Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

May 26, 2017

The Liver Transplant a Hurricane Couldn't Stop

By Linda Binner @lsbinner
When Hurricane Matthew blew into the East Coast, the storm brought significant destruction with it. But it couldn't derail Robert Gall's liver transplant and his second chance for a healthy life.  [...]
The Liver Transplant a Hurricane Couldn't Stop
May 25, 2017

Fixing a Tiny Leak in His Brain Makes a Big Difference for Steve Grinstead

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Steve Grinstead was eager to resolve a medical condition causing troubling symptoms. Physicians around the country turned him down for surgery. His team at Mayo Clinic found a solution that put him on the road to recovery. [...]
Fixing a Tiny Leak in His Brain Makes a Big Difference for Steve Grinstead
May 22, 2017

From the Foothills of the Himalayas to the Mecca of Modern Medicine

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Dr. Tsering Dhondup came to Mayo Clinic on a route that took him through India and Tibet. Today, as a nephrology fellow, his rich life experiences are helping him make the most of his training at Mayo Clinic. [...]
From the Foothills of the Himalayas to the Mecca of Modern Medicine
May 19, 2017

Beating Esophageal Cancer Odds to Become an Advocate

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Esophageal cancer can be deadly if it's not caught early. Fortunately for Mary Helen Duggar, her Mayo Clinic doctors found her cancer when it could still be treated. Today she's working to help others learn more about the disease. [...]
Beating Esophageal Cancer Odds to Become an Advocate
May 16, 2017

From Patient to Advocate to Caregiver: Taking Charge of My Heart Health

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
A heart attack at age 39 shocked Sandy Driggers into action. After surgery, Sandy lost weight, began exercising and went back to school to become a nurse. Now she helps others facing heart health challenges. [...]
From Patient to Advocate to Caregiver: Taking Charge of My Heart Health
May 11, 2017

Two-Time Kidney Transplant Recipient Builds a Life-Giving Legacy

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Years of health challenges that led to two kidney transplants motivated Ed Pompeian to establish the Gift of Life Transplant House, where people navigating their own transplants receive lodging, along with plenty of support and encouragement. [...]
Two-Time Kidney Transplant Recipient Builds a Life-Giving Legacy
May 9, 2017

Stroke of Luck — Quick Response and New Treatment Keep Curtis Wood in the Game

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Quick assessment and expert care are key to successful stroke treatment. Curtis Wood benefitted from both through Mayo Clinic's Comprehensive Stroke Center. [...]
Stroke of Luck — Quick Response and New Treatment Keep Curtis Wood in the Game
May 5, 2017

Aggressive Treatment Turns the Tide in Taylor Overby's Fight Against Colon Cancer

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Despite repeated treatment, Taylor Overby's colon cancer kept coming back. Then the 25-year-old's care team at Mayo Clinic offered her a unique surgical option, and that has made a world of difference.  [...]
Aggressive Treatment Turns the Tide in Taylor Overby's Fight Against Colon Cancer
May 4, 2017

Bariatric Surgery Generates Far-Reaching Benefits for Scott Decker

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Extra weight was ruining Scott Decker's health and draining his bank account. Bariatric surgery helped Scott lose the weight and set the course to a healthier, happier life.   [...]
Bariatric Surgery Generates Far-Reaching Benefits for Scott Decker
May 1, 2017

Wife, Mother and Nurse Gains a New Title — Brain Cancer Survivor

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
A Mayo Clinic oncology nurse, Nicole Barlanti knew how tough cancer could be. What she didn’t know was that she’d have to face it firsthand, while she was still in her 20s. Here's Nicole's story, in her own words. [...]
Wife, Mother and Nurse Gains a New Title — Brain Cancer Survivor
Apr 28, 2017

Prompt Treatment for Saydee Prevents Permanent Eye Damage

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Today, 8-year-old Saydee is happy she can see well and ride in a car without feeling dizzy. At a visit with pediatric ophthalmologist Naomie Warner, D.O., in the Eye Care Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, last year, Saydee was diagnosed with lazy eye. [...]
Prompt Treatment for Saydee Prevents Permanent Eye Damage
Apr 27, 2017

Pectus Surgery Frees William Kranz to Enjoy a Pain-Free Future

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
William Kranz delights in telling people he is "living his life behind bars," with two more years to go. But William welcomes that time because, to him, those bars represent freedom and better health. The "bars" are actually metal rods inserted under William's ribcage during a surgical procedure at Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus. They freed him from the pain and emotional distress that burdened him for most of his 36 years. William, from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, was born with pectus excavatum, a condition where his breastbone was sunken into his chest. It eventually impeded his breathing and interfered with his heart function. "Breathing was a daily chore for me," he says. "I remember just lying in bed at night, crying, because I would hold my chest, and my heart was beating so hard, it felt like it would beat right out of my chest."  [...]
Pectus Surgery Frees William Kranz to Enjoy a Pain-Free Future
Apr 24, 2017

Mayo Clinic Mentors Build Confidence in Young Technovation Participants

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
When Zulbiye Jorgensen, a project manager in Mayo Clinic's Center for Connected Care, began mentoring a team of Byron, Minnesota, high school girls in 2016 as part of the international Technovation Challenge, she asked the girls what careers they were considering. "Every single one of them said they wanted to do something in medical," she says. "It's a no-brainer with Mayo Clinic right there." But the girls' sights were set on different employment options by the end of the program. The challenge invites teams of middle and high school girls to identify a community need, develop a mobile app to meet that need, devise a business plan to launch the project, and create a video pitch. It had the intended effect of opening the students' eyes to opportunities in tech careers.  [...]
Mayo Clinic Mentors Build Confidence in Young Technovation Participants
Apr 21, 2017

Patience and Persistence Propel Patient Through Double-Lung Transplant

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Steve Shank knows what it's like to face an uphill climb. Despite being legally blind and affected by albinism, he has been an avid bicyclist for years, competing in 100-mile rides on the rolling hills of Iowa. [...]
Patience and Persistence Propel Patient Through Double-Lung Transplant
Apr 18, 2017

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps Heal a Veteran's Wounds

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Fritz Kruger of Hayward, Wisconsin, wondered how breathing pure oxygen while enclosed in a pressurized tube could heal his body. Fritz, 56, suffered from side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer when he was referred for hyperbaric oxygen therapy in fall 2016. A U.S. Air Force veteran who served from 1986 to 1995, including in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Fritz was treated for cancer at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System. He had his prostate removed in 2012, followed by radiation treatments. As of August 2016, Fritz was showing no signs of cancer, but the radiation had taken a toll on his body. "I had blood in my urine," says Fritz, who also was feeling other painful effects. "There was so much scar tissue that they couldn't find the opening from my kidneys into my bladder." Fritz's VA doctor recommended hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A search of hyperbaric facilities within reach of Fritz's home led him to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. [...]
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps Heal a Veteran's Wounds
Apr 13, 2017

Keen Expertise Helps Infant Survive Rare, Life-Threatening Brain Tumor

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
To the delight of everyone who knows 3-year-old Rayna Speary, her head is perfectly round and smooth and average size. Given that the youngster was diagnosed and treated for an extremely rare brain tumor that caused her head to balloon in size as a 4-month-old, and that she underwent a dramatic surgery at Mayo Clinic to remove a substantial growth that occupied nearly half of her brain space, a perfect aesthetic of her head was not guaranteed. In fact, much about Rayna's development — including her very survival — wasn't assured. [...]
Keen Expertise Helps Infant Survive Rare, Life-Threatening Brain Tumor
Apr 11, 2017

Cancer Care Inspires Kim DeBolt to Join the Mayo Clinic Team

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
It was a quiet, rainy morning in 2002 at the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, Minnesota. Kim DeBolt was staying at the hospitality house while recovering from a stem cell transplant at Mayo Clinic to treat acute myelogenous leukemia. Family members were often with her at the house, but Kim was alone that day, and she felt blue. Gazing out her window, she saw on the sidewalk a smartly dressed woman, briefcase in hand, holding an umbrella, heading downtown. "As I watched her walk by, I thought, 'I want to do that, too. I want to have a normal day, get up in the morning and walk to work. And I want to work for Mayo Clinic,'" Kim says. "I never forgot that moment. I kept it in the back of my mind for a long time." [...]
Cancer Care Inspires Kim DeBolt to Join the Mayo Clinic Team
Apr 7, 2017

After a Liver Transplant, Financial Adviser Turns to Helping Others

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Owning a successful financial planning firm for 20 years taught Terrance McMahon to plan for the future and for the unexpected. On May 26, 2016, all those years of planning became critical for Terrance. That day, heart palpitations sent him to a local hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he lived. Although he thought he was having a heart attack, he admits later that he hadn't felt well for the previous six months. "My eyes were bloodshot," Terrance says. "I was jaundiced, and I had bruises." Blood tests at the emergency room indicated Terrance had severely deteriorated liver function. "The doctor said I could die that night," Terrance says. "I went from being on top of the world to being told, 'You might not make it.'" [...]
After a Liver Transplant, Financial Adviser Turns to Helping Others
Apr 6, 2017

Disc Replacement Keeps Darrell Deutz Behind the Lens

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
As a talented wedding photographer, the pain of cervical stenosis with a herniated disc left Darrell Deutz, age 59, searching for solutions. "I've photographed over a thousand weddings in my life," says Darrell, who owns his own studio based in Fargo, North Dakota. "A lot of photographers don't like the pressure. There is no second chance, so you have to be confident. You can't make any mistakes. I like the challenge." [...]
Disc Replacement Keeps Darrell Deutz Behind the Lens
Apr 5, 2017

3D Printing Paves the Way for Precision Surgeries

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
The surgical teams assembled to operate on Mayo Clinic's most complex patients lately have begun to consist of more than living, breathing members. The new recruits are usually small enough to hold in your hand, and they don't say a word. But the information conveyed by these 3D anatomical printed models is helping surgeons plan and navigate the trickiest of procedures. In late 2016, Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeon Mark Allen, M.D. was part of a surgical team that used a 3D printed model to help them prepare to remove a rare, intrusive pancoast tumor. The tumor had grown in the chest of a patient, between his ribs and among the vessels just above his lungs. [...]
3D Printing Paves the Way for Precision Surgeries
Mar 31, 2017

Friend's Generosity and Successful Transplant Give Maikki Nekton a New Way of Looking at the World

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Maikki Nekton was 32 years old when she had a life-saving liver transplant, thanks to her good friend, Jenifer DeMattia, who donated a portion of her own liver to Maikki. Prior to the transplant, Maikki worked as a clinical social worker in the Maryland school system and for nonprofit organizations. Jenifer was her co-worker, and they became fast friends. Long-distance running was a shared passion, with the two women participating in 10K races and half-marathons whenever possible. In April 2014, while training, Maikki began experiencing pain in her right hip. It was diagnosed as a stress fracture, which doctors said was rare for someone so young. [...]
Friend's Generosity and Successful Transplant Give Maikki Nekton a New Way of Looking at the World
Mar 30, 2017

Minimally Invasive Polyp Removal Helps Prevent Colon Cancer

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
For years, Rosa Isern has thoroughly enjoyed her job with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, where soldiers, airmen and their families purchase goods and services. Her work has taken her around the world on several tours overseas, including stints in Iraq, Afghanistan, Greenland and Djibouti. In 2015, however, Rosa's future became uncertain when she learned she had a large colon polyp that was at risk to become cancerous. Doctors thought they might need to remove part of her colon. But thanks to a minimally invasive procedure available at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus, Rosa was able to have the threatening polyp successfully removed without surgery. That allowed her to get back to doing the work she loves. [...]
Minimally Invasive Polyp Removal Helps Prevent Colon Cancer
Mar 27, 2017

Thanks to Mayo Clinic, Nashville 'BBQ King' is Able to Enjoy His Own Brisket and Secret Sauce

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Jack Cawthon unabashedly brags about the secret sauce that is a hallmark of his renowned barbeque restaurant in Nashville, Tennesse, Jack's Bar-B-Que, where tourists and locals line up for Texas brisket and Tennessee pork shoulder. The iconic sauce remains a family secret and a vital part of the landmark restaurant located on the honkytonk strip on lower Broadway in downtown Nashville. These days, however, the Barbeque King is a fan of a whole different kind of secret sauce. [...]
Thanks to Mayo Clinic, Nashville 'BBQ King' is Able to Enjoy His Own Brisket and Secret Sauce
Mar 24, 2017

Racing Ahead to a New Career After a Brain Injury

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
Just four months after being in a coma, Mike Short was crawling through tunnels, jumping over fiery logs, and scaling walls as part of a 5K race known as a "rugged maniac." The Georgia native owes his ability to participate in the race to the neurocritical care team at Mayo Clinic that helped him recover from a brain injury he suffered shortly after his 50th birthday. Diagnosed with a seizure disorder in childhood, Mike had had only a handful of grand mal seizures in his life. But on April 9, 2016, while visiting a friend in Blackshear, Georgia, he had another. It was his first in 10 years. The seizure caused Mike to fall and hit his head. He was transported to a local hospital where he had another seizure. “I aspirated everything into my lungs and passed out due to lack of oxygen,” Mike recalls being told. [...]
Racing Ahead to a New Career After a Brain Injury
Mar 23, 2017

Dylan Walling Survives Crash and Exceeds Expectations in Recovery

By SharingMayoClinic @SharingMayoClinic
As much as she’d like to forget Sept. 15, 2016, it's a day Julie George will never be able to erase from her memory. That day, the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, woman’s 21-year-old son, Dylan Walling, was riding his motorcycle on a highway en route to his grandmother’s house when the unthinkable occurred. A slow-moving manure spreader had caused a traffic backup. Dylan passed three cars and then collided with the farm vehicle as it began to turn left into a field. Although he was wearing a helmet, it wasn’t enough to protect him. The right side of Dylan’s body took the impact, leaving him seriously injured. His liver split in two. He had a kidney laceration, a head injury, a broken femur and forearm, an ankle injury and a collapsed lung. His foot was broken, his heel pad torn, and his toes were broken so badly they were almost severed. [...]
Dylan Walling Survives Crash and Exceeds Expectations in Recovery
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