1440_405-1116_628-768_432

Celebrating Our People – Meet Susan


June 02, 2021 Posted in: Patients & Providers

Not Tethered Down

Born with impaired vision, Susan Byzet said her mother’s determination and her desire to work in health care has led to this year, her golden anniversary of being a radiologic technologist.

“When I was a kid, my mother was told to ‘take [me] over to the School for the Blind in Louisville and to pick [me] up when I was 18,’” Susan said. “They told her, ‘Maybe they can teach [me] how to weave baskets because that’s all [I’m] going to be able to do.’ My mother told them no, so I’ve always done things a little differently to accommodate my lack of vision.”

Susan started as a candy striper in the dark room, helping techs develop film of X-ray scans in 1970. She began working as a technologist in nuclear medicine in 1974 at Saint Joseph Hospital. Her family relocated to New York when her children were young for her husband’s job, but returned in 1993 to Lexington and she came back to Saint Joseph. Now she is working in imaging at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group at Palomar in Lexington.

Susan said she adapts to new spaces with spatial movement memorization and has tools to help her read CT scans, X-rays, mammograms and bone densitometry scans, all while progressing from hand-dipped developed film to digital scans during her career.

“Radiography has served me well,” Susan said. “I love my patients. I’m blessed after 50 years working in radiography. I try not to let it just be a diagnostic tool but I try to educate my patients about bone health, lifestyle changes and preventative screenings.”

Soaring Above Cancer

Susan said she always educated her patients on getting their mammograms, but was not an ideal patient at the time she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was a terrible patient; I was 52 and never had a mammogram,” Susan said. “I went through 12 rounds of chemotherapy, went back to work. I had a double mastectomy then another round of chemotherapy. I was working half days by then, doing mammograms.

“No one loves to come in and have their mammogram, but I would say to [my patients], ‘I promise you there’s nothing I can do with this machine that’s as uncomfortable as breast cancer.’”

To celebrate beating cancer after a five-year battle, Susan said she decided to do something she always wanted to do: skydive.

“I would go skydiving every weekend if I had the money,” Susan said. “Maybe it’s because I can’t see how high I am, but skydiving, paragliding off the top of Mount Haleakala in Maui, zip lining, hot balloon rides – I love that stuff. I’m not tethered down; I can be free for those few minutes.”

Free base jumping is next, Susan added.


Recent Blog Posts

The Brilliant Light of Love and Humankindness

JAN 19, 2022

When Pamela Smallwood, CMA, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Primary Care in Mount Sterling, found herself face-to-face with a patient in the midst of heartbreak, she took action to fill the void.

Read More Additional information about The Brilliant Light of Love and Humankindness | Spirit of Health | CHI Saint Joseph Health

What is Neurorehab?

JAN 17, 2022

Recovering from a stroke or any condition that affects a person's balance or coordination requires a specialized form of therapy. Physical therapist Graham Gandee describes neurorehab at CHI Saint Joseph Health – Outpatient Rehabilitation.

Read More Additional information about What is Neurorehab? | Spirit of Health | CHI Saint Joseph Health

Weight Loss Surgery Began ‘A Wonderful Journey’

JAN 12, 2022

Hall, 52, of Lexington had tried for years to lose weight, but it wasn’t working. She’d lose pounds, then gain it back. She finally made the decision - “the best decision I ever made” - to have weight loss surgery.

Read More Additional information about Weight Loss Surgery Began ‘A Wonderful Journey’ | Spirit of Health | CHI Saint Joseph Health