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Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Lynn Closway (@lynn closway)

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

‘His and Her’ Weight Loss Surgeries Spawn Healthy Lifestyle Changes

‘His and Her’ Weight Loss Surgeries Spawn Healthy Lifestyle Changes -Arizona couple loses pounds, inches, old habits after Mayo Clinic surgeries

Not many people who struggle with weight issues are proud to show off their “before” photos – especially when the “before” clearly communicated a need for change. A major life change.

But change, fueled by a healthy dose of motivation, is just what the doctor ordered for a Safford, Ariz., couple whose world, professionally and privately, revolves around food. Now their collective passion for the cuisine that once ruled their lives, resulting in weight gain, exhaustion and depression, has taken a significant healthy twist. Now, no matter how many homemade pies are calling their names from the counters in their own restaurants, they have mastered the art – of moderation.

On the Treadmill of Stress and Unhealthy Eating

 

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

A Marathon of Another Kind: Kidney Dialysis for 13 Months

Nichole and Isaac Ruston and kids Max and Mia

Nichole and Isaac Ruston and kids Max, left, and Mia, right.

It was the summer of 2008, and Nichole Rushton was primed and ready to run 26.2 miles – a marathon – something she had accomplished with relative ease twice before. At age 28, she well could have invented the concept of “multitasking,” keeping physically active, raising two kids and being a devoted wife to her husband, Isaac.

But, felled by an uncharacteristic sore throat, she had to sit out the marathon. Strep throat was the initial diagnosis, and then “mono” – until she deteriorated to the point where her kidneys went into stress mode. Diagnosis: Acute kidney failure. Further tests revealed vasculitis, an inflammation of the red blood cells. Then Nichole experienced a severe life-altering seizure, witnessed by a frightened, yet composed Isaac, which landed Nichole at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona.

“I went from the treadmill to a hospital bed,” Nichole laments.

It was at Mayo Clinic that she heard words that rocked her world. Nichole would have to be on kidney dialysis for the rest of her life – unless she qualified to have a kidney transplant.

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

Date Night

'Date Night' Takes on New Meaning for Heart Patient at Mayo Clinic in Arizona

It would be hard to ignore the elephant in the room.

This "elephant" happens to be the 400-pound artificial heart machine that is keeping alive a very special patient at Mayo Clinic in Arizona -- a 41-year-old husband and father of three whose heart was so damaged it had to be totally removed. The heart machine, called the Total Artificial Heart, then took over. It replaces the human heart and pumps up to 9.5 liters of blood per minute to save the lives of patients experiencing end-stage heart failure.

The human heart may have been replaced, but not the human spirit.

Mayo patient Charles Okeke is setting records. He has been on the Total [...]

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

Mayo Clinic Scores Top Wins in 6th Annual Dragon Boat Festival

Lynn Closway works in Mayo Clinic's Department of Public Affairs, and wrote this post as a spectator. For an account from one of Synchronicity's rowers, see Yvette Martin's related post below.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

If you happen to be one of the 76 teams that DIDN'T score the coveted first place in three of the top categories at the 6th Arizona Annual Dragon Boat Festival March 28 and 29, that is.

Seeing Red! Mayo paddlers prepare to give it their all!

Seeing Red! Mayo paddlers prepare to give it their all!

Be afraid for what next year may hold!

Team Mayo Clinic in Arizona easily reclaimed the corporate championship by placing number one (gold) in the 500-meter race and was the hands-down first-place winner in both the "Cheer" and "Team Spirit" categories. Mayo also took a third-place (bronze) win in the "Mixed Team - Division C" category, comprising both men and women paddlers.

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

Mayo Patient/Race Car Driver Scores Big Wins for Heart Health and at Sebring

Generally when the heart of Adrian Fernandez is beating at a frenetic pace, he’s behind the wheel of a race car, and a highly trained and loyal pit crew is waiting around the next turn of the track to spring into action.

Not so much when Adrian was on the treadmill at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, submitting to a rigorous workout of a totally different kind. His “pit crew” came in the form of skilled, compassionate cardiac professionals. And this time, Adrian was on his own to prove his performance – cardiac performance, as opposed to driving proficiency.

Patti Miller, RN, guides Adrian Fernandez through his cardiac screening

Patti Miller, RN, guides Adrian Fernandez through his cardiac screening

Sonographer Nan Pearson was among those who helped guide Adrian through Mayo Clinic’s new Heart Health and Performance Program, including his stress echo test, a diagnostic tool generally not used unless previous cardiac symptoms had been detected. A cardiac sonographer is able to view images of the heart and blood vessels to detect subtle differences between normal and potentially diseased areas and present the data for interpretation.

But Adrian was motivated to participate in comprehensive screening to determine his heart health. Not only does he need to maintain fitness for his racing profession, he has a wife and two young children to think about. And, he admits, “I have a cholesterol issue.”

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

Mayo Transplant Patient a Finalist on American Idol

He made it! Scott MacIntyre, singer/songwriter/pianist from Scottsdale, Ariz., that is. Scott, 23, a contestant on the current season of American Idol, made the list of the 10 finalists on last night's program (Wednesday, March 18) when “America” voted him in.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest delivered the good news to a jubilant Scott by telling him he would be on the nationwide tour after the season’s end – news enthusiastically received by Scott and his family.

Scott is admired by legions of fans, and especially by the Transplant team at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

Not Your Traditional Wedding Anniversary: Husband Donates Kidney to Wife of 30 Years

Pearls top the list as the suggested 30th wedding anniversary gift.

Still, some devoted husbands may opt to purchase their bride of three decades a special spa day – or an exotic trip to sip a cool drink by an ocean.

In the case of George and Anna Riley, Bloomfield, N.M., their beverage of choice on the eve of their 30th wedding anniversary was strictly cut off at midnight. That was the “stop all food and beverage” deadline before they were both readied for major transplant surgery at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

George and Anna RileyGeorge’s gift to Anna trumped all material things. George, on their 30th wedding anniversary, instead donated one of his [...]

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

Comparison of “Gut” Microbes Offers Clues to Weight Differences

Obesity. (Got your attention?)

It's the topic of a collaborative research study involving Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute and the University of Arizona.  The study suggests that the composition of microbes within the human gut may hold a key to at least part of the cause of obesity -- and the prospect for future treatment. 

The upshot?  After studying the gut microbial composition of patients of normal weight, those who were morbidly obese and those who underwent gastric bypass surgery, it appeared that the microbes in the gut of those who were obese had some dramatic differences, compared with the normal weight individuals, while the composition following gastric bypass surgery looked similar to that of the normal weight individuals.  More studies [...]

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Lynn Closway (@lynn closway) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · View  

Mayo Clinic Volunteer: ‘You Never Have to Retire When You Have the 88 Keys’

She's a genius when commanding the grand piano, but 88-year-old Mayo Clinic volunteer, Anne Monte, of Scottsdale, Ariz., confesses her nagging fear: "People think it's a player piano. I'm so short, they can't see me back there!"

_annemonte

Her fears are unfounded --if you ask any of the Mayo patients and visitors who stop in their tracks to inhale the sight of the petite, white-haired lady seated at the piano bench who shocks them with her vitality and vigorous pounding of the keys. On Mondays, Anne's turn at the piano at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, she is surrounded by "groupies" -- smiling patient and visitor fans who express disbelief when they learn of her age and spot her wheel [...]

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