March 1st, 2017
— Written by Sanan Malkadjian
I was only 14 at the time. I would be ashamed of myself because of how often my stomach hurt. It came to a point where no one would believe the excruciating pain I was facing. This was pain unlike no other.
My doctors here in Michigan would blame one another. They told me it was my menstrual cycle, or I was stressing out too much, or even that I had too many bladder infections. Every single time, I was misdiagnosed.
November 10th, 2016
Stephanie Cortez had been battling the scale for most of her 47 years. Weighing 240 pounds, the Lake Park, Georgia, resident decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery in 2008 in the hopes of losing a hundred pounds.
Stephanie made steady progress for the next six years. She adopted and maintained a healthier lifestyle and better eating habits. Then she hit a roadblock. In 2014, Stephanie developed a bleeding ulcer in the stomach pouch created during her surgery.
Though the ulcer healed, scar tissue created additional problems, including a narrowing of the area between the stomach pouch and intestine. The condition, called the gastrojejunal anastomosis, caused an intestinal obstruction.
September 24th, 2016
Bryan Duncan didn’t think twice about the lab tests he had as part of a routine medical checkup in the fall of 2014. A 29-year-old father of two small children, Bryan led a busy life, didn’t have any health problems, and felt fine.
When the test results came back, though, they showed enzyme levels in Bryan’s liver were higher than normal. This unexpected finding kicked off more than two years of extensive medical care. It brought Bryan from his hometown of Mountain View, Arkansas, to Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, where he was diagnosed with a rare liver disease, and where he eventually received a life-saving living-donor liver transplant.
“The way my disease works, if I had waited for a deceased donor, I probably would have been too sick for a transplant,” Bryan says. “Being able to have a living-donor transplant opened up the opportunity for me to get the second chance I needed.” Read the rest of this entry »
June 6th, 2014
David Hirschy of Prescott, Arizona, has worn many hats — from record producer to chef to silversmith. In fact, his love of food made him think something was wrong a few years ago when he lost his sense of taste. He began to have other symptoms, too, which led him to Mayo Clinic in Arizona where he was diagnosed with the extremely rare Cronkhite-Canada syndrome — so rare that there have been less than 500 cases reported in the past 50 years.
Tags: Arizona, Cronkhite-Canada, Cronkhite-Canada syndrome, David Hershey, David Hirschy, Dr De Petris, Dr Harris, gastroenterology, Giovanni De Petris, Hirschy, Lucinda Harris, pathology, rare disease, rare disorder
November 6th, 2013
Dianne Shea thought that the fevers, chills, vomiting, nausea and endless bouts of diarrhea from C. diff would take away her independence. But after a fecal transplant, she says, "My life began again."
I've been a paraplegic and a Mayo Clinic patient for more than 10 years. My legs decided to stop working over a period of just a few short months due to a spinal tumor. So I didn't think I was a stranger to adversity. Then I met a nasty little bug they call C. difficile. The name is not ironic. At first I thought I had a very violent form of the flu with fevers, chills, vomiting, nausea and (the worst by far) countless, endless bouts of diarrhea.
My days were filled with nothing more than being assisted to the bathroom, cleaning up, getting back into bed, then starting all over again, weaker than before. I required around-the-clock care. I couldn't get dressed, could hardly eat anything, didn't have enough energy to do the smallest of tasks, and couldn't have any fun. Most importantly, I couldn't get through physical therapies for my legs.
May 31st, 2013
Dorylee Baez lives fearlessly.
Whether flying down a zip line or organizing a pancreatic cancer patient group in Puerto Rico, she plunges into life with zest.
The 31-year-old academic advisor at Universidad del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico, is known as someone who is tenacious, overcoming whatever obstacles get in her way to achieve and achieve her goals.
For instance, Baez attended college while simultaneously working and caring for her ailing mother who was suffering from lupus. After her mother died, Baez pressed on to honor her memory and completed a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in college-level education administration. But then, at 29, Baez learned she had a large tumor in her pancreas. Not the diagnosis she was expecting when she went to the doctor.
Tags: American Indians, chemotherapy, colon cancer, FL, Florida, gastroenterology, Hematology, Hepatology, liver cancer, MayoClinicFL, mononucleosis, oncology, pancreatic cancer, patient story, radiation therapy, Whipple Procedure
March 27th, 2013
By Makala Arce
Chuck Lewensten ran a successful business, hunted in Africa and played tennis with his fiancé, Jill.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis changed all that. By the summer of 2010, the disease had ravaged Lewensten’s liver, leaving him homebound and dependent on his family for care. Instead of hunting trips, Lewensten’s travels took him only to the emergency room.
“We were watching our dad die,” says Amy Konsewicz, one of Lewensten’s daughters.
“Dr. Charlton was so compassionate,” says Jill. “We felt like he cared and was going to do everything he could for Chuck.”
Konsewicz says she and her three siblings were eager to donate, but she knew immediately that she would be the one.
Testing proved her right; her blood type and liver size made her a compatible donor. But before surgery could take place, Lewensten needed to be convinced to accept the gift of life from his daughter.
At first, he refused. But as his health deteriorated, and after much reflection and many conversations with his family and doctors, Lewensten relented.
Surgery took place on Oct. 5, 2010. Two years later, Lewensten walked Konsewicz down the aisle on her wedding day. At the reception, Konsewicz and her new husband held a dollar dance that raised close to $1,000 for Mayo Clinic.
Konsewicz doesn’t minimize her experience, which included post-surgical complications. But she says she would donate “100 times over again.” Especially if she could donate at Mayo Clinic.
“Being at Mayo was one of the best experiences of my life,” she says. “Everyone there, from the doormen to the doctors, cares about human beings. I’m a hospital snob now. I’m constantly comparing, and there’s no better place.”
March 11th, 2011
The below article comes from our Sharing Mayo Clinic print publication:
When this active young man who enjoyed playing sports began to have irregular and difficult bowel movements and occasional blood in his stool, he didn’t worry too much. He thought his diet was to blame.
“I tried to hide it in high school. I didn’t want people to know there was a problem,” says Street, a native of Douglas, Ga.