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Aug 5, 2015 by HoytFinnamore · View  

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

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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buddelay responded Nov 12, 2015 · View

I have a tremor Mostly my right hand. I can not even sign my name and have to use my left hand on the mouse. My Dr. said there are meds for it but with bad side affects.


oilpainter responded 1 hour ago · View

I was diagnosed with essential tremor about 2 years ago. I am affected in the hands and have found that if I don't let my arm touch when I write I can write much better. If you hold your arm up and move the whole writing on a is much easier. If I rest my hand when writing it is very hard to write or be able to read what I have written. [...]

Edited: 02/08/2016 @ 5:41pm

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Apr 1, 2015 by pscotti · View  

Dialysis Patient Stays Active, Sets New Life Goals While Awaiting a Kidney Transplant

Mayo Clinic patient, 57 year-old Jim McGarry of Fruit Cove, Florida, a diagnosis of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) that has required him to go on dialysis three days a week while he awaits a donor kidney hasn’t gotten him down.

Mayo Clinic patient Jim McGarry says a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease that has required him to go on dialysis three days a week while he awaits a donor kidney hasn’t gotten him down.

If you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, it can be easy to get down and wonder why this is happening to you and how will it affect your future goals and dreams. For 57-year-old Jim McGarry of Fruit Cove, Florida, a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease that has required him to go on dialysis three days a week while he awaits a donor kidney hasn’t gotten him down. If anything, it’s given him the motivation to push himself to set and achieve new life goals.

“Finding out I had kidney disease in 2012, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years earlier, was a wake-up call for me about how I was living my life,” says Jim. “I used to travel a lot, didn’t eat right, and didn’t get enough exercise, but that all changed once I realized I needed to deal with my health issues. Then I started to make some much-needed changes to regain my health and re-evaluate the priorities in my life.”


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josephluvsmom responded 13 hours ago · View

Hi my name is Joseph. 6 years ago i stepped into a whole new world of struggle and i took guardianship of my disabled mother who has now been takin dialysis 3x a week for 16 years. She's had 5 strokes... Broke just bout every bone in her body and had some many surgeries i literally cannot count. Yet none o f these have stopped her Will to live. In moms case she was giving [...]


pscotti responded 6 hours ago · View

The first step in this process would be to have your mother evaluated for a kidney transplant. If she is determined to be a good candidate for the surgery, you could then be evaluated to determine if you are a candidate to be a living donor. You can request an appointment at one of Mayo Clinic's three transplant centers online at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, [...]

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1 day ago by SharingMayoClinic · View  

After A Long Bout With Chronic Pain, Parry Winder is Back in Flight

Parry Winder back in flight after pain treatment. At the age of 47, Parry Winder was looking forward to a bright future. Retired from two decades as a test and fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, Parry had transitioned into a non-military role that he relished as a commercial pilot and flight instructor. But in an instant, an accident brought Parry's aspirations for his new career crashing down.

Left with debilitating pain, Parry was forced to quit flying. He thought he'd never return to the cockpit. After searching for answers for more than eight years, though, he found the Pain Clinic at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus was able to offer a solution. Today, Parry is pain-free and back in the skies again.  [...]

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5 days ago by SharingMayoClinic · View  

Wisconsin Man "Falls From Sky" and Survives

David Edming survived a fall from the skyDavid Edming, of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, didn’t want to slow down when he retired. The U.S. Navy veteran, age 56, took up aviation and purchased a powered parachute ultralight aircraft — a three-wheeled machine with a propeller that ascends when wind fills an attached parachute.

“The thing with a powered parachute is you only fly in perfect weather,” David says. He found that perfect weather on July 2, 2013 -- a beautiful day with no wind -- and he took off from his hay field to pass by a local golf course, just as he had done many times.

After his flyby, he tried to increase altitude while making a turn, which was standard procedure. But this time, something went wrong. Although the wing should have caught the wind, it instead curled under, sending him into a nosedive. [...]

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Nov 29, 2012 by Margaret_Marie · View  

No more sweaty palms

Barbara Moy"It's great to meet you," says Barbara Moy, smiling and offering her hand. The commonplace act of shaking hands is for Barbara akin to a miracle.

Since she was a child, Barbara has lived with a rare condition called hyperhidrosis. For persons with hyperhidrosis, "the sweat just pours off," explains Dawn Jaroszewski, M.D., a specialist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and an expert in treating the condition.

Hyperhidrosis can affect almost any part of the body. In Barbara's case, the sweating occurred primarily on her palms, making everyday tasks and social actions like shaking hands nearly impossible to perform.

Because the condition isn't life-threatening, hyperhidrosis is often not taken seriously by others. Yet the effects of the disease can be socially devastating. [...]

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laurelhardy responded Sep 14, 2014 · View

How about using Electro Antiperspirant?


sarahgiles responded 5 days ago · View

I am 21 years old and am a Musical Theatre major at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. I have had horrible problems with my hands my whole life. It was so embarrassing doing scenes with clammy hands. In dance classes, my hands would leave puddles on the floor. Today, I attended my first dance class with NO hand sweating. It's 84 in Chicago! I kept doing research, because I was cast in my first [...]

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Nov 25, 2015 by HoytFinnamore · View  

Surprise Diagnosis Spurs Learning Curve, Search for Help

Cheryl Sturdevant was surprised by her livedoid vasculitis diagnosis.Diagnosed with a rare disease, livedoid vasculopathy, Cheryl Sturdevant turned to Mayo Clinic for help. Then she turned to helping others.

When Cheryl Sturdevant found out she had livedoid vasculopathy, she had no idea what it was. An uncommon disorder, livedoid vasculopathy affects the skin. For no clear reason, it often causes deep wounds in the lower legs and feet, and those wounds can trigger debilitating pain.

"I had symptoms from my calves down onto my feet. The wounds on top of my feet made it difficult to wear shoes. The pain was intense," says Cheryl. "I had been teaching at the time of my diagnosis. But I wasn't able to keep doing that, due to my symptoms. I started looking everywhere for information and help."

Both were hard to come by. Cheryl went to a number of doctors, including several specialists, but she was unable to find someone who could work with her to manage the disease.

She kept researching livedoid vasculopathy and found information about it on a Mayo Clinic website. That prompted her to make a phone call that would change everything.  [...]

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mlemieux responded 6 days ago · View

Cheryl, You're not alone!!! My heart goes out to you and your family. Having LV is not fun at all and can sometimes hurt the mind most of all. Please feel free to connect with us in our Livedoid Vasculopathy discussion group. Mayo Clinic Connect - Livedoid Vasculopathy: 1) 2) Good luck with everything! Regards, Martin Lemieux @Martin_Lemieux - Tweet

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Dec 13, 2012 by Margaret_Marie · View  

Research forges path to effective treatment for sclerosing mesenteritis

Carol Bolton outside Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Carol Bolton enjoys a breath of fresh air between appointments outside Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

With more than three decades of experience as a nurse and nurse manager, Carol Bolton of Exeter, Calif., was acquainted with most medical conditions. But in 2004 when she began experiencing abdominal pain along with episodes of diarrhea or constipation, she was baffled by what it could be. Most likely, she thought, it was related to grief over the abrupt death of her husband of 35 years.

But when the pain persisted and grew worse, she saw a gastroenterologist, who ordered a computed tomography (CT) scan. Carol was shocked to learn that a mass (about the size of a quarter) had been found in her mesentery. The mesentery, a membrane that anchors the small intestine to the back of the abdominal wall, is comprised of delicate folds or leaves filled with blood vessels and nerves. [...]

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msvivian responded Sat, Jan 30 at 4:03pm CST · View

Hi, My name is Vivian and live in Westland. I wish you good luck in getting your mesenteric panniculitis treated. If you find the name of a doctor at U of M that knows something about this, please let me know. Apparently U of M required a referral to see you. I go mainly to the Henry Ford Health System and what complicates things is that I happen to have multiple medical issues. I not [...]


marezdotes responded Sat, Jan 30 at 4:32pm CST · View

Hello Vivian, I also have SM and have found a wealth of information through Lisa on the private Facebook group.  I think you could benefit from them as well. 

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Sat, Jan 30 at 7:12am CST by SharingMayoClinic · View  

Mother and Daughter Winning Battle With Cancer Despite Family History of the Disease

Yadira and Valeria Zepeda are mother and daughter cancer survivors. Most of us have known someone with cancer, either in our family or with a friend or an acquaintance. But cancer can be particularly cruel when it seems to target a specific family over and over again. For the Zepeda family of Miami, cancer has stricken a mother, her daughter, a number of other family members, and even the family dog.

Yadira Zepeda, a 67-year-old mother of four adult children, was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1991 and was told by her physician in Miami that she probably had two to four months to live. Not satisfied with what she heard and unwilling to give up after receiving that devastating news, at a friend’s recommendation she came to Mayo Clinic's Florida campus for the second opinion that has given her life and hope for the past 24 years.

“My Mayo physician for many years, Gerardo Colon-Otero, M.D., said at the time that while my condition was serious and that he couldn’t promise me a miracle, we would fight my disease with every available option, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and eventually with a bone marrow transplant which I received in 1994,” Yadira says. “While it’s been a long battle, including visits to Mayo every three months for many years, my condition has stabilized, and I’m still living my life, and I am able to enjoy my family long after I wasn’t supposed to be here.”

Yadira’s own battle with cancer took a back seat when in June 2008 her daughter Valeria was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia after unexplained bruises began appearing on her legs and arms. Based on her mother’s experience, Valeria went to Mayo Clinic and began receiving targeted chemotherapy for her disease. [...]

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Jun 4, 2015 by HoytFinnamore · View  

Transplant Change-Up Gives Courtney a Second Chance

Courtney Kidd in her hospital room after transplant surgery. Courtney Kidd is working hard to raise organ donor awareness after a new approach to double-organ transplant saved her life.

Born with five congenital heart defects and suffering through several medical complications, Courtney needed both a new heart and a new liver. Previous surgeries at ages 2, 6, 12 and then again at 22, and numerous blood transfusions over the years, had caused her immune system to develop high levels of antibodies that would attack and reject foreign tissues.

She was told that her risk of organ rejection was too high if she received a heart and liver transplant in the usual order. Her Mayo Clinic doctors, however, turned her dire situation into an advantage, and she was one of the first in the world to receive an organ transplant in a way that was likely her only chance to survive.  [...]

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DanaC responded Oct 14, 2015 · View

Amazingly Awesome! God bless her and all at Mayo!


godbless responded Fri, Jan 29 at 10:29pm CST · View

God is good. Me and my wife had the opportunity to meet Courtney, Annie & Kevin Kidd who truly let God carry them through this struggle. I was a patient at Mayo Clinic Hospital awaiting a Liver Transplant with a few days left to live. Just knowing Courtney and her bravery regarding her situations gave me the courage that life was worth fighting for. Courtney has a bless spirit and it transmitted to me. In [...]

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Oct 28, 2009 by LeeAase · View  

Finding Dr. Right

Brenda Bonds, a Mayo Clinic patient from Wisconsin, shared this story recently via email. To share your story, click here for options.

Pain is a fascinating phenomenon. The stronger it gets, the more it steals your life away. And I was clinging to mine. But four years earlier, a few random pains were only a minor annoyance.

Then six months later I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. Meanwhile, those strange pain attacks on one side of my head began to make my eye water. They would start with pressure that built to a peak of pain, and then faded away. Over the next three years I saw my primary doctor, an endocrinologist, an allergist, an ENT, a neurosurgeon and a neurologist about them—but no one had a clue and so they continued.

Then this spring I began having more attacks that were growing in severity. I took naps in my car over lunch just to get through the day. I was tired all the time and eventually needed to take a medical leave from work. It seemed like everything in life triggered an attack—walking, bending, showering—even light, sounds and smells. I became isolated in my home and thought I was eventually going to die from this.

One day I became so desperate for just a moment of relief that I sliced the top of my arm with a knife. The cuts hurt just enough to distract me from my head pains, and then the endorphins kicked in. It was like a two-hour vacation from hell.

By now it had been four years and still no one was medically helping me. My primary doctor wanted me to see a pain psychologist to help me “cope.” Some of the attacks were up to a level 10—the worst a human being can feel. I was fighting to stay off the edge of insanity—and there was no way to “cope” myself away from it.

After endless arguing with my HMO and finally using my own savings, I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. There I met my hero—a neurologist named Dr. Ivan Garza. He listened to me, considered all possibilities, and said he wouldn’t give up until I was well. He solved my mystery, and though my recovery wasn’t overnight, I eventually did get my life back like he promised.

It turned out that my condition is very rare. It’s called SUNA (short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with cranial autonomic features) and difficult to diagnose because there’s no test. But it is sometimes related to pituitary tumors. If you have pain attacks on one side of your head that builds to a peak and fades quickly, making your eye tear—please talk to your doctor. And if he or she doesn’t listen, find someone who will. He’s out there.

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dawnleone responded Fri, Jan 29 at 9:20am CST · View

What an amazing story to read, even though, it's now 7 years later :) I'm going through a big "mess" right now, and although I live where the big hospitals are, right here, near Boston, I have yet to find the "right one" for "all of my problems" just yet. I have found one I love, but still working on many more. My PCP is AWFUL lately, yet used to be so good. I think [...]

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Wed, Jan 27 at 4:21pm CST by SharingMayoClinic · View  

Mom of 6-Year-Old Counts Reasons to Take Heart Health Seriously

Marla Burkhart made lifestyle changes to improve her heart health. Marla Burkhart's story dates back to 2009, when she underwent an emergency cesarean section at Mayo Clinic eight weeks before her due date. Before the surgery took place, doctors discovered that Marla had a condition called peripartum cardiomyopathy, a rare pregnancy-related heart condition that occurs in about 1 in 3,000 deliveries and causes inefficient blood circulation. Despite the complications, however, Marla delivered a healthy baby boy named Noah.  [...]

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Jun 11, 2014 by HoytFinnamore · View  

Near-death experience brings second chance, new calling

Nancy Capelle with emergency medical technician Mike Szumagala, whose quick actions helped save her life.

Nancy Capelle with emergency medical technician Mike Szumagala, whose quick actions helped save her life.

On May 14, 2011, Nancy Capelle, a wife and mother of two young daughters, clinically died at the age of 40. She suffered spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a condition that blocks blood flow to the heart causing a heart attack, abnormalities in heart rhythm and sudden death. But thanks to the quick actions of a paramedic, she is alive today to tell her harrowing story of life and death.

What was so hard for Nancy to comprehend following her medical emergency, she says, was that in a blink of an eye and without warning, healthy young women can be stricken by SCAD and die. Yet it didn’t appear from her research into the condition that the medical community was actively researching the tragic phenomenon. Perhaps it was because it was considered so rare that support for such a study would be difficult to find, she thought, or that finding enough SCAD survivors would be even more problematic.

Then Nancy came across an article in the Aug. 30, 2011, edition of The Wall Street Journal titled, “When Patients Band Together -- Using Social Networks To Spur Research for Rare Diseases; Mayo Clinic Signs On.” For Nancy, this article changed the dark face of SCAD dramatically, and she would find herself and many other young women just like her able to see daylight again. [...]

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cheryle555 responded Fri, Jan 15 at 12:09am CST · View

I am hoping to connect with other women who have had this. I just returned from the hospital today after having a 100% blockage in the LAD. I am dealing with it, but would like more education and of course, I am scared.


HoytFinnamore responded Tue, Jan 26 at 9:49pm CST · View

Hi, Cheryle555. The links at the end of the article may help you learn more about this condition. You might also check the Heart & Blood Health Group on Mayo Clinic Connect: If you'd like to seek help from Mayo Clinic, check our appointments page:

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Nov 25, 2012 by Margaret_Marie · View  

Mexican man grateful for normal life after liver transplant

Mauricio Perez-Olegaray and his wifeWhen doctors in Mexico City diagnosed Mauricio Perez-Olegaray with liver cirrhosis, he thought the condition was the result of earlier alcohol consumption and a genetic predisposition. But at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., doctors discovered instead the silent progress of hepatitis C. For the next six years, a team of Mayo Clinic specialists cared for Perez, managing his symptoms with medication while monitoring his condition closely for any sign of the liver cancer that can be caused by the virus. When tumors were detected in the liver, Perez's name was added to the liver transplant waiting list while doctors used chemoembolization to shrink the tumors and prevent them spreading outside the liver. [...]

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lynnean responded Sat, Jan 23 at 5:53pm CST · View

My name is Lynnean Lynne for short, I have been diagnosed with liver failure due hep c and drinking. This will be 1 year in March I've been sober.I have not recieved a transplant and not looking good for this to happen. They give me till July to expire.I'm scared! I have done all they have asked of me and was placed on the list only to be taken off the list this past month. [...]

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May 2, 2014 by cindyweiss · View  

#StrokeMonth: TIAs - The Warnings Most Ignore

Lorena Rivera with two of her three children.

Lorena Rivera (center), stroke survivor, with two of her three children.

Many people experience a warning prior to a stroke. But often it goes unnoticed, especially when you’re young and otherwise healthy, like Lorena Rivera, 44.

A nurse educator at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus, Rivera was the picture of good health. She didn’t drink or smoke, had good blood pressure, and ate a healthful diet. She was also physically active. So when the mom of three experienced headaches and numbing in one arm, she wasn’t too concerned. However, when she temporarily lost vision while doing errands one day, she became more frightened.

Rivera, it turns out, had been experiencing a TIA – a transient ischemic attack – which produces similar symptoms as a stroke but usually lasts only a few minutes and causes no permanent damage. Often called a mini stroke, a TIA is a warning. About 1 in 3 people who have a transient ischemic attack eventually has a stroke, with about half occurring within a year after the first episode.  [...]

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Marylucas responded Thu, Jan 7 at 12:55am CST · View

November was tragic for me, A Lpn for 30 years, and now at a new job, first day on the job, 4 days before thanksgiving in which my mom past on that day, 1975 @ the age od 29, I, YES ME HAD A TIA, AT WORK, RUSHED TO THE HOSPITAL. Now on plavix and baby asa, still worry from time to time. Thanks for listening, MARY55


mgalle81 responded Thu, Jan 21 at 2:56pm CST · View

I had a stroke/ TIA back in September 2015. I was riding home from out of town and got about 30 miles outside of San Angelo TX and the whole side of my left face wrapping around my throat area went dumb for just a second then I got real hot and then freezing. I was trying to tell my sister I wanted a blanket and I knew what I wanted to say but I [...]

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Wed, Jan 20 at 3:22pm CST by SharingMayoClinic · View  

3-D Print of Patient's Tumor Helps Surgeons Prepare, Speeds Recovery

Michael Slag holds a 3-D image of his lungMichael Slag holds in his hands a tumor – or rather a 3-D print of the actual tumor that is growing at the top of his right lung. Doctors are using the 3-D printed model to aid them in planning the complex surgery to remove Michael’s tumor.

Mayo Clinic doctors diagnosed Michael with a rare form of lung cancer known as Pancoast tumor, a condition so rare that Mayo Clinic has only seen 60 cases in the past 20 years. [...]

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Feb 23, 2010 by LeeAase · View  

Hayley's POTS Story: Getting Answers at Mayo Clinic

Editor's Note: The following was written by Christine Lairmore of Lake Arrowhead, California.

Hayley Lairmore with her dog, Shadow

Hayley Lairmore with Shadow

When our daughter, Hayley, turned 14 on March 8, 2009, we took her to Disneyland to celebrate. After a day full of riding rides and eating junk food, she woke up vomiting and kept vomiting all night long and all the next day. Our previously healthy daughter never stopped vomiting after that day, sometimes vomiting up to 12 times daily. Severe abdominal pain followed about a week later. I started by taking her to her regular pediatrician, who thought it was a flu and advised minimal eating, increase fluids, etc… just wait it out. It never got any better.

Update: Read more about Hayley's story on, and see videos of Mrs. Lairmore telling the story of their journey on the Mayo Clinic YouTube Channel.

Watching our daughter suffering and not getting better, we took her to our local ER, fearing dehydration or something more serious. They ran some tests, suspecting food allergies (mainly Celiac Disease), did some x-rays of her abdomen, and ultimately sent us home with a prescription for Zantac. Days later, the blood test came back positive for Celiac Disease. We promptly put her on a gluten free diet, but there was no improvement to her condition.

Next we sought help through a G.I. specialist at Loma Linda Medical Center. He at first thought she was just constipated and prescribed a treatment plan for that. When she continued to worsen over the next week, he then performed an endoscopy – which showed mild gastritis and duodenitis and, more importantly, it ruled out Celiac disease. However, this doctor kept saying she was fine, nothing was wrong, and there was no more testing or medicine he could do. I told him her pain was worsening, she was still vomiting 8-10 times daily, she doubles over from her abdominal pain, she complains of dizziness, begs and cries for help, and I am at my wits end. They prescribe Miralax for constipation, which gives her bowel accidents she can’t control, and at age 14 she has to wear a diaper during long car rides. I have to literally beg the doctor, against his wishes, to perform a colonoscopy because she is still in so much pain and I fear we are missing something important. The doctor still has no answers and continues to say that the pain is “all in her head.”

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lpeach responded Jan 12, 2014 · View

My son has been diagnosed with POTS and has the same severe vomiting. He has been vomiting about 10 times a day since September of 2012. His pedi neurologist has not been able to get the vomiting under control. Any advice you could give about medicine therapy that may help?


spada responded Mon, Jan 18 at 1:43pm CST · View

I met a young woman with the same problem. Her cardiologist at Temple University gave her 25mg Nortriptyline and it stopped immediately.

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Nov 27, 2012 by Margaret_Marie · View  

Seek and you shall find the answer

Mike WuestFor more than four years, Mike Wuest was troubled by a tic, a twitching in his face that he could not get rid of. It started in his left eye and later moved to his cheek as well.

"I assumed the tic was from some stressful events I was going through at work," Wuest says. The tic affected Wuest physically, emotionally and socially. "As the twitching progressed, I became more and more reclusive. I just didn't want to be out in public."

Wuest's primary care physician thought the eye twitch was anxiety-induced and prescribed a medication, but it had no effect. The doctor suggested that Wuest might be a good candidate for mind control therapy, but beyond that had no more ideas. [...]

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angelb1944 responded Mon, Jan 18 at 1:09pm CST · View

How long was your recovery after the surgery? How is your lifestyle now? I have had this Hemifacial Twitch for about 1 1/2 years now.. I have had Botox injections in my face which do not seem to help? Any information would be very helpful!1 thank you

Edited: 01/18/2016 @ 1:19pm

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Fri, Jan 15 at 4:54pm CST by SharingMayoClinic · View  

Stroke at 36 Comes as Shock, Reveals Deeper Issues

Scott Gunderson with his familyScott Gunderson is a typical working father of three young children. His days typically are full of meetings, play dates, golf games and helping manage his busy family’s calendar. You likely wouldn't guess that the 38-year-old from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, is a stroke survivor and heart valve patient. [...]

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Wed, Jan 13 at 4:29pm CST by SharingMayoClinic · View  

Employee, Caregiver, Patient: Many Hats for Andrea Liptac

Andrea Liptac found help for heart conditions at Mayo Clinic. Andrea Liptac describes her journey to Mayo Clinic as a "winding road."

She first learned about Mayo in the early 1990s, when she was living in Montana with her family. At that time, her mother, Kelli Liptac, was diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure, and was referred to a specialist at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. Her chronic conditions would warrant multiple trips to Rochester over the years. She would ultimately land on the heart transplant list.

As Andrea approached college graduation in 2004 and began to consider where to apply her education as a laboratory technologist, she recalled her mother's visits to Rochester.

"My mom's treatment at Mayo Clinic indirectly influenced my decision to work here," Andrea recalls. She applied to work as a laboratory technician in the Protein Immunology Laboratory at Mayo and has remained in that role ever since.

Unfortunately, Andrea's Mayo Clinic experience went beyond her employment. She would learn she and her mother shared more in common than she knew, leading her on a  a surprising and difficult journey she says gave her a different perspective on Mayo Clinic and a new understanding of the patient experience.  [...]

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Nov 4, 2009 by lamaster · View  

A Day in the Life of a Mayo Flight Nurse

Whether it be flying to the scene of a car accident or transporting a critically ill patient to a specialty hospital by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft, the flight nursing specialty requires an experienced and skilled professional to make split-second decisions during intense situations.

A day in the life of a flight nurse is never the same. Tim Alden, R.N.,  flight nurse for Mayo Clinic Medical Transport (MCMT) in Rochester, Minn., would agree that the flight nursing specialty provides a level of excitement that is difficult to match within the nursing profession.

As a flight nurse with MCMT, Tim's "offices" are in the back of a Eurocopter 145 or in the cabin of a Beechjet 400. Each aircraft is stocked with equipment and medication comparable to what would be found in an emergency department or intensive care unit. Tim and his colleagues must be prepared for any type of emergency and must be able to perform in any environment. Tim maintains advanced skills by completing continuous training and education.

I had the opportunity to interview Tim to discuss what a typical day in the life of a flight nurse was like and to ask questions about what it takes to become a flight nurse.

Mayo Clinic Medical Transport celebrates its 25th year of service this year. MCMT has grown to include three bases in Rochester and Mankato, Minn. and Eau Claire, Wisc.  The MCMT medical crew is composed of medical directors, flight nurses, flight paramedics, as well as a Nursing Education Specialist and a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  Specially trained neonatal and pediatric nurses and respiratory therapists are also an essential part of the Mayo Clinic Medical Transport team.  Each year, MCMT collectively transports over 2,000 patients. MCMT flight nurses also work on Mayo MedAir Ambulance, Mayo's fixed-wing aircraft, to transport patients across the country. MCMT comprises state-of-the-art aircraft designed to provide optimal care and enhance the safety for all on board. It goes without stating, however, MCMT would not be successful without the pilots, mechanics and Emergency Communications Center, as well as all of the team members that contribute to meeting the needs of our patients.

Flight nursing is only one of many specialties the nursing profession has to offer. For those interested in the nursing profession, click on the following link to learn more about over 60 nursing specialties at Mayo Medical Center. Tim would welcome any comments you may have on the flight nursing specialty or any other comments you may have.

This post was submitted by Mark LaMaster, nursing placement coordinator, Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

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Shanon78 responded Fri, Jan 8 at 12:55am CST · View

I'm very interested in med flight nurse and currently getting my bsn. I would love to follow one day for my clinicals. How would I go about doing so

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