Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

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15 hours ago by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Racing Ahead to a New Career After a Brain Injury

Under the watchful eye of Mayo Clinic’s neurocritical care team, Mike Short successfully recovered from a brain injury and, as a result, he’s charting a new course for his future.

Just four months after being in a coma, Mike Short was crawling through tunnels, jumping over fiery logs, and scaling walls as part of a 5K race known as a "rugged maniac." The Georgia native owes his ability to participate in the race to the neurocritical care team at Mayo Clinic that helped him recover from a brain injury he suffered shortly after his 50th birthday.

Diagnosed with a seizure disorder in childhood, Mike had had only a handful of grand mal seizures in his life. But on April 9, 2016, while visiting a friend in Black Sheer, Georgia, he had another. It was his first in 10 years. The seizure caused Mike to fall and hit his head. He was transported to a local hospital where he had another seizure.

“I aspirated everything into my lungs and passed out due to lack of oxygen,” Mike recalls being told.

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1 day ago by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Dylan Walling Survives Crash and Exceed Expectations in Recovery

Severe injuries from a motorcycle crash left Dylan Walling fighting for his life. But a care team at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, put the 21-year-old on the road to recovery.

As much as she’d like to forget Sept. 15, 2016, it's a day Julie George will never be able to erase from her memory. That day, the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, woman’s 21-year-old son, Dylan Walling, was riding his motorcycle on a highway en route to his grandmother’s house when the unthinkable occurred.

A slow-moving manure spreader had caused a traffic backup. Dylan passed three cars and then collided with the farm vehicle as it began to turn left into a field. Although he was wearing a helmet, it wasn’t enough to protect him. The right side of Dylan’s body took the impact, leaving him seriously injured. His liver split in two. He had a kidney laceration, a head injury, a broken femur and forearm, an ankle injury and a collapsed lung. His foot was broken, his heel pad torn, and his toes were broken so badly they were almost severed.

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Fri, Mar 17 at 10:51am CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Hearing Loss Spurs Doctor to Pay it Forward

Inspired by physicians who cared for her as a young child with hearing loss, Dr. Greta Stamper used that experience as a springboard to a career as an audiologist and a teacher for others following the same path.

Today, Greta Stamper, Au.D., Ph.D., is a doctor of audiology in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. But her connection to Mayo Clinic dates all the way back to her childhood.

Growing up in Iowa, Dr. Stamper was introduced to Mayo at age 10, when her parents took her to see Michael Schultz, Au.D., an audiologist in the Mayo Clinic Health System. Diagnosed with a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss at age 8, she had made many visits to hearing health care professionals before she met Dr. Schultz. But he was different.

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Wed, Mar 15 at 7:50am CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Keen Eye and Quick Action Save Rochester Mom From Life-Threatening Infection

When Heather Spaniol contracted the severe skin infection necrotizing fasciitis, an immediate and expert response was required to save her life. Since then, a blend of traditional and complementary therapies has bolstered her recovery.

When Heather Spaniol woke up from the first of many surgeries to rid her body of a life-threatening infection that was decimating her tissues, the gratitude she felt toward the Mayo Clinic surgeons who’d saved her life was so strong, she didn’t even register how much trauma her body had sustained.

“I think I was in shock. I was like, ‘You’re all so great! I just appreciate everything you’re doing. It’s fine,’” says Heather, a mother of two from Rochester, Minnesota. It was June 2014, and she'd lost a major nerve and most of her right shoulder muscle, in addition to epidermal tissue on the back and front of her right side, to necrotizing fasciitis.

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Mon, Mar 13 at 2:53pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Heart Transplant Puts an Active Athlete Back in Action

Living with a chronic heart condition, Kraig Gresham knew he would eventually need surgery to replace a heart valve. He didn’t anticipate a heart transplant. But his care team at Mayo Clinic helped him through it, and today he’s back in the swing of an active life.

Kraig Gresham was 47 years old when he received his heart transplant, but his journey to that life-changing surgery began years earlier. Kraig was born with aortic stenosis — a birth defect that causes heart valves to narrow and obstruct blood flow. As a child he had heart problems as a result of his condition. Despite that, Kraig was able to lead an active lifestyle, participating in sports like soccer and racquetball from the time he was young.

As an adult, Kraig knew he would eventually need a valve replacement due to his chronic heart condition. But when he began having bronchitis-like symptoms in his 40s, he was referred to Mayo Clinic with a more immediate problem: he was experiencing heart failure.

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Tue, Mar 7 at 8:57am CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Teamwork Gives Maureen Connell an Accurate Diagnosis and Much-Needed Relief From Hydrocephalus

After enduring months of unexplained symptoms that left her unable to walk, Maureen Connell found the answer to her puzzling medical condition at Mayo Clinic.

Barry Connell couldn’t be happier to have his wife of 53 years, Maureen, back.

Though the couple spent 16 years traveling cross-country after Barry retired as president of a manufacturing company in Connecticut, nothing prepared them for the difficult journey they would embark on when Maureen’s health began to decline rapidly in 2015.

For the first five months of that year, The Villages, Florida, resident noticed his normally lively wife wasn’t as alert as she used to be. She was also much slower to respond to situations. Then, on Mother’s Day, Maureen collapsed in the bathroom of the restaurant where their family was celebrating.

That incident led to months of debilitating symptoms for Maureen, along with a series of ineffective treatments. No one could explain what was happening to her. In desperation, the Connells turned to Mayo Clinic, where they were able to finally find the source of Maureen’s problem — hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain.

“After struggling with this for three months, we got a preliminary diagnosis less than 24 hours after arriving at Mayo,” Barry says.  [...]

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Thu, Mar 2 at 12:26pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Daughter’s Persistence Leads to Discovery of a Life-Threatening Aortic Aneurysm

When Morgan Burke persuaded her father, Tony, to see a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, she never imagined it would lead to heart surgery that would save his life.

Morgan Burke spent years urging her father, Tony Burke, to make a doctor’s appointment. When Tony was 12 years old, he had open-heart surgery at Mayo Clinic to repair aortic stenosis. But as an adult, the 48-year-old avoided most medical care.

“I’m just that type. I don’t go to the doctor ever — unless I’m dead,” says the farmer from Plainview, Minnesota.

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raogmd

raogmd responded Sun, Mar 5 at 8:24am CDT · View

I practice Pain Management in Bakersfield, CA. I happened to see a patient (70 yr) with more than 10 yrs of back pain treated by multiple doctors with diagnosis of lumbar disc degeneration and arthritis (no MRI). On his first visit with me for exacerbation of his back pain, I happened to find severe sacroiliac arthritis with Lumbar disc degeneration. While patient is under fluoroscopy machine for SI Joint injection, I happened to observe very [...]

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Wed, Mar 1 at 8:00am CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

After Years of Pain, a Clear Diagnosis Restores a Teen’s Life

Sanan Malkadjian came to Mayo Clinic after suffering for years from mysterious bouts of severe stomach pain. Her care team at Mayo was able to arrive at the right diagnosis and get her the treatment she needed.

— Written by Sanan Malkadjian

I was only 14 at the time. I would be ashamed of myself because of how often my stomach hurt. It came to a point where no one would believe the excruciating pain I was facing. This was pain unlike no other.

My doctors here in Michigan would blame one another. They told me it was my menstrual cycle, or I was stressing out too much, or even that I had too many bladder infections. Every single time, I was misdiagnosed.

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Mon, Feb 27 at 1:57pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Battling an Autoimmune Disorder Changes James Boddie’s Retirement Plans

A multidisciplinary team of experts at Mayo Clinic has come up with a unique way to treat sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the heart. For James Boddie, that innovative approach has made a world of difference.

In April 2005, nine months after retiring from his job as assistant superintendent of Osseo School District in Maple Grove, Minnesota, James Boddie had a heart attack while riding his bike in Florida. When he arrived by helicopter at a local hospital in Bonita Springs, he was told he had 100 percent blockage in his arteries.

James had no history of heart disease — at least none that he knew of.

“They did a catheterization and implanted two stents, which saved my life,” he says. [...]

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Fri, Feb 24 at 1:08pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Slaying the Dragon of Pancreatic Cancer

Pioneering a new method for treating pancreatic cancer, Mayo Clinic surgical oncologist Dr. Mark Truty is improving his patients’ odds of beating this much-feared disease.

Thomas Hoffman of Spearfish, South Dakota, was 56 years old, weighed 235, and had been diagnosed with prediabetes when he began to diet. As the pounds melted away, his wife became alarmed at his rapid weight loss. Then one morning, he awoke and his wife told him he was completely yellow — not from the sun streaming into the bedroom, but from jaundice. Thomas went to a local emergency room.

“The doctor comes in and gives us the news: ‘You have pancreatic cancer. You’ve got six months to live. Get your stuff together,’” Thomas says. “What do you do?”

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suelyga

suelyga responded Wed, Mar 15 at 11:58pm CDT · View

I was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer 3 weeks ago today. The only good news that my oncologist gave me was that there is a good stage IV and a bad stage IV. I was lucky enough to have what he called good stage IV because he feels I came in earlier than most patients he has seen and I am in very good health. I start chemo on th 28th of March because [...]

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Thu, Feb 23 at 5:02pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Mitral Clip Gets a Fisherman Back on the Water

A leaky mitral valve in his heart was making life difficult for Bob Hamme. But minimally invasive surgery to place a mitral clip solved the problem and allowed Bob to get back to the activities he enjoys.

Fishing has been a big part of 83-year-old Bob Hamme's life since he was a child.

"I just enjoy being out on the water or near water and fishing, just being with nature," he says.

After being diagnosed with congestive heart failure due a leaky mitral valve, Bob was not only unable to enjoy fishing, he had a hard time with everyday activities. His heart condition was causing a buildup of fluid in his lungs, as well as his legs and feet.

"I became increasingly out of breath," Bob says. "I didn't have the energy I had all along."

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Wed, Feb 22 at 10:01pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Innovative Multiple Myeloma Care Renews a Pilot’s Energy and Outlook

Harold Rogers was an air traffic controller and corporate jet pilot before a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.At 81 years old, Harold Rogers has had quite a ride. For 30 years, the St. Mary’s, Georgia, resident was an air traffic controller and corporate jet pilot. But nothing prepared Harold for a diagnosis in early 2009 of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells inside bone marrow, which is considered incurable.

“I’d never heard of multiple myeloma. My primary care doctor said, ‘The good news is that it’s treatable. But it’s not curable,’” Harold says. “He then recommended I go to a cancer specialist.”

Harold opted to stay close to home and began chemotherapy in February 2009. When the treatment was over several months later, he was left with side effects that prompted him to get an evaluation at a different health care facility. That’s when he turned to Mayo Clinic.  [...]

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Fri, Feb 17 at 2:33pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

New Weight-Loss Device Helps Mark Harlan Improve His Health

A new approach to reducing obesity not only helped Mark Harlan drop the excess weight he’d been carrying for years, it improved his overall health and wellness.

Mark Harlan tried diets. He tried exercise. He modified his behavior and his lifestyle. Yet nothing worked to keep off extra weight that had plagued him for years. Nothing worked, that is, until Mark underwent a cutting-edge procedure designed to help those who don’t qualify for gastric bypass surgery to shed excess pounds.

In 2015, Mark was the first person in the nation to receive the Obera intragastric balloon. The grapefruit-sized, saline-filled, silicone balloon was placed and inflated in Mark’s stomach during a minimally invasive, outpatient endoscopic surgery at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus.

In the six months Mark had the balloon — the device was removed during a second endoscopic procedure — he lost 30 pounds, or about 15 percent of his body weight, says Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Barham Abu Dayyeh, M.D.  [...]

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aaronpaul456

aaronpaul456 responded Thu, Feb 23 at 1:08am CDT · View

Primus is rank as the Best Cardiology Hospital in Delhi. We are well establish and Best Heart Hospital in India which ensure for patients care. Primus Cardiac Center offers a range of specialized cardiac treatments using the latest diagnostics, treatments and surgical techniques recognized for providing high quality clinical expertise, rapid assessment and customized care. All of our cardiac services are geared to provide rapid access to cardiac diagnosis (such as cardiograms), investigations and treatment [...]

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Wed, Feb 15 at 8:02am CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Local Politician Doesn’t Skip a Beat With Mechanical Heart Pump

Heart failure threatened to derail Junior Boatright’s busy life, but a left ventricular assist device has helped him get back on track while he waits for a heart transplant.

While Walter “Junior” Boatright was running for a second term as Nassau county commissioner in northeast Florida in November 2012, he started to feel winded. At first, he chalked it up to getting older and just not having the same energy he used to, while campaigning 15 hours a day.

But after the campaign was over, and he had won the election, the Callahan, Florida, native says he was out of breath just walking out to the mailbox.

“It was like I had run down the road and back,” Junior says. “I knew something wasn’t right.”

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Mon, Feb 13 at 3:47pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Skillful Spine Surgery Gets Rid of a Rare Tumor and Keeps Mike LaBorde on His Feet

Mike LaBorde came to Mayo Clinic facing a daunting diagnosis and high-risk spine surgery. But through the care and expertise of his Mayo Clinic surgical team, today Mike’s back to business as usual.

For more than a year, Mike LaBorde thought he had carpal tunnel syndrome. His left hand and arm often tingled and felt numb. He wore a brace for a while, but it didn’t help. Then he had carpal tunnel surgery, not once, but twice. The surgeries made no difference.

“I was quite aggravated that the surgery was not successful,” Mike says. “But I was told that nothing is 100 percent guaranteed. I just kept working and doing the best I could. And it kept getting worse and worse.”

When the symptoms didn’t fade, Mike’s primary care doctor suspected a herniated disc, so Mike had an MRI. What that test revealed changed everything. [...]

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Fri, Feb 10 at 3:00pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Playing Piano Again After Stroke Is Music to Judith Johnson’s Ears

Successful treatment at Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Stroke Center in Florida prevented Judith Johnson from suffering long-term complications from a stroke and preserved her treasured piano-playing skills.

In October 2016, Judith Johnson, Ph.D. — who is retired from the library at Florida State College at Jacksonville — was at home recovering from back surgery. While she was sitting in bed talking on the phone with a friend, something suddenly went wrong. Judith felt herself sliding in between the bed and the nightstand. Though Judith doesn’t recall what she said, her friend realized something was happening, hung up, and immediately called 911 and called Judith’s son.

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Tue, Feb 7 at 11:29am CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Liver Transplant Gives Jacksonville Man New Hope, Twice

As a two-time liver transplant recipient, Richard Parker is exceptionally grateful to his donors and their families and gives credit to his team at Mayo Clinic for his renewed health.

There is no doubt in Richard Parker’s mind that he’s been given not one, but two new leases on life because of Mayo Clinic.

Richard underwent a liver transplant in 2007 at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. For years after that, all was well. But then, in 2016, his transplanted liver failed, and he turned to Mayo Clinic once again. A second transplant now has him back on his feet and extremely grateful to his donors and his care team. [...]

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Fri, Feb 3 at 12:03pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Astounding Recovery for an 8-Year-Old Boy Shot by an Arrow

Accidentally shot with an arrow that severed his spinal cord, Curtis Bressler’s doctors feared he’d never walk again. But Curtis proved them wrong. Today, he’s back to walking, running and jumping, just like any other 8-year-old boy.

It’s a story that plays out like a Hollywood movie. A young boy is accidentally struck by an arrow and narrowly escapes death. The arrow pierces the 8-year-old’s backbone and splits his spinal cord. He’s paralyzed from the waist down, and his doctors fear he’ll never walk again. But remarkably, the story has a happy ending.

It's not a script, however. It's the story of Curtis Bressler, of Truman, Minnesota, who was injured last fall when an arrow shot by his teenage brother ricocheted off the target and hit Curtis instead. [...]

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Wed, Feb 1 at 4:26pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

14-Year-Old Writes the Book on Beating the Odds

When Nate Munene Kirera came to Mayo Clinic, he had seizures almost every day and was debilitated by the side effects of medication to treat his condition. After working with his Neurology care team, his seizures are under control, and he’s thriving.

Nathaniel Kirera wasn’t expected to survive birth. When he did, then he wasn’t expected to live to see his first birthday, much less his 14th. He also wasn’t supposed to be able learn, let alone write a book. But he’s done all that, and today his medical odyssey is behind him.

That Nate has achieved so much despite having multicystic hydrocephalus, a condition in which half of his brain and its fluid drainage system formed abnormally, is no surprise to his mother Ann Makena, who, while she was pregnant, dreamed of a son walking and talking.

“The doctor said. ‘I’ve seen very bad conditions, but I’ve never seen anything this bad,’” Ann says. “I said, ‘It’s not that I don’t trust you … but I really felt very confident about this child. I said, ‘No I’m just going to leave it up to God.’”

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ann2makena

ann2makena responded Sat, Feb 18 at 10:22am CDT · View

Thank you for the blog. God bless you. It has been a blessed to have Mayo clinic in our family life. It truly is a place of miracles.

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Mon, Jan 30 at 9:48pm CDT by @SharingMayoClinic · View  

Rare Heart Condition Turns Young Athlete into Advocate

Joe Meyer became an advocate after heart surgery. Growing up, Joe Meyer loved sports. In elementary school, he played basketball and baseball. The summer before he entered eighth grade, the Jacksonville, Florida, youth decided to give football a try.

Before he took to the gridiron, Joe visited his pediatrician for sports physical. At that appointment, his doctor noticed a heart murmur. Joe, then 14, couldn’t be cleared to play until he went to a cardiologist.

In August 2011, after seeing a pediatric cardiologist and having an echocardiogram and stress test, Joe was diagnosed with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM — an incurable disease, usually caused by gene mutations, in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick.

The diagnosis took Joe away from sports and other physical activity for several years. [...]

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