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Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Mayo Clinic Health System

March 23rd, 2017

Dylan Walling Survives Crash and Exceeds Expectations in Recovery

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Severe injuries from a motorcycle crash left Dylan Walling fighting for his life. But a care team at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, put the 21-year-old on the road to recovery.

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.

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Tags: Dr David Ciresi, Dr James Banich, emergency medicine, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery


October 17th, 2016

Diagnosis and Treatment of Chiari Malformation Spurs Nikki Prins to Reach Out to Others

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Nikki Prins enjoying time outdoors.Oct. 23, 2015, is a date that Nikole Prins will always remember. It’s the day she finally learned the reason for the bizarre symptoms she had been dealing with for more than half her life. Nikki precisely recalls the time she heard the news. It was 1:24 in the afternoon when her doctor called with the results of an MRI she had the previous day.

“I was diagnosed with Chiari malformation,” says Nikki, who lives in Owatonna, Minnesota, and received care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Owatonna. “No one wants to be told at 21 that you have a brain malformation. I cried a lot.”

For years, Nikki had experienced a range of symptoms that included lightheadedness, fainting and extremities that tingled when she stood up, as well as migraines that got worse while she was standing. As a preteen, she was told she was having syncope episodes when she got lightheaded. Later, physicians made the diagnosis of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. But neither diagnosis nor any treatment had an effect on her symptoms. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Chiari malformation, Dr Grant Mallory, Mayo Clinic Health System in Owatonna, Neurology & Neurosurgery


October 13th, 2016

After Motorcycle Crash, Surgical-Assistant-Turned-Patient Sees Hospital With New Eyes

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

After a serious motorcycle crash, Shari Callagahan gained a heightened appreciation for the comprehensive, compassionate health care provided by her employer, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.As a first surgical assistant for 23 years with Mayo Clinic Health System, Shari Callaghan was trained to provide the utmost in care to her patients. But the 55-year-old resident of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, says she didn’t fully grasp the quality of care Mayo patients receive until she became one herself.

For 31 years, Shari had been an accident-free motorcycle rider. In September 2015, she was involved in a devastating crash. Shari may never fully know what happened that day — the traumatic brain injury she sustained despite wearing a helmet wiped away her memories. But she does recall an ever-present sense of support throughout the time she spent in the hospital at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“I have been on the other side and am thankful,” Shari says. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Bradley Grewe, Emergency Department, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, trauma, Traumatic Brain Injury


August 2nd, 2016

Tree Farmer’s Passion for the Outdoors Thrives Thanks to Palliative Care Team

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Roger and Sally Conklin welcome visits from Charlene Anderson, a palliative care nurse practitioner. Roger Conklin has a passion for being outdoors. A tree farmer for more than 50 years, Roger looks forward to the changing seasons and experiencing the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting.

Over the last two decades, however, health concerns have made his outdoor activities more challenging. During that time, Roger has undergone hip and knee replacement, been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and faced additional health issues related to his heart and lungs.

Medical care from his team at Mayo Clinic Health System, along with support from a large circle of family and friends, have seen him through each of these obstacles. And in October 2014, a new feature was added to the mix when Mayo Clinic Health System Palliative and Supportive Care Service became part of Roger’s care team, too.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: hip replacement, knee replacement, Mayo Clinic Health System, palliative care, Prostate Cancer


January 15th, 2016

Stroke at 36 Comes as Shock, Reveals Deeper Issues

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Eau Claire, Endocarditis, Mayo Clinic Health System, stroke


July 20th, 2011

Ron Woodside: Resilient tornado Survivor

By stacytheobald stacytheobald

Ron Woodside

The giant couldn’t crush Ron Woodside’s spirit. The giant — an EF4 tornado that dropped from the sky on June 17, 2010 — destroyed his home and took away the irreplaceable — his wife of 18 years. But Woodside, 77, has survived and thrived.

Ron and Kathy Woodside lived in rural Albert Lea, Minn., and were attuned to the weather that day — which set a new Minnesota record with 48 tornadoes. Woodside recalls seeing an approaching rain cloud and hearing the rain begin. Within moments, the walls of their home were quivering. The home blew apart and the couple was at the mercy of the twister, with wind speeds around 174 mph.

“I remember bouncing along, like a giant was hammering me into the ground,” says Woodside. His wife, Kathy, did not survive.

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Tags: Albert Lea, Mayo Clinic Health System, Ron Woodside


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