Posts tagged with Ku Medical Center

KU meningitis survivor inducted into KU Hospital Rehab Hall of Fame

Andy Marso’s medical rehabilitation was extreme — beginning with the fact that he even survived at all.

It was near the end of the spring 2004 semester and Marso, a senior in journalism, was living in Kansas University’s Pearson Scholarship Hall when he suddenly became gravely ill. As described in a 2005 Journal-World story, friends carried him to a car and drove him to KU’s Watkins Health Center before he was rushed to KU Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a severe case of bacterial meningitis.

Doctors were unsure Marso would survive, and the weeks that followed were touch-and-go.

Marso was hospitalized for 141 days, according to KU Hospital. Because of tissue death, doctors had to amputate half of both feet and most of both hands.

But he did survive, and through extensive rehab was able to regain his independence. KU Hospital celebrated that this week, inducting Marso into its Rehab Hall of Fame with a ceremony on Tuesday at the hospital.

“Today, Andy’s a successful journalist, reporting on health stories for the Kansas Health Institute,” according to a hospital announcement, which praised Marso’s “perseverance and success” and said he had been an inspiration to the whole staff.

Marso’s first job after rehab was covering sports for the Basehor Sentinel, a weekly paper owned by The World Company, which also owns the Journal-World (another, possibly unnecessary, disclaimer: I know Andy, through mutual journalism friends). He’s written a book about his experience, “Worth the Pain: How Meningitis Nearly Killed Me — Then Changed My Life for the Better,” released in 2013, and is an advocate for meningitis vaccinations on college campuses.

Andy Marso poses with his book, "Worth the Pain," which details his battle with meningitis and how it changed his life.

Andy Marso poses with his book, "Worth the Pain," which details his battle with meningitis and how it changed his life. by John Young

None by Andy Marso


• KU mourns death of Bill Woods: Bill Woods, a professor emeritus from the department of geography and former director of the Environmental Studies Program, died Sept. 11. Woods' obituary in the Journal-World can be found online here.

“To say that he loved his life as a professor and mentor would be a gross understatement,” Stephen Egbert, professor of geography and atmospheric science, said in a news release from KU. “He loved to see the progress of his students and went the extra mile to see them through to completion of their degrees. He will be sorely missed as a colleague, a friend, a mentor and a first-rate scholar.” 

• KU eco devo recognition: KU announced Wednesday that it’s one of four finalists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category of the upcoming University Economic Development Association Awards of Excellence program. KU will present Sept. 27-30 in Anchorage on the "Entrepreneurs@KU" initiative housed at KU Innovation and Collaboration, which the university describes as “a transparent and supportive infrastructure to assist faculty and staff in starting companies.”

• Beauty vlogger from KU: This KU freshman has built a following on YouTube doing video beauty and makeup tutorials. The Kansan recently featured vlogger Sarah Salvini from De Soto, who said cosmetics started as an “escape” for a lack of confidence but that she hopes they will turn into a career.

Salvini's videos are peppered with personal anecdotes like boyfriend status, stress about upcoming tests, bad days, taking and later previewing her senior pictures. She says in a recent video that she's had to cut back from vlogging every day, as college has been really busy so far. When she does, though, they'll be on her YouTube channel, TheSarahSalvini.

Contact me

By email at, by phone at 832-7187 or on Twitter @saramarieshep.


Learn a bit more about the new KU Med Center leader

KU's announcement yesterday that longtime Medical Center faculty member Douglas Girod would become the new executive vice chancellor there capped off a process that began about a year ago (though at that time, the search committee thought it was looking for a new medical-school dean, rather than a leader for the whole campus).

We weren't able to talk with Girod yesterday. (That's the thing about surgeons: They tend to be unavailable for hours at a time.) But you can learn a bit more about him at the KUMC website, if you're interested.

The Med Center Public Affairs office has posted a Q-and-A with Girod, in which he talks a bit about what he sees in store for KUMC. Among many other things, he mentions the push for state funding for a new education building, beefing up the School of Medicine's Wichita campus and working to provide more doctors for the state of Kansas, including the possibility of more programs like the new Salina campus to produce physicians for rural areas.

Also available is an hour-long YouTube clip of Girod's town-hall meeting with folks on the KUMC campus after he was announced as a finalist for the job last month.

You can expect a story here introducing Girod, where he's coming from and what he sees ahead for KUMC sometime before he steps into the new job Feb. 1.