Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

August 31st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mother Gives Daughter the Gift of Life … Twice

By Hoyt Finnamore Hoyt Finnamore

Addie Sylvester's personality has blossomed since her transplant. At 27 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Amber Sylvester went to Mayo Clinic with her husband, Mike, for an ultrasound test and received news that no parent wants to hear. One of the babies was in trouble. She had enlarged kidneys, no amniotic fluid around her body, and fluid in her abdomen. She would likely not survive until birth. Even if she did survive, doctors said she would likely not live long enough to receive a transplant.

Amber remembers that appointment clearly. “The tech asked me if my water broke,” she says. “When I saw the concern on her face, I knew that something was not right. All I can remember is crying hysterically.”  [...]

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Tags: Dr Mikel Prieto, kidney transplant, Living Donor Transplant, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

August 26th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Experimental Nerve Graft Puts Former Green Beret Back on his Feet

By Hoyt Finnamore Hoyt Finnamore

Kevin Flike with his daughter, Lilah. Others might have panicked, but former U.S. Special Forces Engineer Kevin Flike kept his wits about him when he was shot in the abdomen during a firefight in Afghanistan four years ago. Through the worst pain of his life, the Green Beret pushed forward. He radioed his injury to teammates and began assessing the wound, which appeared mortal to his unit’s medic.

“I wanted to remain calm because I knew if I wasn’t, it was going to make the situation worse,” says Kevin, who, at 27, was one of the senior members in his unit. As it was, the situation was bad. The bullet tore through his lower abdomen, breaking his hip, damaging his colon, and ripping apart his left femoral nerve.  [...]

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Tags: Dr Robert Spinner, Dr Scott Zietlow, nerve graft, Neurosurgery, Peripheral Nerve Injury

August 16th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Patients Tell How Pain Rehabilitation Program Brought Them Relief

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Christy Jeck discusses her experience at Mayo's Pain Rehabilitation Center in Florida. Three weeks. It sounds like a long time, especially if you’re going to a hospital or clinic every day.

But for people living with chronic pain, a daily, multi-week program is compelling if it can help them return to a more active lifestyle.

Established in 2011, the Pain Rehabilitation Center at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus offers a robust and integrated three-week outpatient program for adults affected by chronic pain and symptoms. [...]

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Tags: Florida Campus, Pain Medicine, Pain Rehabilitation Center, MayoClinicFL, PRC, Sletten

August 13th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Marathoner and Ironman Michael Koetting Back in the Race After Donating Kidney

By Hoyt Finnamore Hoyt Finnamore

Michael Koetting continues to race after donating a kidney to someone on the transplant list.


As an endurance athlete who has completed six Ironman triathlons and more than two dozen marathons, Michael Koetting does not fear physical challenges. So when he learned he could use his good health to help a stranger in need, he never hesitated.  [...]

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Tags: kidney transplant, Living Donor Transplant, Organ Donation, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

August 12th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Cystic Fibrosis Patient Says Double Lung Transplant Transformed His Life

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Jon Jantomaso stays active with his family after his lung transplant.

Nobody knows better than Jon Jantomaso how precious every breath can be. The 49-year-old realtor from Seminole, Florida, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 2 months of age, and for the first 12 years of his life slept in a mist filled tent to help him breath and clear the mucus from his lungs. He has been in some form of physical therapy his entire life battling his disease.  [...]

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Tags: Cystic Fibrosis, Florida Campus, Lung Transplant

August 5th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Turning off the Tremors -- Deep Brain Stimulation Helps Patient Enjoy Little Things Again

By Hoyt Finnamore Hoyt Finnamore

Mary Daugherty is now able to enjoy the little things like flying a kite after a deep brain stimulation procedure to stop her tremor. Mary Daugherty just wanted to sit still. For nearly four decades, the 73-year-old experienced tremors in her hands, arms and head. In 2014, she decided to do something about it.

Mary’s journey began when she was in her mid-30s and started to notice a slight trembling in her upper extremities. “I thought I just got excited or nervous, scared or tired,” she says. “When others started remarking on my tremors, I decided to seek a medical explanation.”  [...]

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Tags: Deep Brain Stimulation, Dr Kendall Lee, Essential Tremor, Neurosurgery

July 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Surgery for Sunken Breastbone Reshapes Patient's Chest, Shapes Career Path

By Hoyt Finnamore Hoyt Finnamore

After her surgery, Rebecca Uhl helped Dr. Dawn Jaroszewski promote the procedure to repair excavatum. Written by Rebecca Uhl

“My chest just has a dent.” “Everyone is unique, and this is simply the way I was made.”

This is what I told myself growing up, being unaware that I had a congenital chest wall deformity known as pectus excavatum.

As a sophomore at Temple University in Philadelphia pursuing a marketing degree and with a passion for extreme sports, I didn’t have time to consider that something could be wrong. Then one day, a family member in the medical field urged me to research the impact the dent in my chest could be having on my heart. [...]

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Tags: Dr Dawn Jaroszewski, Pectus Excavatum

July 20th, 2015 · 3 Comments

Patient Comes to Mayo for Foot Surgery, Receives Lifesaving Surprise

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Virgil Jernigan is enjoying his retirement thanks to  surgery to repair a leaky mitral valve.When Virgil Jernigan came to Mayo Clinic for foot surgery, he was in for a lifesaving surprise. During an exam before his surgery, he mentioned to his nurse practitioner that he had been feeling fatigued and short of breath. So she ordered cardiac testing. Virgil was shocked to learn he had a leaking mitral valve – a potentially life-threatening heart condition.  [...]

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Tags: cardiac surgery, Cardiovascular Diseases, Mitral Valve Disease, Orthopedic Surgery

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