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Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery

February 23rd, 2017

Mitral Clip Gets a Fisherman Back on the Water

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

A leaky mitral valve in his heart was making life difficult for Bob Hamme. But minimally invasive surgery to place a mitral clip solved the problem and allowed Bob to get back to the activities he enjoys.

Fishing has been a big part of 83-year-old Bob Hamme’s life since he was a child.

“I just enjoy being out on the water or near water and fishing, just being with nature,” he says.

After being diagnosed with congestive heart failure due a leaky mitral valve, Bob was not only unable to enjoy fishing, he had a hard time with everyday activities. His heart condition was causing a buildup of fluid in his lungs, as well as his legs and feet.

“I became increasingly out of breath,” Bob says. “I didn’t have the energy I had all along.”

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Tags: Cardiovascular Diseases, congestive heart failure, Dr Peter Pollak, Mitral Valve Clip


February 15th, 2017

Local Politician Doesn’t Skip a Beat With Mechanical Heart Pump

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Heart failure threatened to derail Junior Boatright’s busy life, but a left ventricular assist device has helped him get back on track while he waits for a heart transplant.

While Walter “Junior” Boatright was running for a second term as Nassau county commissioner in northeast Florida in November 2012, he started to feel winded. At first, he chalked it up to getting older and just not having the same energy he used to, while campaigning 15 hours a day.

But after the campaign was over, and he had won the election, the Callahan, Florida, native says he was out of breath just walking out to the mailbox.

“It was like I had run down the road and back,” Junior says. “I knew something wasn’t right.”

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Tags: Cardiac Rehabilitation, Dr Daniel Yip, Dr Jeffrey Hosenpud, Dr Kevin Landolfo, heart failure, Heart Failure Clinic, Left Ventricular Assist Device, lvad


January 30th, 2017

Rare Heart Condition Turns Young Athlete into Advocate

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Joe Meyer became an advocate after heart surgery. Growing up, Joe Meyer loved sports. In elementary school, he played basketball and baseball. The summer before he entered eighth grade, the Jacksonville, Florida, youth decided to give football a try.

Before he took to the gridiron, Joe visited his pediatrician for sports physical. At that appointment, his doctor noticed a heart murmur. Joe, then 14, couldn’t be cleared to play until he went to a cardiologist.

In August 2011, after seeing a pediatric cardiologist and having an echocardiogram and stress test, Joe was diagnosed with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM — an incurable disease, usually caused by gene mutations, in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick.

The diagnosis took Joe away from sports and other physical activity for several years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: American Heart Association, Congenital Heart Disease, Dr Mohamad Yamani, Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy, Septal Myectomy


January 12th, 2017

Despite Two Aortic Aneurysms, Dennis Brennan Living the Life he Loves

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm in 2008, Dennis Brennan turned to Mayo Clinic. Nine years and two surgeries later, Dennis is grateful for the comprehensive care he’s received that’s safeguarded his health.

Dennis Brennan met Albert Hakaim, M.D., a vascular surgeon at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, in January 2008. Then 73 years old and living in Ft. Meyers, Florida, Dennis had just learned that he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm — a weakened and enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the main artery that supplies blood to the body.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms affect only about 8 percent of the population. But they are serious. If it ruptures, an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be life-threatening.

After learning his diagnosis, Dennis knew he wanted a second opinion, especially because he had a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Dennis immediately thought of Mayo Clinic. He and his wife Anna had been to Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, many times, where Dennis had his annual physicals for nearly three decades.

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Tags: Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Dr Albert Hakaim, Dr Richard Agnew, Endovascular repair, Thoracic aortic aneurysm, Vascular and endovascular surgery


September 17th, 2016

Artist Back at the Drawing Board After A Stroke

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

bobgessner805Shirley and Bob Gessner have weathered some tough times during their 56 years of marriage. But nothing could have prepared Shirley for the night of April 10, 2015, when she awoke at 3:30 a.m. to a thud — the sound of her husband falling out of bed.

“I asked him what was the matter, but Bob couldn’t talk. He couldn’t move, and I couldn’t get him up,” says Shirley about her husband, a former advertising executive and designer of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Penguins logos. “I called 911 right away.”

The ambulance took Bob, 82, to the hospital closest to his home in St. Augustine, Florida, where doctors confirmed he was having a strokeRead the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Comprehensive Stroke Center, Dr David A Miller, Florida Campus, stroke, Thrombectomy, tPA, atrial fibrillation, Diabetes


September 9th, 2016

Why I Walk: Alexandra Abreu-Figueroa

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Alexandra Abreu Figueroa (right), pictured with her mother Lyana Figueroa-Soto, is inspired by the First Coast Heart Walk to improve her fitness and tackle a family struggle with weight.

Editor’s note: In this article, Alexandra Abreu-Figueroa, an intern in Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus, shares her story and discusses why she participates in the First Coast Heart Walk, an annual event sponsored by Mayo Clinic.


Growing up, I was always overweight. During my teenage years, in particular, I struggled — losing and gaining weight over and over again. I tried different diets, pills and exercises while battling bullying, depression and societal standards that said I should try to fix my body.

As an adult, I made the decision to have a gastric lap band inserted to help control my weight, but it still didn’t change my mindset.

Obesity is not out of the ordinary in my family nor in my culture. Most of my family members have had challenges with obesity at one point in their lives. And, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 42.5 percent of Latinos are overweight or obese. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cardiology, First Coast Heart Walk, Heart Disease, stroke


August 16th, 2016

Coordination and Teamwork Make Simultaneous Surgeries Seamless for Heart Transplant Recipients

By Hoyt Finnamore HoytFinnamore

WilliamandMichale805Michael Tyler and William Tiger didn’t know one another before the summer of 2016. But they now share a unique life event. Both 55-year-olds underwent heart transplant surgery at Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus on the same day, at the same time. Completing the simultaneous procedures was a milestone for the Transplant Center team in Arizona, who had not previously been called on to perform more than one heart transplant at a time.

“It was truly remarkable how the team came together,” says transplant coordinator Allison Smith, who said the offers for both hearts came in on a Friday afternoon. Extensive coordination and precise timing were crucial to providing the best possible outcomes for the patients.

“When we all came in on Monday morning and knew the patients were doing well, it was like a euphoric high,” she says.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, Dr Louis Lanza, Dr Octavio Pajaro, heart transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, Michael Marranca, ventricular assist device


August 12th, 2016

Life Beyond A Heart Transplant is Vibrant and Full for Elmo Aquino

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

For years, Elmo Aquino dealt with persistent heart problems that eventually led to a heart transplant. Since then, he’s moved forward and has been thriving, both personally and professionally.

Fifteen years ago, Elmo Aquino, a resident of Orange Park, Florida, was an avid runner. He’d competed in Jacksonville's Gate River Run, an annual 15-kilometer running event, several times. But one morning in the summer of 2001, his active lifestyle came to an abrupt end when suddenly, while on a treadmill, he found he couldn’t run.

“I knew something was wrong, because I was used to running,” recalls Elmo, now age 43. He knew he needed medical treatment. “I could have gone to some of the other hospitals,” he says. “But with Mayo Clinic here in town, it was a no-brainer for me.”

Elmo was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy — a condition in which the chambers of the heart become enlarged — and he ended up in the intensive care unit. That’s where he first met Daniel Yip, M.D., medical director for the Heart Failure and Transplant Program at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Dr Daniel Yip, Dr Jeffrey Hosenpud, Left Ventricular Assist Device, Mayo Clinic in Florida, transient ischemic attack


August 3rd, 2016

Healing Baby Lucas’ Heart With His Own Cells

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

A Mayo Clinic research team led by Timothy Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., is using Lucas Gutman’s own stem cells to try and save him from needing a heart transplant later in life. Jennifer Gutman calls the day doctors diagnosed her youngest son, Lucas, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome the worst day of her life. The severe heart defect, sometimes referred to as HLHS, was uncovered during what Jennifer and her husband, Brian, thought would be a routine ultrasound.

The startling news brought immediate fears for Lucas’ future.

Determined to help Lucas, Jennifer’s sister-in-law, a physician, reached out to medical colleagues for advice. One of the phone calls she made led her to Timothy Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Connecting with Dr. Nelson and his team has made the long-term outlook for Lucas and his family considerably brighter.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: clinical trials, Dr Timothy Nelson, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Karen Miller, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, regenerative medicine, research


June 30th, 2016

Quick Access to Stroke Experts Through Telemedicine Makes All the Difference for George Hoggard

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

GeorgeHoggard805b George Hoggard knows a thing or two about the importance of a rapid response. A former firefighter, the 78-year-old Titusville, Florida, resident spent the better part of his 42-year career teaching astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center how to escape to safety in the event of an emergency on the launch pad. He also was a member of the rescue team that would respond if something went wrong with a space shuttle mission.

So when his right eye suddenly began looking left while watching TV on a Sunday evening in April 2016, George knew something was amiss. When he began feeling nauseated, he told his wife, Rita, he needed to get to the hospital.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr David Barrett, Florida Campus, Mayo Clinic Care Network, stroke, Stroke Telemedicine


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