May 23rd, 2016 · 1 Comment
Sherry, then 39, ran daily. Exercise was important to her. After all, sheâ€™d made it her career. She was a professor of physical therapy at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and a research collaborator at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. She spends her days teaching students and patients about the power of exercise and its impact on cardiovascular health.
Climbing out of bed on this morning, though, she recalls feeling â€śoff.â€ť Although she initially shrugged off that feeling, she would quickly realize this was the first of several signs something more serious was in play.Â Read the rest of this entry »
April 1st, 2016 · Leave a Comment
Audra Popp has a rare tumor â€“ anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, also known as anaplastic PXA. Only a handful of people are diagnosed with this condition each year. Audra is the first person at Mayo Clinic with anaplastic PXA to be treated with proton beam therapy.
Audra had 20 proton beam therapy sessions to try to destroy fast-growing cells possibly left behind after surgery.
But proton beam therapy is just the latest step in the battle against Audra's tumor. She's had five craniotomies since 2001, and she has a scar from her right ear to the crown of her head as evidence. She had surgeries at Mayo in 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2015. She also has had three regimens of chemotherapy through the years and six weeks of radiation therapy at Mayo Clinic in 2007.
The tumor has become more aggressive. And each time her surgeons think they have it completely removed, it comes back. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
Troy Chroniger enjoyed a busy, if hectic, life in Orlando, Florida, as a construction estimator and dad to three daughters. To relax, Troy, age 43, enjoyed sports and an occasional motorcycle ride with friends. Life changed dramatically one Saturday in November 2011, when he was out for a ride, hit a rough patch of road, veered and collided with a guardrail. He was rushed to a hospital in Orlando, where doctors diagnosed him with a debilitatingÂ brachial plexus injury.
"It was one of the worst the doctor said he'd seen," Troy recalls the physician saying. Of the five nerves that make up the brachial plexus in the shoulder, Troy suffered a complete nerve evulsion injury. His doctor referred him to Mayo Clinic, which performs hundreds of brachial plexus procedures annually.Â Read the rest of this entry »
October 5th, 2015 · 1 Comment
Stacy Carlson was born with congenital myasthenic syndrome, and although she received a number of opinions throughout her life, it wasnâ€™t until age 44 that she received a definitive diagnosis. It was afterÂ her local physician referred her to Andrew Engel, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic, that DNA testing confirmed a particular gene fault responsible for Stacy's ills.
Stacy would learn that she hadÂ congenital myasthenic syndrome, an inherited neuromuscular disorder caused by defects of several types at the neuromuscular junction. It was a long road getting to that diagnosis.Â Read the rest of this entry »
August 26th, 2015 · 1 Comment
Others might have panicked, but former U.S. Special Forces Engineer Kevin Flike kept his wits about him when he was shot in the abdomen during a firefight in Afghanistan four years ago. Through the worst pain of his life, the Green Beret pushed forward. He radioed his injury to teammates and began assessing the wound, which appeared mortal to his unitâ€™s medic.
â€śI wanted to remain calm because I knew if I wasnâ€™t, it was going to make the situation worse,â€ť says Kevin, who, at 27, was one of the senior members in his unit. As it was, the situation was bad. The bullet tore through his lower abdomen, breaking his hip, damaging his colon, and ripping apart his left femoral nerve.Â Read the rest of this entry »
August 5th, 2015 · 6 Comments
Maryâ€™s journey began when she was in her mid-30s and started to notice a slight trembling in her upper extremities. â€śI thought I just got excited or nervous, scared or tired,â€ť she says. â€śWhen others started remarking on my tremors, I decided to seek a medical explanation.â€ťÂ Read the rest of this entry »
June 12th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
If Ty Wiberg, a 13-year-old from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, has one guiding principle in life, that might be the one.
The Chippewa Falls Middle School student has undergone 16 surgeries, walks with braces and uses a wheelchair for distance. Ty was born withÂ spina bifida, a spinal cord malformation. He also suffers from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain for which a tube-like shunt drains excess fluid. And he has limited sensation from the knees down, among other issues.
Not that any of that is slowing him down.
Ty mono-skis, distance races with his wheelchair, scuba dives, plays wheelchair basketball, swims and does karate. This past winter, he spent a week at a downhill ski camp in Colorado for kids with disabilities and injured veterans. This spring, he recently received his black belt in karate.Â Read the rest of this entry »
May 11th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
At age 42, Donnie DeWitt was the picture of health. A former Marine, he loved to run, surf and was an avid cyclist. But three years ago, while on a bike ride near his home in St. Augustine, Florida, Donnie collapsed. Heâ€™d suffered a massive brain hemorrhage that led to a stroke.
He was brought to Mayo Clinicâ€™s Comprehensive Stroke Center in Jacksonville, where physicians said the damage was so extensive that Donnie had less than a five percent chance of survival.
â€śWe didnâ€™t know if he was going to live, what the outcome would be,â€ť says Belinda, Donnieâ€™s wife. Read the rest of this entry »
May 4th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
Editor's Note: This guest post is written by Amy Edmunds, founder of YoungStroke.
In 2002, I was a daily commuter to Capitol Hill who worked in sales management. Never did I think I would someday return to testify as a patient advocate at Congressional hearings on behalf of young stroke survivors. But then again, never did I expect to be a stroke survivor at age 45.
On Jan. 11, 2002, with no identified risk factors and no family history, I had an ischemic stroke. Initially, my mother observed my repeating phrases during conversation. Next, she witnessed my temporary blindness. Today, I have no recollection of these events. And my resulting deficit remains some long-term memory loss.
Like many, I mistakenly assumed stroke was an affliction of the elderly. As I attempted to learn more about my own experience, I learned approximately 30 percent of people who suffer a stroke each year are under age 65. And women are at an increased risk for stroke. So, too, are African American individuals â€“ many of whom have significant aftereffects.Â Read the rest of this entry »