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Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Pulmonary Archive

Florida Double Lung Transplant Recipients ‘Pay it Forward’

Posted on August 7th, 2013 by Admin

Portrait of John McGill, Mayo Clinic patient

John McGill, Mayo Clinic patient and double-lung transplant recipient in December 2012.

When Richard Oppelt of Melbourne, Fla., became the first lung-transplant program patient at Mayo Clinic in Florida in June 2001, he never thought that 12 years later he’d be helping someone else with the same situation deal with his recovery. But that’s exactly what Oppelt did in Dec. 2012 when he heard John McGill, a friend of 20 years, needed someone to provide some caregiver support after his double-lung transplant surgery.

McGill was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that affects breathing and absorption of oxygen by the lungs, on Dec. 5, 2012. Oppelt, who knew McGill through working in the construction industry in Melbourne, became aware of McGill’s diagnosis through co-workers. Having gone through the same procedure, Oppelt felt inclined to offer his help.

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An Unexpected Miracle from Down the Hallway

Posted on February 19th, 2013 by Paul Scotti

Mayo Clinic patient Shirley Thompson, recipient of a double lung transplant

Mayo Clinic patient Shirley Thompson, recipient of a double lung transplant

Sometimes miracles happen when you least expect them. No one believes that more than Fleming Island, Florida resident Shirley Thompson, whose tale of how she received two new lungs while in a medically induced coma at Mayo Clinic hospital in Florida isn’t exactly the typical scenario.

The 48-year old married, mother of two was first diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) in March 2012 by her local pulmonologist after undergoing an EKG and experiencing shortness of breath. She was eventually referred to Mayo Clinic for an evaluation and was put on continuous high flow oxygen during treatment for her lung condition. Read the rest of this entry »

International Praise for Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center

Posted on November 14th, 2011 by makalajohnson

Meet Mr. Hussein Hatata, lung cancer survivor, who praises the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependency Center for helping him to quit smoking.

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Nicotine Dependence Residential Treatment Program – John’s Experience

Posted on March 2nd, 2011 by makalajohnson

It's one of those things that at least for me, even when I was leaving to go to Rochester back in 2008, I really had little hope the program would work for me. I smoked 2+ packs a day for 25+ years, and it's not an easy thing to let go. In my mind it gave me comfort, and had become a friend.

It's really a remarkable experience. I know in my case I really didn't have the desire to quit even after I arrived there, but in the back of my mind I knew I should. Once I was there I figured I would give it a shot, but really didn't believe it would work.

One thing I can tell you without any hesitation is the Mayo is like no other hospital I've ever been to, and specifically the Smoking Cessation branch. EVERY one of the staff makes you feel like they care about your well being and success. They address smoking as a disease that must be treated, rather than an out of control habit.

I truly truly truly believe that if they can help me they can help anyone…The freedoms are the biggest reward. No more waking up at night coughing away, no more running out of an airport looking for a space to smoke.

I remember about 6 months after I returned from the Mayo and had my annual physical at work. My lung function test was the first normal one I had in 16 years. My Dr. told me, "You know you gave up drinking 13 years ago, now smoking, you're one of my few patients that seem to be getting healthier as they get older." I truly believe with all my heart, that I couldn't have quit smoking without the Mayo's program, and the support you get even after you leave.

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“It’s spectacular. It’s comforting. And it removes anxiety and fear.”

Posted on February 19th, 2010 by Lee Aase

Rachel Nielson came from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Mayo Clinic last week looking for answers to problems that had bothered her for several months. On Wednesday, halfway through her visit, she shared her impressions of Mayo Clinic and what she called the "unparalleled" experience:

Rachel sent a follow-up note this morning to describe her overall perspective, a week after finishing her appointments at Mayo Clinic:

Since my return from Mayo back to my home in Colorado Springs, I have had a new peace about my symptoms and health outlook. My husband and children share in this new peace. My diagnosis is Costochondritis, which causes much chest & back pain that can often-times come on suddenly, seemingly implicating serious problems such as heart attack or lung issues. I have had these pains for almost 3 months, preceded by a severe respiratory infection, and I am usually a very healthy, athletic 40-year old woman. Though my full recovery may take several months, my anxiety level has significantly decreased, freeing up my body to heal at a faster pace. My quality of life has increased since much of the unknown has been revealed to me. I am very thankful to Mayo and its patient & knowledgeable doctors and staff. Though my healing path is still before me and will take time and rehab, I have been provided a road-map filled with hope that my quality of life will return for me and for my family down the road. Many thanks to Mayo and I remain overwhelmed by my experience there!

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