Activity by mayoclinic
After heart surgery, Deshawn Corbin can run, jump and swim like a kid ... for the first time
Deshawn Corbin is just 15 years old. But he’s already experienced more life than most people many times his age.
Deshawn was born with complex congenital heart disease that affected the way blood traveled through his body and kept him from getting enough oxygen. His teenage mother, who’d had no prenatal care, realized she would be unable to care for a child with such special needs and gave him up for adoption. On the day he was born, Deshawn became a ward of the state and had his first open heart surgery.
When Ernesto Boleaga learned that he needed a kidney transplant, the perfect donor, his identical twin brother, Jose Luis, was ready and willing to help. And because the Boleagas have the same genetic make-up, Ernesto’s body accepted Jose Luis’ kidney as its own.
For most patients, however, an identical twin donor isn’t an option, and they need to take medication to suppress their immune system so the body doesn't reject their new kidney. Doctors at Mayo Clinic want to change that.
The video below shows the Boleaga’s story and how Mayo Clinic physicians are researching ways to grow organs from a patient’s own stem cells. It's called regenerative medicine, and it offers hope for a solution to organ rejection.
A patient in need of transplant touches Dr. Phil Fischer's heart and prompts him to explore living donation. As a result, a patient in need of a kidney lives on, enjoying her grandchildren, golfing and dancing.
The shortage of deceased donor organs has reached a crisis, with almost 120,000 people in need of a lifesaving organ nationwide. More than 3,000 of those people are Mayo Clinic patients. But for kidney, liver and bone marrow transplant patients, living donors can help shorten the wait time.
A recent survey found that nearly half of Americans would consider donating to a complete stranger — a statistic that has more than doubled in the past decade. It is becoming increasingly common for people to donate to family, friends and even strangers, so one of the 120,000 people on the wait list can receive the gift of renewed life.
One such donor is Phil Fischer, M.D., a pediatric and adolescent medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. In this video interview, Dr. Fischer tells how a patient in need of a kidney transplant touched his heart and prompted him to explore anonymous living donation, sometimes referred to as good Samaritan, non-directed or altruistic donation. Dr. Fischer’s selfless act of donation enabled a woman in need of a kidney to live a full life, enjoying her grandchildren and dancing.
With no cure available, a Mayo patient finds comfort in a reunion with a former teacher whose words and encouragement had a lasting impact on his life. With some help from his Mayo physician.
Tim Ruettiger, a gym teacher and wrestling coach in New Lennox, Ill., had no idea what a lasting impression he had made on one of his students, Ron Krasneck.
In 1982, Krasneck was 14 years old when he first met Ruettiger, known as Coach Rudy. Krasneck was slightly built, standing just 4 feet, 6 inches tall. Born with a rare genetic condition linked to cancer, the teenager had undergone multiple orthopedic surgeries to treat bone cancer. But Coach Rudy treated Krasneck just like the rest of the students.
Thirty years later, Mayo's Horacio Asbun, M.D., a surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Florida, learned about Coach Rudy's impact during a conversation back in December 2012, after Krasneck learned that surgery couldn’t cure his advanced gall bladder and liver cancer.
“I couldn’t do anything for him,” says Dr. Asbun, who knew much of Krasneck’s medical journey. Diagnosed as a toddler, his disease ramped up in his late teens. At age 46, Krasneck had survived nine episodes of bone cancer, amputations of a hand and wrist, partial removal of a shoulder/scapula and removal and rebuilding of C2 and C3 vertebrae. He walked with a prosthetic leg, though it was hardly noticeable. He'd had more than 35 major surgeries.
Barbara Nehr and her husband Adam had recently retired. Their shared passion for designing and flying experimental airplanes had taken them on many adventures in the past 20 years – adventures they planned to continue. But then the Orlando couple’s plans took a detour. A routine test showed Barbara’s body was not flushing out toxins as normal, and she was experiencing yellowing of the skin and itching.
For his entire life, radio host James Rabe has known that one day he'd need a new kidney. A disease called Alport Syndrome slowly caused his kidneys to fail. As his condition advanced, the search for a new organ began. His big sister stepped up and gave part of herself so her little brother could live. They share their story in the video below.
While the outcomes for transplant patients who receive deceased donor organs are very good, transplants performed from living donors, like the gift given to James by his sister, can have several advantages.
For the past eight years, Nicole Dehn, 30, has had pangs of sadness whenever she passes a small grove of trees on the road near her Jacksonville, Fla., home. The trees are a constant reminder of the day epilepsy took her freedom.
Nov. 14 2005. It’s the day Dehn had a seizure while driving. Her car came to rest in the median atop the shrubbery.
“The trees are slanted and one is totally flat. Riding by it… it’s like a slap in the face every time,” says Dehn, who, though unharmed, lost her driving privileges.
The seizures began when she was 6 months old. They got progressively worse. Typically, medication can control seizures in most people with epilepsy. But for about 30 percent of patients, they aren't effective or are intolerable. Over the years Dehn tried various drugs and treatments, even having a device implanted in her brain in an attempt to control the seizures. Nothing seemed to work.
Judy Phillips found hope when hope was running out thanks to a physician willing to try new (and old) treatments, a team of "wonderful nurses," and the "steadfast support and optimism" of her husband.
Written by Judy Phillips
I am a seven-year survivor of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow. Myeloma is a relatively rare cancer, so many people who are diagnosed with it have no idea what they are being told they have. I had heard of it but didn’t remember what it was exactly. All I knew was that it was something terrible, and I didn’t want it. My husband and I promptly burst into tears when we heard the diagnosis in the doctor’s office.
It was several weeks before I could stop crying. Every time I thought about the fact that I was now a cancer patient a fresh round of tears came into my eyes. Finally, when I got tired of crying -- and my husband begged me to stop -- I started focusing on what I could do to eliminate this scourge from my life. Although my first doctor, a hematologist/oncologist in Virginia, told me I had three to five years to live, I refused to believe this. I was determined to get cured. To this end, I accepted treatment with an aggressive drug that had just been approved by the FDA.
Unfortunately, I was not able to tolerate the new drug -- I experienced excruciatingly painful peripheral neuropathy in my legs, making it difficult for me to even get off the couch. I was tried on another new drug but continued to have intolerable side effects. I could tell by the look on my doctor’s face that he was running out of ideas.
Dianne Shea thought that the fevers, chills, vomiting, nausea and endless bouts of diarrhea from C. diff would take away her independence. But after a fecal transplant, she says, "My life began again."
I've been a paraplegic and a Mayo Clinic patient for more than 10 years. My legs decided to stop working over a period of just a few short months due to a spinal tumor. So I didn't think I was a stranger to adversity. Then I met a nasty little bug they call C. difficile. The name is not ironic. At first I thought I had a very violent form of the flu with fevers, chills, vomiting, nausea and (the worst by far) countless, endless bouts of diarrhea.
My days were filled with nothing more than being assisted to the bathroom, cleaning up, getting back into bed, then starting all over again, weaker than before. I required around-the-clock care. I couldn't get dressed, could hardly eat anything, didn't have enough energy to do the smallest of tasks, and couldn't have any fun. Most importantly, I couldn't get through physical therapies for my legs.
It’s tough for anyone to deal with a cancer diagnosis, especially someone at the age of 18. Todd Blake, a Jacksonville, Fla., native, was just beginning life as a freshman at the University of Florida when he was diagnosed with late-stage Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a serious form of blood cancer. Fast-forward through countless treatments and multiple relapses, Todd decided to make the most of his situation by starting a nonprofit organization to help other young adults deal with their cancer diagnosis. Now, his wife, Maja, has joined the battle against cancer — recently joining Mayo Clinic’s Cancer Center research team and pursuing future cures for several types of blood cancer.