Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

makalajohnson (@makala johnson)

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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Wed, Jul 31 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Wed, Sep 25 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Mon, Jun 10 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Wed, May 22 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Tue, May 28 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Mon, Jun 10 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Mon, Jun 10 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · 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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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · 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. [...]

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makalajohnson (@makala johnson) published a blog post Fri, May 24 2013 · 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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