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Transplant Archive

October 27th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Be the Match: It Could Save a Life, Like Christina’s

By uthangaraj uthangaraj

Bone marrow transplant patient Christina Woodside

Christina Woodside starts off the YouTube video that chronicles her health journey by saying, “My family is like every other average family in America.” Her story, however is anything but average.

As part of an active family, Christina, along with her husband and their five children, enjoyed running, biking, fishing and snow sports.

In 2013, on the day after Thanksgiving, that active lifestyle was interrupted by what Christina initially thought was strep throat. She went to urgent care at a clinic in her hometown of Mankato, Minnesota. A strep test came back negative. But her white blood cell count was extremely high, and that pointed to a more serious problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Be the Match, bone marrow transplant, Dr Shahrukh Hashmi, Leukemia, Marrow Donor Registry

September 16th, 2015 · 2 Comments

New Kidney From Sister Gives Hurdler a Chance at 2016 Olympics

By hoytfinnamore hoytfinnamore

AriesMerritt805Heads turned when Aries Merritt walked into the lobby at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix at 5 a.m. on Sept. 1, with family and TV cameras in tow. Just four days earlier, he won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. But, on this day, facing one of his biggest hurdles, he was about to undergo a lifesaving kidney transplantRead the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, kidney transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, Patient Stories

August 31st, 2015 · 1 Comment

Mother Gives Daughter the Gift of Life … Twice

By hoytfinnamore hoytfinnamore

Addie Sylvester's personality has blossomed since her transplant. At 27 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Amber Sylvester went to Mayo Clinic with her husband, Mike, for an ultrasound test and received news that no parent wants to hear. One of the babies was in trouble. She had enlarged kidneys, no amniotic fluid around her body, and fluid in her abdomen. She would likely not survive until birth. Even if she did survive, doctors said she would likely not live long enough to receive a transplant.

Amber remembers that appointment clearly. “The tech asked me if my water broke,” she says. “When I saw the concern on her face, I knew that something was not right. All I can remember is crying hysterically.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Mikel Prieto, kidney transplant, Living Donor Transplant, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

August 13th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Marathoner and Ironman Michael Koetting Back in the Race After Donating Kidney

By hoytfinnamore hoytfinnamore

Michael Koetting continues to race after donating a kidney to someone on the transplant list.


As an endurance athlete who has completed six Ironman triathlons and more than two dozen marathons, Michael Koetting does not fear physical challenges. So when he learned he could use his good health to help a stranger in need, he never hesitated.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: kidney transplant, Living Donor Transplant, Organ Donation, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

August 12th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Cystic Fibrosis Patient Says Double Lung Transplant Transformed His Life

By pscotti pscotti

Jon Jantomaso stays active with his family after his lung transplant.

Nobody knows better than Jon Jantomaso how precious every breath can be. The 49-year-old realtor from Seminole, Florida, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 2 months of age, and for the first 12 years of his life slept in a mist filled tent to help him breath and clear the mucus from his lungs. He has been in some form of physical therapy his entire life battling his disease.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: cystic fibrosis, Florida Campus, Lung Transplant

June 4th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Transplant Change-Up Gives Courtney a Second Chance

By hoytfinnamore hoytfinnamore

Courtney Kidd in her hospital room after transplant surgery. Courtney Kidd is working hard to raise organ donor awareness after a new approach to double-organ transplant saved her life.

Born with five congenital heart defects and suffering through several medical complications, Courtney needed both a new heart and a new liver. Previous surgeries at ages 2, 6, 12 and then again at 22, and numerous blood transfusions over the years, had caused her immune system to develop high levels of antibodies that would attack and reject foreign tissues.

She was told that her risk of organ rejection was too high if she received a heart and liver transplant in the usual order. Her Mayo Clinic doctors, however, turned her dire situation into an advantage, and she was one of the first in the world to receive an organ transplant in a way that was likely her only chance to survive.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Congenital Heart Defect, Heart Transplant, liver transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

April 21st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Living Kidney Donations Save Two Lives in the Same Family Years Apart

By pscotti pscotti

TammyStelly805Receiving a donor kidney from an anonymous deceased donor is a gift of life to anyone in need of a transplant.  Receiving an organ donation from a living family member is extra special, when you consider the risks and sacrifices associated with making that choice.

Tammy Stelly, a 46-year-old retired postal worker from Middleburg, Florida, experienced that special gift when her brother-in-law was found to be a compatible match and became her living kidney donor.

“I was overwhelmed that he offered to be tested as a possible match,” says Tammy. “I never imagined that we might actually be a compatible match.”

Tammy isn’t the first member of her family to have kidney disease, nor was she the first to receive a kidney transplant from a living donor who also is a family member. One of her relatives received a kidney from his daughter many years ago, and lived another 17 years before passing away due to unrelated causes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Florida Campus, kidney transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center

April 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Dialysis Patient Stays Active, Sets New Life Goals While Awaiting a Kidney Transplant

By pscotti pscotti

Mayo Clinic patient, 57 year-old Jim McGarry of Fruit Cove, Florida, a diagnosis of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) that has required him to go on dialysis three days a week while he awaits a donor kidney hasn’t gotten him down.

Mayo Clinic patient Jim McGarry says a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease that has required him to go on dialysis three days a week while he awaits a donor kidney hasn’t gotten him down.

If you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, it can be easy to get down and wonder why this is happening to you and how will it affect your future goals and dreams. For 57-year-old Jim McGarry of Fruit Cove, Florida, a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease that has required him to go on dialysis three days a week while he awaits a donor kidney hasn’t gotten him down. If anything, it’s given him the motivation to push himself to set and achieve new life goals.

“Finding out I had kidney disease in 2012, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years earlier, was a wake-up call for me about how I was living my life,” says Jim. “I used to travel a lot, didn’t eat right, and didn’t get enough exercise, but that all changed once I realized I needed to deal with my health issues. Then I started to make some much-needed changes to regain my health and re-evaluate the priorities in my life.”

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Tags: Dr Floyd Willis, Dr Peter Fitzpatrick, Florida Campus, kidney disease, kidney transplant, patient story

February 20th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

World Record Skydiver Credits ‘Sam’ for the Ability to Live Life at 100 mph

By pscotti pscotti

Kim Dobson, 63, of Oveido, Florida, skydiving.

He’s a former Green Beret who served in Somalia. He’s a record-holding skydiver with several thousand jumps under his belt since he began leaping out of airplanes at age 18. And he’s a liver transplant recipient, who affectionately refers to his transplanted organ as “Sam.”

Kim Dobson, 63, of Oveido, Florida, is the definition of someone who lives life to the fullest. He not only participates in national and international skydiving competitions, but also scuba dives, plays golf, and enjoys shooting sports. With both a sports and military background, he was active, fit and the picture of health. But that all changed in 1994, after knee surgery and after undergoing a series of tests for back pain. Told he had elevated liver enzymes, Kim was eventually diagnosed with type 3 hepatitis C. Surprised but confident he could beat his disease and resume his active lifestyle, he went through three cycles/47 weeks of interferon treatments at a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Tags: Florida Campus, Hepatitis C, liver transplant, Transplantation

February 6th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Patient, Staffer Run Phoenix 10K Together

By hoytfinnamore hoytfinnamore

Don Salamone  and Linda Staley run in 10K race. Mayo Clinic patient Don Salamone is proof that being in great shape before undergoing a heart transplant can enhance recovery. Even while tethered to a ventricular assist device that kept his heart functioning until the transplant surgery, he pushed himself to work out on a stationary bike for two hours daily and walked several miles on a treadmill.

While he could handily beat the competition in races before he received the implanted device, he couldn’t beat viral cardiomyopathy, which makes it harder for your heart to pump and deliver blood to the rest of your body, and can lead to heart failure.

Don underwent his heart transplant surgery in October 2012. True to his mission, he spent only eight days in the hospital following the surgery.

“I made a pledge to be in good shape before the surgery and to always honor my responsibility to my donor to take care of this heart,” Don says. As a result, within days of his surgery, he was up early, walking laps, training and eventually competing in numerous runs in Arizona and elsewhere.

Fast forward to Jan. 16, 2015. Now close to age 60, Don was living his promise. He was at the 10K starting line at the popular P.F. Chang’s Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in Phoenix, where some 30,000 athletes participated.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, cardiomyopathy, Heart Transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center