Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Transplant

January 5th, 2017

‘You Never Think About a Living Donor Until Someone You Love Needs One’

By Linda Binner lsbinner

In need of a kidney transplant, but without a suitable donor, Matt Pierce was forced to deal with daily dialysis. Then someone he never met before stepped up to donate, and that made all the difference.

From the time he was 13 years old, Jairus “Matt” Pierce, battled kidney disease. By 2016, when he was 44, the disease had become debilitating. A shift commander for a fire department, Matt had been forced to take a light-duty assignment because of his medical condition. He required daily dialysis, and the only long-term solution was a life-saving kidney transplant.

Simply put, Matt needed a hero.

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Tags: Living donor transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


December 30th, 2016

Paired Kidney Donation Offers a Unique Way Forward for Transplant Recipient

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Kay Orr and her potential kidney donor, Jamie Rogers, were disappointed when they learned they couldn’t go through with a planned kidney transplant. But Mayo Clinic’s paired kidney donation gave them another life-saving option.

The day before Norma “Kay” Orr was scheduled for a living donor kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic, she needed one more blood test. The Palm Coast, Florida, resident was in line to receive a kidney from her niece, Jamie.

Jamie Rogers had volunteered to be a living donor when she found out in early 2016 that her aunt would need a transplant. Kay’s kidneys had scarred due to glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis.

“I have been through some tough times in my life, and Kay and her husband were always there for me. I never gave it a second thought,” says Jamie, who drove from Robbinsville, North Carolina, for the procedure, which was scheduled for July 26, 2016, at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

“Jamie and I have always been very close,” says Kay. “As soon as she heard I needed a transplant, she said ‘I want to be the one.’ And that was great, since none of my four children could be the donor.”

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Tags: Dr Martin Mai, kidney transplant, Living donor transplant, Transplant Medicine


December 8th, 2016

Teen Receives Thorough, Compassionate Care Before, During and After a Heart Transplant at Mayo Clinic

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Careful evaluation and genetic testing at Mayo Clinic revealed a severe heart condition that eventually led to a heart transplant for Chase Fairbairn. 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 Clinic’s Rochester campus comes to mind.

She’s happiest there because it’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 Chase’s medical concerns and have pledged to do their best to keep him healthy well into the future.

Lisa’s sense of comfort didn't come easy, however. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: cardiomyopathy, Dr Eric Edell, Dr Michael Ackerman, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Heart Transplantation Program


November 22nd, 2016

Sharing Part of His Liver, Brother-in-Law Offers Something Greater: A Future

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

A unique treatment approach that included a living-donor liver transplant has allowed Isaac Jackson to put cancer behind him and once again focus on his family, career and friends. Isaac Jackson was living a peaceful life, with a large, loving family, a successful law practice, and lifelong friends, when in early 2014, his life changed dramatically.

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 Isaac’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.

“We were scared but thought that I was suffering from some sort of bile duct disease. We were hopeful,” Isaac recalls. “Unfortunately, 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?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Julie Heimbach, liver transplant, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis


November 14th, 2016

“Never Stop Fighting. Never Give Up” Becomes Mantra on Long Road to Better Health

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

After years of kidney problems and a series of kidney transplants, Stacy Neumayer has finally achieved her goal of living the life she’s always wanted.

Photograph courtesy of Penni Pier.

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 Stacy’s kidney function, and she was put on dialysis until a donor kidney became available.

“Eventually my body and my kidneys started shutting down, so I went on dialysis until I had my first transplant,” Stacy says. “Unfortunately, my body rejected the donor organ before I even left the hospital, so it was back to dialysis.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Mark Stegall, kidney transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


October 26th, 2016

Colleagues Go From Sharing a Workplace to Sharing a Kidney

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Dawn Odenthal was more than willing to donate a kidney to help a colleague, Jolinda Conzemius. 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.

“I absolutely wanted to do this for her,” says Dawn. “There wasn’t a question in my mind.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: kidney transplant, Living donor transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


October 19th, 2016

Living Donor to Kidney Recipient: ‘I Feel Like the Winner in All This’

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

katiandnancy805The 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 children’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.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, kidney disease, kidney transplant, Living donor transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


September 24th, 2016

Liver Transplant Allows Young Father to Be There for His Family

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Thanks to a living-donor liver transplant at Mayo Clinic, Bryan Duncan overcame a life-threatening liver disease and has been able to return to life with his young family.

Bryan Duncan didn’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, didn’t have any health problems, and felt fine.

When the test results came back, though, they showed enzyme levels in Bryan’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's Rochester campus, where he was diagnosed with a rare liver disease, and where he eventually received a life-saving living-donor liver transplant.

“The way my disease works, if I had waited for a deceased donor, I probably would have been too sick for a transplant,” Bryan says. “Being able to have a living-donor transplant opened up the opportunity for me to get the second chance I needed.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Nicholas LaRusso, gastroenterology, Hepatology, liver transplant, Living donor transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis


September 17th, 2016

Brothers Bond Over Kidney Disease, Transplant

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

The Berry Brother share more than blood after a kidney transplant. Scott Berry is one of five children. But he and his youngest sibling, David, share a very unique bond — 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.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Martin Mai, Florida Campus, IgA Nephropathy, kidney transplant, living donor, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


August 16th, 2016

Coordination and Teamwork Make Simultaneous Surgeries Seamless for Heart Transplant Recipients

By Hoyt Finnamore HoytFinnamore

WilliamandMichale805Michael Tyler and William Tiger didn’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 Clinic’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.

“It was truly remarkable how the team came together,” 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.

“When we all came in on Monday morning and knew the patients were doing well, it was like a euphoric high,” she says.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, Dr Louis Lanza, Dr Octavio Pajaro, heart transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, Michael Marranca, ventricular assist device


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