2003 Pulitzer Prize winner for beat reporting

2003 Pulitzer Prize winner for beat reporting

Diana Sugg: For her absorbing, often poignant stories that illuminated complex medical issues through the lives of people.

February 24, 2002

Present at loved one's last moments

Early that morning in the emergency room, with a soft "oh" and a drop of his head, 11-year-old Ryan King stopped breathing. Within moments, a young doctor straddled the boy, pumping his chest. Nurses quickly wheeled the gurney from the exam room to the trauma room. Ryan's mother grabbed her son's panda and stray sneaker and ran after them.

March 24, 2002

Cruelest mystery: death before life

That chilly night in late October, the delivery room was so quiet. The doctor wrapped the 8-pound, 21-inch newborn girl in a pink-and-blue striped cotton blanket, pulled a matching cap over her brown hair and gently passed her to her mother.

April 17, 2002

Sun Journal

Getting to Alzheimer's roots

The end for the Alzheimer's patient is a horror: The person is mute, bedridden, adrift from the thoughts and feelings that make up a life. The brain undergoes an equally disturbing transformation, shrunken by as much as half, mottled all over with hardened plaques. Where neurons used to crackle with messages, all that's left are twisted threads, fittingly referred to by scientists as tombstones.

June 2, 2002

New hope for halting a killer illness

She thought it was just a cold. Her throat was sore, and she felt tired all over. But as JoAnn Barr got her son ready for school that morning in March, she started gasping for breath. Within a few hours, Barr was on a ventilator in intensive care, her blood pressure bottoming out, her kidneys failing.

August 11, 2002

Death, then a search for the kindest of words

After they'd injected the dying man with IV medications, after they'd pounded his chest, after they'd cut Robert Jackson open and jolted his heart with electricity, there was nothing left for Dr. Carnell Cooper, except to prepare for the moment doctors dread, the hardest job in medicine.

November 17, 2002

The famous dead yield only murky diagnoses

The claims are everywhere: on posters and T-shirts, on the Internet and in books, even sometimes headlining the national news. Thomas Jefferson's eccentricities were actually a form of autism. Albert Einstein's genius flourished despite a learning disability. And Winston Churchill overcame a stutter and later suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

December 9, 2002

Promising stroke therapy may be held up in debates

When Ruth Johnston got a crushing headache and started to slur words that morning on the sailboat, her husband took action. He radioed the Coast Guard that she was having a stroke.

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H.L. Mencken, the 'Sage of Baltimore'