Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Items Tagged ‘Neurosurgery’

March 7th, 2017

Teamwork Gives Maureen Connell an Accurate Diagnosis and Much-Needed Relief From Hydrocephalus

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

After enduring months of unexplained symptoms that left her unable to walk, Maureen Connell found the answer to her puzzling medical condition at Mayo Clinic.

Barry Connell couldn’t be happier to have his wife of 53 years, Maureen, back.

Though the couple spent 16 years traveling cross-country after Barry retired as president of a manufacturing company in Connecticut, nothing prepared them for the difficult journey they would embark on when Maureen’s health began to decline rapidly in 2015.

For the first five months of that year, The Villages, Florida, resident noticed his normally lively wife wasn’t as alert as she used to be. She was also much slower to respond to situations. Then, on Mother’s Day, Maureen collapsed in the bathroom of the restaurant where their family was celebrating.

That incident led to months of debilitating symptoms for Maureen, along with a series of ineffective treatments. No one could explain what was happening to her. In desperation, the Connells turned to Mayo Clinic, where they were able to finally find the source of Maureen’s problem — hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain.

“After struggling with this for three months, we got a preliminary diagnosis less than 24 hours after arriving at Mayo,” Barry says.  Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Dr Betty Kim, hydrocephalus, neurosurgery, Transverse myelitis


February 13th, 2017

Skillful Spine Surgery Gets Rid of a Rare Tumor and Keeps Mike LaBorde on His Feet

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Mike LaBorde came to Mayo Clinic facing a daunting diagnosis and high-risk spine surgery. But through the care and expertise of his Mayo Clinic surgical team, today Mike’s back to business as usual.

For more than a year, Mike LaBorde thought he had carpal tunnel syndrome. His left hand and arm often tingled and felt numb. He wore a brace for a while, but it didn’t help. Then he had carpal tunnel surgery, not once, but twice. The surgeries made no difference.

“I was quite aggravated that the surgery was not successful,” Mike says. “But I was told that nothing is 100 percent guaranteed. I just kept working and doing the best I could. And it kept getting worse and worse.”

When the symptoms didn’t fade, Mike’s primary care doctor suspected a herniated disc, so Mike had an MRI. What that test revealed changed everything. Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Dr Mohamad Bydon, neurosurgery


January 19th, 2017

Novel Approach to Epilepsy Surgery Allows a Young Woman to Enjoy Life Again

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

When standard treatments weren’t good options for controlling Marissa’s seizures, her Mayo Clinic team tried a different tactic: cortical stimulation. The surgery was a success, and it paved the way for the procedure to be used for others dealing with epilepsy.

Five weeks before she was born, Marissa B. had a stroke in utero. When her mother went into labor, Marissa had another stroke. Diagnosed with epilepsy at birth, Marissa spent her first month of life in the neonatal intensive care unit.

“When she was six months old, they did a brain MRI,” Marissa’s mom, Lisa, says. “They said she would never walk or go to a regular school.”

The strokes took a significant toll on the left side of Marissa’s body. She doesn’t have fine motor skills in her left hand. She has a blind spot in her lower left eye and hearing loss in her left ear. Sensation on her entire left side was also affected.

“I’ve been on seizure meds since birth,” says Marissa, who is now 24 years old.

Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Dr. Elaine Wirrell, Dr Kendall Lee, Dr Matt Stead, Epilepsy, neurosurgery


January 13th, 2017

Walking Easy Again After Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

After enduring months of debilitating leg pain, minimally invasive spine surgery at Mayo Clinic got Dan Hofferber back on his feet.

After a 37-year career at a petroleum company, Dan Hofferber was looking forward to retirement. But in 2014, Dan started having trouble with one of his legs. The muscle in his left thigh would tighten up, causing unbearable pain that made it hard to walk.

“I was used to walking a mile or two, and I couldn’t do that anymore,” says Dan, who travels to Florida for spring training every year with his wife, Carol.” I couldn’t even walk from the parking lot to the baseball stadium.”

The pain prompted Dan to seek care in his hometown of Billings, Montana. After several months without relief, a family member urged him to go to Mayo Clinic. Dan took that advice, traveling to Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. There, he met neurologic surgeon Mohamad Bydon, M.D. Dan was immediately impressed.

Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Dr Mohamad Bydon, Dr Ralph Gay, neurosurgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spinal stenosis


November 4th, 2016

Multiple Medical Emergencies Give Nurse A New Perspective on Mayo Clinic Care

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

After receiving treatment for two serious falls and going through a surgery, nurse Jackie Traurig has a heightened appreciation for the health care Mayo Clinic provides.

Jackie Traurig in the body cast needed to heal her fractured lumbar vertebra and with the nurse from Orthopedic Surgery who helped ease her nerves, Lori Pierce, who she calls “the biggest angel in the world.”

As a nurse for more than eight years at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, Jacklyn Traurig knew firsthand the value of the organization’s team approach to health care. But although Jackie was practiced at providing quality care, she didn’t truly see just how exceptional Mayo Clinic’s style was until she found herself in back-to-back medical crises.

A fall on the stairs landed Jackie in the Emergency Department with a broken back. Then, while still healing from the first event, Jackie fell again. This time, she slipped in a stairwell and suffered a concussion and broken collarbone. A CT scan following that fall revealed a brain tumor.

Despite all this, Jackie looks for the good in her experiences.

Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Dr Ian Parney, emergency medicine, Jacklyn Traurig, Lori Pierce, neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery


October 25th, 2016

Deep-brain Stimulation Helps A Pilot Return to Flight

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Ryan Uitti, M.D., and Beth McAllister with a self-portrait of patient Tyrone Nanton.

Ryan Uitti, M.D., and Beth McAllister of the movement disorders surgical team with a self-portrait of their grateful patient, Tyrone Nanton.

As a commercial airline pilot, Tyrone Nanton spends his days in a standard blue-and-white uniform. But in his off-hours, Tyrone’s creativity emerges in two favorite hobbies: creating colorful, elaborate costumes for carnival in his native Antigua, and painting. From 2006 to 2015, though, a tremor that got progressively worse made his hands shake so much that it kept him not only from those artistic pursuits, it eventually kept him from flying.

When the tremor started, Tyrone went to see a neurologist near his home in Brandon, Florida. To control the shaking, he was given a medication typically used for seizures. Due to regulations, however, the airline barred use of that medication. Tyrone had to find a different drug to manage his symptoms. Over time, however, even with an ever-increasing dosage of that medication, his tremor worsened.

“I couldn’t hold a glass with one hand. I couldn’t eat with a knife and fork,” Tyrone says.

At that point, Tyrone could not continue flying. He had to take medical leave and go on disability. Tyrone says he couldn’t imagine no longer being a commercial airline pilot. Seeking options after his local neurologist said there was nothing else that could be done, he decided to get a second opinion.  Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Deep Brain Stimulation, Dr Robert Wharen, Dr Ryan Uitti, Essential Tremor, Florida Campus, Movement Disorders, neurosurgery


October 24th, 2016

Spinal Cord Stimulator Eases Pain Without Creating Limitations for Paul Hesson

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

When he was 38, Paul Hesson was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, and the condition triggered significant chronic back pain.

“Back then, they said I had the back of a 75-year-old man,” says Paul, who is 75 now.

As Paul got older, his pain increased, and he had severe joint stiffness. He went to see several neurosurgeons in the Jacksonville, Florida, area and received differing opinions for how to treat his condition. Ultimately, he decided to use medication to manage the pain. But by 2014, Paul’s pain worsened to the point that it limited his day-to-day activities. He knew he needed to do something more.  Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Dr Ronald Reimer, neurosurgery, Pain Medicine


September 10th, 2016

Persevering Through Brain Cancer, Travis McGinnis Remains Upbeat and Optimistic

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Travis McGinnis rings bell after cancer treatment. Travis McGinnis was just 30 years old when an insidious cancer was discovered in his brain. It had been growing there for some time, he says — his physicians estimated between five and 10 years. Had the stage-three oligoastrocytoma not been detected when it was, Travis would have likely lost his life. As it happened, thanks to care and treatment provided by neurologists and neurosurgeons at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, the only solid thing the father of three lost to the cancer was a fist-sized piece of his brain.

While having cancer was something he never wanted, Travis says the experience gave him insights and gifts he would not have otherwise realized: deep appreciation for his family and friends, gratitude for the present, and faith in strangers who generously supported him.

“Sometimes I’ll sit and think about everything I’ve been through, and it moves me to tears,” Travis says. “I’m alive and better for it. I wish I never would’ve had to go through it, but at least it wasn’t for nothing.” Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: brain tumor, glioma, Hope Lodge, Neurology & Neurosurgery, neurosurgery, oligoastrocytoma, radiation therapy


July 16th, 2016

Refusing to Give Up After Devastating Accident, A Farmer Finds Help and Healing at Mayo Clinic

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Gene Franke is back on his feet after farm accident. When Gene Franke left his farm in rural Hayfield, Minnesota, driving a semi-trailer truck loaded with hay and bound for Oklahoma, he never imagined the return leg of his journey would be as a passenger in an air ambulance jet. But in September 2011, that’s exactly what happened.

A serious accident left Gene paralyzed and in critical condition. Doctors in Oklahoma didn’t think he would survive. Longtime patients of Mayo Clinic, Gene and his wife, Barbara, were determined to get him back to Mayo's Rochester, Minnesota, campus for care.

“The doctors at Mayo Clinic knew what was going on, and they assured us they could do something for him,” Barbara says. “We knew he had to get up here. The care at Mayo Clinic is like nowhere else. We’re used to it, and that’s what we wanted.”  Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Mayo MedAir, Rehabilitation, air ambulance, neurosurgery, spinal cord injury


June 26th, 2016

Former Airman, Stroke Survivor Tells of Life Punctuated by Commas

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Former senior airman, R. Brady Johnson, survived a cerebral hemorrhage and stroke.When stroke survivor R. Brady Johnson first visited Mayo Clinic nearly nine years ago, his doctors didn't quite know what to make of him. Not only was his stroke, at age 31, unusual, but his post-stroke physicality surprised the team of neurologists he'd come to see.

It had been just over a year since Brady, who lives in Belvedere, Illinois, had a major stroke during a surgery to mitigate a cerebral hemorrhage. The stroke cost him the sensation in his right side, the ability to speak, to run, and a litany of other abilities. Yet, in the time between the stroke and visiting Mayo, the former senior airman for the U.S. Air Force and marathon runner had managed to coax his body to do things that his rehabilitation team initially said would be impossible.

Read the rest of this entry »

View full entry · Comment on this

Tags: Cerebral Hemorrhage, Neurology & Neurosurgery, neurosurgery, stroke


Contact Us · Privacy Policy