Hearing & Balance Center. A longtime member of the medical imaging field, in which he once focused on CT scanning and CT and MRI sales and service, William, 63, tapped into his superpowers five years ago, when he realized access to advanced 3D mammography was lacking in the region. Since then, he has made improving access his new mission. “We bought a coach, which is like a blo...

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