Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

September 17th, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Flu, a Grocery Store Clinic and a Mayo Clinic Nurse May Have Saved My Life

By Ronald Petrovich Ronald Petrovich

Ron Petrovich with Nurse Practitioner Dawn Kaderabek.

My head pounded incessantly. With every sip of water, I felt like I was swallowing razor blades. I coughed and wheezed so hard that my stomach muscles ached. But as sick as I was, this would be one of my healthiest days, because a visit with a vigilant nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic may have saved my life.

After feeling really crummy for several days last spring, lying in bed "drinking plenty of fluids," and hoping whatever was ailing me would pass, I decided that I had waited long enough. I visited Mayo Clinic Express Care at one of the Hy-Vee Grocery stores in Rochester, Minnesota. That's where Dawn Kaderabek, a Mayo Clinic nurse practitioner, diagnosed me with Influenza B. She also noticed something unusual.

While listening to my heart, she heard a whooshing sound and asked if I had ever been told about a murmur. I said no, I hadn't. She told me that murmurs are not always dangerous but recommended that I get this checked out sooner rather than later. [...]

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Tags: bicuspid aortic valve, Cardiovascular Diseases, Heart Murmur, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, influenza, Patient Stories

September 16th, 2015 · 2 Comments

New Kidney From Sister Gives Hurdler a Chance at 2016 Olympics

By Hoyt Finnamore Hoyt Finnamore

AriesMerritt805Heads turned when Aries Merritt walked into the lobby at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix at 5 a.m. on Sept. 1, with family and TV cameras in tow. Just four days earlier, he won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. But, on this day, facing one of his biggest hurdles, he was about to undergo a lifesaving kidney transplant.  [...]

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Tags: Arizona Campus, kidney transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, Patient Stories

September 11th, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Beat Goes On … for Tom Grady

By Hoyt Finnamore Hoyt Finnamore

A portrait of Tom GradyIn 1968, when I was just three months old, I was taken from my mother’s arms and rushed into emergency surgery. My skin tone turned to a sky blue color, and the doctors caring for me knew they needed to act fast if they wanted to save me. They needed to get oxygen to my vital organs, because my heart was failing.

The doctors did a temporary-fix surgery to improve my circulation and to buy them time in hopes that they would find a better solution. The surgery worked, but the question was: How long would it last?

Later that day, my mother was given words that no mother wants to hear. “Take him home to die,” the doctors told my mom. Four open-heart surgeries and 45 years later, I am still here, proving those doctors wrong.

I am happy that through science and research, there are now medical devices and surgical techniques that are much more high-tech than what they had to work with 45 years ago. My gray hairs prove that I, a Tetralogy of Fallot baby, am still alive into my adulthood years.  [...]

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Tags: Congenital Heart Disease, Congenital Heart Walk, Tetralogy of Fallot

September 10th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Team Marrion Steps Out for Heart Health

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Katie and Marrion Ford. Every year, Katie Ford, who works at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, can be found with a plastic jar and a stack of donation envelopes, encouraging colleagues to support the activities of the American Heart Association. In particular, she urges them to sign up for the annual First Coast Heart Walk, which Mayo Clinic sponsors.

Heart disease runs in Ford’s family, which is why she’s so passionate about supporting the cause and spreading the word about cardiovascular health.

Although he was 74-years-old, Ford’s father hadn’t been to a doctor’s office his entire adult life. When her mother was able to convince him it was time for a checkup, his doctors immediately identified issues.

“The doctor found he was 75 percent blocked and said he was a ticking time bomb for a heart attack,” Katie says. Her dad received a stent, and all was well for a number of years. However, his condition progressed, and he had a pacemaker and defibrillator installed in August 2014.  [...]

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Tags: Aortic Aneurysm, Cardiovascular Health, First Coast Heart Walk, Heart Disease

September 4th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Critical Care Team Gives Young Mom Second Chance in Fight Against Cancer

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Mayo Clinic cancer patient Hollis Younger enjoying timel with family. Three years had passed since Hollis Youngner, 34, had been diagnosed and treated for HER2+ breast cancer. So in late 2014, when the mother of one was "just feeling yucky, tired, nauseous," she says cancer wasn't even on her mind. "I was secretly excited, thinking of ways to tell everyone I was pregnant," she says.

Unfortunately, a chest X-ray, prompted by a complaint of being short of breath, set in motion a series of events that ultimately resulted in a diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, a 45-minute CPR session, and questions about whether the young mom would even survive.  [...]

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Florida Campus, Metastatic Cancer, Dr John Moss, Dr Diaz-Gomez, Dr Moreno, Hollis, pulmonary embolism

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

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