December 8th, 2016
When most people think of their happy place, they envision something like a warm, sunny beach or a cozy mountain cabin. But when Lisa Fairbairn thinks about a place that gives her comfort, Mayo Clinicâ€™s Rochester campus comes to mind.
Sheâ€™s happiest there because itâ€™s where her son Chase was given a second chance. Not only did he receive a new heart at Mayo Clinic to replace one that was failing, but the family can now rely on ongoing care from Mayo Clinic physicians who understand Chaseâ€™s medical concerns and have pledged to do their best to keep him healthy well into the future.
Lisaâ€™s sense of comfort didn't come easy, however. Read the rest of this entry »
November 22nd, 2016
In January, Isaac began feeling sick whenever he ate. A visit to his primary care doctor in his hometown of Eugene, Oregon, led to an initial diagnosis of gallstones. But when an MRI of Isaacâ€™s abdomen showed that the entire right side of his liver was no longer working and his bile ducts were almost completely blocked, his physician promptly connected him with specialists in Seattle.
â€śWe were scared but thought that I was suffering from some sort of bile duct disease. We were hopeful,â€ť Isaac recalls. â€śUnfortunately, our worst fears came true, and it put our family to the test. How would we respond? Would we stay hopeful? Would we be grateful for what we had?â€ť Read the rest of this entry »
November 14th, 2016
Stacy Neumayer was a teenager when she received her first kidney transplant. Her health problems began when she was 4 years old. Over time, Stacy developed a condition called glomerulonerphritis, which causes inflammation in the tiny pockets of the kidneys that help remove excess fluid, electrolytes and waste from the bloodstream.
The illness affected Stacyâ€™s kidney function, and she was put on dialysis until a donor kidney became available.
â€śEventually my body and my kidneys started shutting down, so I went on dialysis until I had my first transplant,â€ť Stacy says. â€śUnfortunately, my body rejected the donor organ before I even left the hospital, so it was back to dialysis.â€ť Read the rest of this entry »
October 26th, 2016
When Dawn Odenthal sat down for a meeting with her colleague Jolinda Conzemius in June 2014, organ donation was nowhere on her radar. The two women knew one another through their work at a company that specializes in school photography, yearbooks, church directories and other forms of memory preservation. Dawn is a regional sales director, and Jolinda is a photographer. They were meeting to talk about a project they had been assigned to work on together.
By the time they got up from the table that afternoon, however, they had started a process that would culminate in Dawn donating one of her kidneys to Jolinda for a life-altering kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic.
â€śI absolutely wanted to do this for her,â€ť says Dawn. â€śThere wasnâ€™t a question in my mind.â€ť Read the rest of this entry »
October 19th, 2016
The email from a parent at her school in May 2013 took Nancy Shaver, an elementary school principal, by surprise. It was from Kati Walker, mother of two, who was on a mission: to donate one of her kidneys to Nancy, who greatly needed one.
Kati's message announced, "I'm going to be tested to be a kidney donor." Nancy, in her characteristic unassuming manner, replied, "Oh, how nice for someone!" Kati quickly replied, "No, it's for you, silly!"
Kati knew Nancy only as the principal at her childrenâ€™s school. Nancy knew Kati as a parent and active volunteer. But their email exchange launched a journey to a life-saving kidney transplant for Nancy and a bond between the two women that they attest will last a lifetime.Â Read the rest of this entry »
September 24th, 2016
Bryan Duncan didnâ€™t think twice about the lab tests he had as part of a routine medical checkup in the fall of 2014. A 29-year-old father of two small children, Bryan led a busy life, didnâ€™t have any health problems, and felt fine.
When the test results came back, though, they showed enzyme levels in Bryanâ€™s liver were higher than normal. This unexpected finding kicked off more than two years of extensive medical care. It brought Bryan from his hometown of Mountain View, Arkansas, to Mayo Clinic'sÂ Rochester campus, where he was diagnosed with a rare liver disease, and where he eventually received a life-saving living-donor liver transplant.
â€śThe way my disease works, if I had waited for a deceased donor, I probably would have been too sick for a transplant,â€ť Bryan says. â€śBeing able to have a living-donor transplant opened up the opportunity for me to get the second chance I needed.â€ť Read the rest of this entry »
September 17th, 2016
Scott Berry is one of five children. But he and his youngest sibling, David, share a very unique bond â€” a kidney, to be exact. On April 12, 2016, David gave his older brother a second chance at life by donating one of his kidneys to Scott for a transplant.Â Read the rest of this entry »
August 16th, 2016
Michael Tyler and William Tiger didnâ€™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 Clinicâ€™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.
â€śIt was truly remarkable how the team came together,â€ť 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.
â€śWhen we all came in on Monday morning and knew the patients were doing well, it was like a euphoric high,â€ť she says.Â Read the rest of this entry »
August 12th, 2016
Fifteen years ago, Elmo Aquino, a resident of Orange Park, Florida, was an avid runner. Heâ€™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 couldnâ€™t run.
â€śI knew something was wrong, because I was used to running,â€ť recalls Elmo, now age 43. He knew he needed medical treatment. â€śI could have gone to some of the other hospitals,â€ť he says. â€śBut with Mayo Clinic here in town, it was a no-brainer for me.â€ť
Elmo was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy â€” a condition in which the chambers of the heart become enlarged â€” and he ended up in the intensive care unit. Thatâ€™s where heÂ first met Daniel Yip, M.D., medical director for the Heart Failure and Transplant Program at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.Â Read the rest of this entry »
August 5th, 2016
When Tammy Bolerjack was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 18, she found herself frequently in and out of hospitals for treatments to help her breathe. Running 5K races and half-marathons certainly wasnâ€™t something she envisioned in her future. Little did she know then that eventually a double lung transplant at Mayo Clinic's Florida campusÂ would not only allow her to breath normally, but would motivate her to become a fitness enthusiast and a competitive runner.Â Read the rest of this entry »