Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

MakalaArce

Makala Arce @MakalaArce

Activity by Makala Arce @MakalaArce

MakalaArce

Jul 23, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Mickala the miracle: A survivor and an inspiration

Mickala Morinville

“We knew if she made it to Mayo Clinic, she would make it,” says Judy Morinville of the September day Mayo MedAir airlifted her teenage daughter to Mayo Clinic. Mickala Morinville did make it, and her journey serves as a reminder of the miracles that can happen when you combine Mayo expertise with a higher power and a determined patient.

Mickala was in a dire situation. Her lungs were destroyed, likely by a virus, and Mickala struggled to get enough oxygen. Even getting her to Mayo was a challenge. An extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine was oxygenating Mickala’s blood. Because of the complexity of transporting these patients, most cannot move to another facility. Thankfully, Mayo MedAir has expertise that made her trip to Mayo possible. [...]

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MakalaArce

Jul 23, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

For patient in Honolulu, Mayo Clinic is just one click away

Traci Downs with her husband, Hunter, and son, Aidan

Living in Hawaii definitely has its benefits — the beautiful scenery, the tropical weather, the ocean. But, what if you are living with a chronic condition and there aren't any specialists on the island? For Traci Downs, the answer was Mayo Clinic and Patient Online Services, a tool that enables patients to connect with Mayo Clinic anytime, anywhere. [...]

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MakalaArce

May 31, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Born Deaf and My Miracle of Sound

Lexi GrafeI was born profoundly deaf due to auditory neuropathy and did not hear a single sound until I received a cochlear implant when I was 4 ½ years old. My parents said that I was always a happy, sweet child and I was born with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye. Throughout my life, I’ve had to deal with many obstacles due to my deafness that most people don’t have to deal with. However, my cochlear implant, this miracle of sound, gives me an appreciation of sound and richness to life that others may take for granted. Through it all, I’ve held onto my belief that you shouldn’t just live life, but love it! [...]

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MakalaArce

May 22, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Mayo Clinic Young Volunteers - W.E. C.A.R.E.

Volunteering at Mayo Clinic is an awesome opportunity and our Mayo Clinic Young Volunteers here in Rochester, Minn., are proud to be part of this world-class institution. Team Leaders on our MCYV Council wanted to showcase some of the qualities of our volunteers, and W.E. C.A.R.E. is an acronym that represents these qualities. I completed this video project this spring hoping to demonstrate how volunteers make a difference at Mayo Clinic.

-Rushil Patel, MCYV Team Leader

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MakalaArce

May 13, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Girl Scout Dr. Sharonne Hayes Receives Award

Dr. Sharonne Hayes, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, in April was named one of the Girl Scout River Valleys 2013 Women of Distinction.

When Dr. Hayes began working at Mayo Clinic, she became keenly aware that women in medicine, and particularly in cardiology, were still a minority. As she began her career in cardiology, she also saw the unique needs of women suffering from or at risk for cardiovascular disease, so in 1998 she founded Mayo Clinic’s Women’s Heart Clinic, one of the first in the country. The clinic provides sex-and gender-based cardiovascular care and women-focused research with a goal to improve clinical outcomes and advance the science. As a pioneer in the women’s health field, Dr. Hayes is a nationally recognized educator and advocate for women’s cardiovascular issues. She serves on the Board of Directors of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. In addition to her role as cardiologist, Dr. Hayes also became the first director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Mayo Clinic in 2010.

Dr. Hayes has been a Girl Scout for as long as she can remember and credits her mother for her positive experience in scouting. She believes in the power of the Girl Scout sisterhood and knows all girls have the potential to be leaders who can make the world a better place through service.

Since 2009, Girl Scouts River Valleys has annually honored local role models whose professional accomplishments, leadership and community contributions inspire girls to reach their highest potential.

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MakalaArce

Apr 18, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Atlanta to Jacksonville: Short travel for answers from Mayo Clinic

Diane McIverDiane McIver’s first visit to Mayo Clinic mixed health care with pleasure – she and her now husband tagged their annual physical appointments with a trip to the golf course. At the time, they were just dating and enjoyed “a fabulous mini vacation combining our health care with an activity we both love!” exclaimed McIver. 

Their first visit was around 10 years ago at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale but since they live in Atlanta, Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus has been their main location. It only takes a one-hour flight for them to get answers from Mayo Clinic.

McIver and her husband have visited other facilities in Atlanta but enjoy the convenience, location and friendly staff at Mayo Clinic. “The people who work at Mayo Clinic are absolutely the friendliest, nicest, and most professional team I have ever been associated with,” says McIver. 

With their Mayo Clinic care team, the McIvers are typically able to get all of their necessary exams done during the day and walk away with their test results at the end of the day. Through Mayo Clinic’s Executive Health Program, Diane is able to have her appointments fully coordinated with different specialists. Mayo Clinic has a unique model of care that facilitates efficient diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care all under one roof.

“Our schedules are extremely busy in regards to our career…taking a one-hour flight to visit Jacksonville is the best time we could spend in regards to our health," says Diane.  Our experience at Mayo Clinic takes health care to another level that all people should experience if possible.”
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Gladysmivens responded Oct 20, 2015 · View

Hi my gladys mivens h.i.v and i am looking for a dortor who can take of me i just move here from saint marys ga and i need help think you love i love atl ga call me at 912-210-4334 think you be waiting

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MakalaArce

Apr 5, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Suiting up for a celebration

Curtis and three people with his orange shirts on

"My sweet boy," Deborah Morey said as she practically skipped across the room to join him in a group photograph. The boy is her son, 15-year-old Curtis Morey, who was diagnosed with medulloblastoma (a type of brain tumor) on Jan. 27, 2012. The skipping at his Mayo appointment last week was one of several signs that March 28, 2013, was a happier milestone in Curtis' medical adventure.

When the Moreys arrived for the appointment, Deborah was wearing a blaze-orange T-shirt with Curtis' picture on the front and the word "Curtify" printed across the back. Perhaps more surprising, the clinical assistant who greeted them wore a matching T-shirt. Inside, Curtis' doctor, Amulya Nageswara Rao, M.B.B.S., of the Mayo Clinic Children's Center, was (you guessed it) also was wearing the same shirt. The emotion in the room was palpable, a mixture of relief and elation. And for good reason -- last Thursday marked the beginning of Curtis' last chemotherapy treatment. [...]

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MakalaArce

Apr 3, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Mayo’s caring attitude brings hope to patient

Jim and Louanne, with black walnut veneer logs cut on their farmJim Brooks was vacationing with his family in Spain when suddenly he couldn’t speak for 10 minutes and wound up in the hospital. Jim and his wife Louanne decided together they wanted to return to their Minnesota home and Mayo Clinic.

Jim was diagnosed in August 2012 at Mayo Clinic with glioblastoma, stage 4 brain cancer: he had a ticking time bomb in his head. “Our first appointment was a week after we saw our family physician, and a week after that, I had surgery.  I am thankful for the rapid and coordinated care at Mayo Clinic, and people going the extra step when they didn’t have to,” he said.  Jim received care from not only the surgeon and the doctors, but also many others who were involved with his treatment. “Our sense is that we’ve interacted with somewhere between 100-200 people directly, and indirectly 1,000 people that had a part in my care,” said Jim. [...]

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MakalaArce

Mar 27, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Gift from Daughter to Dad: a Liver Donation

Chuck Lewensten ran a successful business, hunted in Africa and played tennis with his fiancé, Jill.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis changed all that. By the summer of 2010, the disease had ravaged Lewensten’s liver, leaving him homebound and dependent on his family for care. Instead of hunting trips, Lewensten’s travels took him only to the emergency room.

“We were watching our dad die,” says Amy Konsewicz, one of Lewensten’s daughters.

That’s when Konsewicz’s sister called Mayo Clinic. The call led to appointments with several Mayo Clinic physicians, including Michael Charlton, M.D., a gastroenterologist.

“Dr. Charlton was so compassionate,” says Jill. “We felt like he cared and was going to do everything he could for Chuck.”

That included helping place Lewensten on the liver transplant waiting list. But Dr. Charlton also suggested another option: Living donation.

Konsewicz says she and her three siblings were eager to donate, but she knew immediately that she would be the one.

Testing proved her right; her blood type and liver size made her a compatible donor. But before surgery could take place, Lewensten needed to be convinced to accept the gift of life from his daughter.

At first, he refused. But as his health deteriorated, and after much reflection and many conversations with his family and doctors, Lewensten relented.

Amy on her wedding day and her dad ChuckSurgery took place on Oct. 5, 2010. Two years later, Lewensten walked Konsewicz down the aisle on her wedding day. At the reception, Konsewicz and her new husband held a dollar dance that raised close to $1,000 for Mayo Clinic.

Konsewicz doesn’t minimize her experience, which included post-surgical complications. But she says she would donate “100 times over again.” Especially if she could donate at Mayo Clinic.

“Being at Mayo was one of the best experiences of my life,” she says. “Everyone there, from the doormen to the doctors, cares about human beings. I’m a hospital snob now. I’m constantly comparing, and there’s no better place.”

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MakalaArce

Mar 25, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Rare heart-liver transplant gives South Carolina woman a second chance at life

Beki Rose and familyBeki Rose and her husband, Tom, had met with half a dozen doctors, and they all said the same thing.

"They told me to go home and get my things in order," says Beki, a 51-year-old mother of three with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. The congenital condition had so damaged Beki's heart and liver that she would need a rare heart-liver transplant to survive. But a recent diagnosis of liver cancer meant that Beki was not a candidate for a liver transplant. "I was told no doctor would take my case."

Then she came to Mayo Clinic, where Russell H. Wiesner, M.D., a gastroenterologist, gave her a reason to hope. [...]

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MakalaArce

Mar 22, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Surprise amyloidosis diagnosis leads to combined heart-liver transplant

Dan CareyAt the end of a routine physical in 2006, Dan Carey’s doctor asked if there was anything else he wanted to discuss. Dan exercised regularly and felt good. Except for one thing.

“I get out of breath when I walk up stairs,” he told his doctor.

A chest X-ray revealed healthy lungs but an enlarged heart. Dan would soon learn why: he had familial amyloidosis with liver involvement and needed to seek care at a medical center with experience treating this rare form of the disease. Dan chose Mayo Clinic, and during his initial consultations there, he learned he would need both a liver and heart transplant. [...]

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MakalaArce

Mar 5, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Seizure-free after new surgery

Arden and dog, HappyOne of Arden Berge's most surprising discoveries while he was a graduate student in meteorology had nothing to do with the weather.

"I'd been lying on the bed reading, and all of a sudden I looked up and there were paramedics standing over me," says Berge. He'd soon learn why. He'd had a seizure, and his girlfriend, Deb (now his wife), called 911 for help. Berge was taken to a hospital, where he had another seizure. He was diagnosed with epilepsy.

While epilepsy is most commonly diagnosed in children or adults over 65, it can develop at any age. The cause of the disorder can sometimes be traced to a head injury or medical issue, such as meningitis or encephalitis. But in about half of all cases - including Berge's - there is no identifiable cause.

While it was a scary diagnosis, medications made the condition manageable for Berge, who finished his degree and started his career. He adjusted to life with seizures and to the side effects of medication. Then, 33 years after his diagnosis, a trip to Mayo Clinic offered the possibility of a seizure-free life. [...]

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MakalaArce

Mar 4, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Pleased Patient Shows Enduring Gratitude with Tattoo

David Prochello is no stranger to getting tattoos. He builds custom choppers, he has tats on his arms and a large one on his upper back inscribed: “I am my own role model.”

David's tattoo of green ribbon

So when Prochello, of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota,  received drug therapy and surgery at Mayo Clinic to treat kidney cancer, he felt completely comfortable demonstrating his gratitude in a unique way.

“Well, I hit it off with Dr. Leibovich right away,” said Prochello. “I told him if everything turned out I was going to get his name tattooed on my back.” Prochello’s tattoo includes a kidney cancer ribbon inscribed with the date of his diagnosis and a blank spot for the date of remission. Underneath the ribbon Prochello had inscribed: Tumors removed by Dr. Brad Leibovich. “I just thought he’d get a real kick out of it,” said Prochello. “My biggest worry was that I got his named spelled right.”

Watch Mr. Prochello tell his story below:

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MakalaArce

Mar 1, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Prenatal Education Class: A special relationship between 3 moms and daughters

In the Winter of 2011, my husband Cameron and I (Megan Rask) were expecting our first child. We were beyond thrilled! I had been doing my care with the midwives at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. Of course, I wanted to sign my husband and I up for every baby class offered!

We soon began the six week prenatal education class, instructed by Christine Baker, R.N. Along with this class, I made sure to sign us up for the infant passenger safety class, and a tour of the labor and delivery floor in Eisenberg.  We also took our newly purchased SUV to the local fire station to have our infant seat inspected by Todd Emanuel, R.N. As parents to be, this was high on our list of things to do: make sure our baby would be safe in our new family car!

Girls at 15 MonthsIn prenatal class, we met two other couples: Bethany Renstrom and her husband (expecting a baby girl) and Stephanie Fisk and her husband (also expecting a little girl). My husband and I were patiently waiting until the day of delivery to find out the sex of our baby. In class, Chris went over everything we needed to know to prepare for the birth of our baby: bathing a newborn, practicing breathing through contractions, and where to park and what doors to come in once we were in labor. She even showed us the gown and pads we’d wear in the hospital, and the Forceps they might use, in the event our baby was in a difficult situation. Seeing all these things in class made it easier for me to mentally prepare for labor. [...]

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MakalaArce

Feb 18, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Man feels 20 years younger after Cardiovascular Surgery

Bill KalmerMy name is Bill Kalmer, and I have been a patient for the past 24 years at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My medical problems have been primarily cardiac in nature. I have had an AICD (automatic implanted cardiac defibrillator) for the past 24 yrs. My condition began to deteriorate 2 yrs ago and I suffered from congestive heart failure. In discussing my predicament with a friend who was a cardiologist, he offered to make some calls on my behalf to determine the best surgeon to turn to for a tricuspid valve replacement. He was told that Dr. Hartzell Schaff was THE BEST person to contact.

I followed up on this suggestion, and on July, 13, 2012, I underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic. It was the greatest referral I could have received! The experience my wife, daughter and I had was incomparable. The attitude, care, patience, compassion, competency, and professionalism of EVERYONE with whom we came in contact was off the charts! Naturally, this begins with Dr. Schaff but also extends to nurses, aids, staff physicians and clerical staff. My feeling is that if you need serious surgery, the Mayo Clinic is absolutely the BEST facility!

By the way, my recovery was uneventful and I am working out 4 times per week. I feel 20 years younger and have told my children that age 69 is the new 49!

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MakalaArce

Feb 6, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

After Bladder Cancer, this 19-Year-Old Girl gets a New Bladder

Devi Chettiar

In the fall of 2004, Devi Chettiar was a healthy, active college student. Living in the Twin Cities, Devi was a sophomore who enjoyed her studies at the University of Minnesota. She also actively participated in a dance company and liked spending time with friends.

In November of that year, though, things changed. Devi started having painful urinary symptoms that wouldn't go away. Those symptoms were the beginning of a medical dilemma that led her to Mayo Clinic. [...]

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rrascal150

rrascal150 responded Oct 11, 2015 · View

I had the bladder removal and neobladder like this patient for interstitial cystitis 6 years agoaged 30 i northern ireland and ive been fine. No pain whatsoever, symptoms gone best thing i ever did

HoytFinnamore

Hoyt Finnamore responded Oct 14, 2015 · View

Hi, Tamalama. We can't diagnose conditions or provide treatment recommendations through this website. If you would like to seek help from Mayo Clinic, please call one of our appointment offices (Arizona: 480-301-1735 Florida: 904-953-0853 Minnesota: 507-284-2511). You can find additional information about interstitial cystitis at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/interstitial-cystitis/basics/definition/con-20022439.

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MakalaArce

Jan 25, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Physician Documents his Cancer Survival, Grateful to Mayo Clinic

Dr. J. Campbell with bookI am Dr. J. Kemper Campbell, an ophthalmologist from Lincoln, Nebraska. I noted a small asymptomatic mass on the right side of my neck in December 2006. When needle biopsy established it to be a poorly differentiated metastatic cancer of unknown origin, I asked a colleague for a referral to the institution best equipped to diagnose throat cancer, and Dr. Kerry Olsen of the Department of ENT at the Rochester Mayo Clinic was suggested.

Dr. Olsen during his initial examination felt that the primary cancer would be found in the right tonsil and a modified radical neck dissection confirmed his impression, Although Dr. Olsen felt that the cancer had been completely removed by the surgery, further neck irradiation was recommended to be certain that no viable cancer cells remained.

After five years of careful followup at the Mayo Clinic, I was told that I had been cured. Most throat cancers are survivable if diagnosed early and treated aggressively. Previously associated with tobacco and alcohol use, squamous cell cancers of the oropharynx are now becoming more prevalent in younger individuals exposed to human papillovirus infections. Certainly no lump found in the throat region should be ignored.

To celebrate the five years between my diagnosis and cure, I published a book of poetry documenting the physical and mental stresses undergone by anyone diagnosed with cancer. The book, High Five, A Cancer Survivor's Poetic Journey, is available through Amazon and resulted because of the excellent caregivers at the Mayo Clinic.

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MakalaArce

Jan 17, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Thoroughness is credited by Canadian for early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

John HendersonJohn Henderson of British Columbia is a details man: a Chartered Accountant for whom accuracy and thoroughness are paramount. So while health care is excellent in Canada, about 15 years ago Mr. Henderson, now 62, decided his routine check-ups were not as thorough as they should be for a man approaching 50.

"Every time I thought about where I could go to get a really excellent and detailed complete physical, the name 'Mayo Clinic' kept coming to mind," Mr. Henderson recalls. "I don't know why... I'd never met anyone who went there. I must have read about it as a top institution in the U.S." [...]

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bushwah

bushwah responded Jun 14, 2014 · View

This individual removed himself from his provincial health system some 15 years before his prostate cancer diagnosis. He didn't think his routine exams were "thorough enough" ... and damned if 15 years later, the Mayo didn't find something wrong with him. What evidence is there that the diagnosis would not be made if he had continued to receive care and screening from local physicians? Given that he does not use his local health care providers, [...]

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MakalaArce

Jan 15, 2013 by @MakalaArce · View  

Unraveling the Mystery of Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome

Imagine listening in real time to the thump, thump of your own heartbeat, the rush of your blood pulsing through your veins, and even the slightest twitch of your eyes - all in surround sound.  Those are but a few of the symptoms that Wendy Tapper was experiencing when she arrived at the Mayo Clinic in May of 2012.

The Journey to Mayo

Wendy TapperOutgoing and energetic Wendy, of Kansas City, Mo., enjoyed a career as a producer and publicist.  Bringing people and ideas together was second nature to Wendy and aided in her determination to find the answers in her own health care.

For three years prior to coming to Mayo Clinic in spring 2012, Wendy went from doctor to doctor and endured batteries of tests, scans, appointments and misdiagnoses.  Her rare condition ultimately revealed by Mayo physicians was masked in part by two distinct illnesses - breast cancer and a stroke. 

While those illnesses and the treatments Wendy was receiving are life-altering, they were compounded with the escalation of an underlying third and separate issue.  It was the escalation of her symptoms of dizziness, hearing loss and a drastically diminishing quality of life that brought Wendy to Mayo Clinic. [...]

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scrappinkathy

Scrappinkathy responded Nov 21, 2016 · View

I went to Mayo and ended up seeing someone who doesn't do that surgery. Really irritated me that I told them exactly what my diagnosis was and I wanted to see someone very familiar with it. Instead they give me a novice. I'm back at square one. Very frustrating. I'm done with mayo in Rochester.

atrober

atrober responded Tue, Feb 14 at 10:16am CDT · View

After 5 years and visits to many doctors, I'm finally on my way -- surgery is scheduled for April (taking the conservative approach w/ tympanotomy & repair of round window). Dr. Haverkamp at the Cleveland Clinic is amazing; he and his team zeroed in on the SCD diagnosis right away, despite at least 4 other ENTs hearing me describe the exact same symptoms and diagnosing me with everything ranging from otosclerosis to basically "having the [...]

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MakalaArce

Dec 10, 2012 by @MakalaArce · View  

Fifty Years of Saving Lives

David Bakken's AwardDavid Bakken's blood donation "career" had an inconspicuous start. Years ago, his young daughter needed eye surgery, and he donated blood as a way to help pay for the surgery. "At that time, they paid $25 for each donation," Bakken recently told KAAL-TV. But the thing is, Bakken didn't stop. He kept donating. And donating. Now, 50 years later, Bakken has donated his way to becoming Mayo Clinic's top blood donor. He was officially bestowed that honor during the Mayo Clinic Blood Donation Center Blood Donor Appreciation event in Rochester, Minn.

"You are doing this thing for the benefit of others, and I think this is one of the best gifts you can give," Mayo Blood Center Director Manish Gandhi, M.D., told Bakken and others who attended the event. Bakken tells KAAL-TV he understands the impact of his donations. And during the past five decades, he says he's done his best to spread that message to others. "I wear my blood donor shirts and hats, and let people know and encourage them," he says. "I know it makes an impact on people that receive the blood."

For those keeping track at home, here are some of the numbers associated with Bakken's accomplishment: [...]

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