After a series of bouts with pneumonia, Andrew required complicated surgery. Numerous referrals finally led him to the care and expertise of Keck Medicine of USC.

Andrew loves to cook. In fact, catch up with him on any weeknight and you’ll most likely find him in the kitchen, perfecting his favorite dishes and trying new recipes.

Due to complications from birth, he began to experience food aspiration, which is when food travels into the lungs instead of the digestive tract. This complication led to a series of bouts with pneumonia. After being hospitalized in New York and Rhode Island during the summer of 2015, his doctors recommended a liquid diet until he was able to have surgery.

He and his wife Joelle searched everywhere for the right doctor, and numerous referrals finally led them to the care and expertise of Keck Medicine of USC.

“Traveling across the country wasn’t an easy decision. We were leaving everything that was normal to us – our home, our community, our family and friends. But after speaking with my surgical team, I was confident they would be able to deliver the type of personal, expert care that I needed to make a full recovery,” said Andrew.

After a consultation that fall, Andrew underwent a thoracic surgical procedure in December 2015. Recovery was going as planned until complications led Andrew into septic shock, a life-threatening condition that causes organ failure and dangerously low blood pressure. What was meant to be a three-week recovery turned into an eleven-week battle for his life in the intensive care unit.


“During the darkest days of my husband’s treatment, I was surrounded by so much love and support. We never felt like just a number,” said Joelle. “They really took the time to get to know us personally and make our stay as comfortable as possible.”

Andrew and Joelle Kanter
With support from his family and the doctors and staff at Keck Medicine of USC, Andrew made a full recovery and returned back home to Rhode Island.

“This past February marked his one year anniversary since leaving Keck,” Joelle said. “Looking back, it’s amazing to see how far he’s come. He’s working full-time, traveling, cooking, and eating a regular diet. We have a newfound outlook on life, and we don’t take anything for granted.”

After overcoming all the challenges, Andrew and Joelle are grateful to be back at home with family and friends.
That’s just another example of The Keck Effect — giving patients the chance to get back to the things they love with the people they love the most.

Help us continue serving families like Andrew and Joelle and supporting the doctors and professionals who care for them by making a gift to Keck Medicine of USC.

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