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2 days ago · Feeling Fantastic After Heart Valve Surgery

When James Tembrock was told he needed surgery to replace his aortic valve, he wanted to find a medical center where he could have the procedure done using a minimally invasive approach. That search led James to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

When James Tembrock was told he needed surgery to replace his aortic valve, he wanted to find a medical center where he could have the procedure done using a minimally invasive approach. That search led James to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


When James Tembrock of St. Cloud, Minnesota, learned he would need heart valve surgery, he says he never dreamed his search for a less invasive option would lead him to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. But he’s glad it did.

“Around three years ago, my primary physician noticed a gurgling sound in my heart,” James says. “An echocardiogram showed my aortic valve was obstructed.”

His doctor advised James that the condition was something to keep an eye on. As the valve became more constricted, James began to experience symptoms of heart failure, including shortness of breath. During a drive through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the altitude amplified those symptoms.

“I was getting really short of breath and afraid I wouldn’t be able to go across the Continental Divide,” James says. “My heart valve was at one-quarter its normal size at that point.”

A less taxing approach

James, who holds a master’s degree in nursing and worked for 35 years at the St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Hospital, knew there were less invasive valve replacement procedures that did not require open-chest surgery. But minimally invasive aortic valve replacement is technically challenging and offered by few surgeons.

Having earned his first nursing degree in Rochester, Minnesota, James decided to contact Mayo Clinic. James’ wife, Sheila, made the call. She was advised that it would be possible for James to undergo the procedure at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.

“I said, ‘Eau what?'” Sheila recalls.


“With this procedure, there is less pain. They can recover faster and get back to lifting, working and normal activity in half the time or less.” 

Robert Wiechmann, M.D.


In Eau Claire, James met with Robert Wiechmann, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon. Dr. Wiechmann told James he could perform the procedure through a 5-centimeter incision between the ribs.

“Given the option, people are thrilled not to have their chest cracked open,” Dr. Wiechmann says. “With this procedure, there is less pain. They can recover faster and get back to lifting, working and normal activity in half the time or less.”

A good candidate

People who only need valve replacement may qualify for the minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Wiechmann says. Those who need a combination of valve and bypass surgery, or those who have had a previous right-chest or lung operation would not be candidates.

After meeting Dr. Wiechmann, James was sure he was doing the right thing in pursuing the surgery.

“My confidence was very high,” James says. “Dr. Wiechmann performs this surgery all the time. That is a big factor you look for in a surgeon.”


“We loved the spiritual care that was available and the kind, compassionate care for hospital patients and families.”

James Tembrock

Dr. Wiechmann says James’ medical background helped him ask good questions, and his research paid off in finding an option that worked well for him.

In addition to the excellent medical care James received, James and Sheila say their spiritual needs also were met during their time in Eau Claire.

“We loved the spiritual care that was available and the kind, compassionate care for hospital patients and families,” says James, who holds a master’s degree in theology and studied for the priesthood. James especially appreciated the hand-illuminated St. John’s Bible on display at the hospital. Sheila found comfort visiting the nearby St. Patrick’s Church adoration chapel while James was in surgery.

James and Sheila TembrockA speedy recovery

After surgery, James’ recovery time was short, and he says he bounced back quickly.

“I was in quite good shape right away,” James says. “About a day and a half after surgery, Dr. Wiechmann looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Mr. Tembrock, you’re going to feel fantastic by tomorrow morning.’ When he came back, I said: ‘I’m ready to go. I’m out of here.'”

James and his wife were so happy with his care in Eau Claire that Sheila went there for a second opinion on a medical issue she had involving her wrist. The couple also has recommended Mayo Clinic Health System to other family members.

“The whole experience was amazing,” says Sheila. “The care that he received was awesome.”

Note: A version of this story previously was published in Hometown Health.


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4 days ago · Headaches Gone, Independence Restored

Michelle Griffis battled debilitating headaches for more than a year. But after several neurosurgeries and care from a multidisciplinary team at Mayo Clinic, she's made a full recovery. Now Michelle and her son are back to exploring their world together.

Michelle Griffis with Cody Nesvick, M.D., left, and W. Richard Marsh, M.D.

Michelle Griffis battled debilitating headaches for more than a year. But after several neurosurgeries and care from a multidisciplinary team at Mayo Clinic, she’s made a full recovery. Now Michelle and her son are back to exploring their world together. 


Michelle Griffis has a lot to celebrate this holiday season. After spending two months in a wheelchair in 2017, she’s back to walking, driving, and going up and down the stairs with ease. She’s returned to work as an administrative assistant for Mayo Clinic’s Global Business Solutions after being on leave for 11 months. And, best of all, Michelle can once again pick up her 3-year-old son, Owen, and the two of them are back to relishing their time together.

“Just being able to get down on the ground and play with him is a gift,” Michelle says. “I’m so grateful that I’m able to take him to the park and be part of his world again.”

Michelle credits the expertise, dedication and compassion of a multidisciplinary team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists and occupational therapists at Mayo Clinic with her remarkable recovery.

A rare diagnosis

Michelle’s medical difficulties began with terrible headaches that felt like she had a sack of potatoes on the back of her head. The pain prompted frequent vomiting. For the entire month of November 2016, Michelle vomited every day. She could only eat lying down, and her condition forced her to stay in bed much of the time.

After several MRIs and a CT myelogram, a medical team at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus discovered the source of her symptoms. Michelle’s spine was leaking fluid — a condition called spontaneous spinal cerebral spinal fluid leak with intracranial hypotension. Testing revealed the leak was at the base of her neck.

In an attempt to seal off the hole and stop the leak, the team’s initial treatment that included several blood patches and fibrin glue patch injections in Michelle’s spine. Unfortunately, those measures were unsuccessful.


“[Dr. Marsh] was an inspiration to me. He’s my hero. He never gave up on me.”

Michelle Griffis

Michelle then met with neurosurgeon W. Richard Marsh, M.D., to discuss the only other treatment option: surgery. Michelle needed a laminectomy, which involves removing bone from the back of her spine to expose the back of the spinal membrane, known as the dura.

“The hole was in the spinal membrane around the front side of the spinal cord, so we would need to manipulate the spinal cord to suture it closed,” Dr. Marsh says.

Because Michelle was dealing with family issues that prevented her from having major surgery at that time, she decided to wait to have the procedure. She lived with the debilitating headaches for eight more months. But during a follow-up visit in July 2017, she had an MRI that revealed the spinal leak was getting worse. Michelle and Dr. Marsh agreed to move forward. Her surgery was scheduled for August.

A dedicated care team

The surgery was the start of a long road back to renewed health for Michelle under the care of Dr. Marsh, as well as neurologic surgery resident Cody Nesvick, M.D., who oversaw Michelle’s care while she was in an ICU and during her stay in the hospital’s neurology unit.

A few days after surgery, Michelle found she was unable to move her arms or legs. That development required several additional surgeries. One of them involved sewing in a patch to cover the hole in her spine. But those procedures made the difference. In September, she was able to move her toes again. Michelle then was released to the rehabilitation unit, where she worked with physical and occupational therapists for another five weeks.

As Michelle worked to regain her strength and mobility, Dr. Marsh came to visit her regularly. “He’s very friendly and caring,” Michelle says. “He was an inspiration to me. He’s my hero. He never gave up on me.”


“This is the best I’ve felt in years. It’s so peaceful and amazing not to have those headaches.”

Michelle Griffis

She’s also grateful for the thorough care and support she received from the rehabilitation staff.

“They helped me get the strength back in my hands and motion back in my legs,” Michelle says. “They showed me how to function while in a wheelchair and how to walk with a walker.”

Michelle was still in a wheelchair when she was released from the hospital in October 2017. She spent another six months doing outpatient physical and occupational therapy three times a week.

Michelle and Owen Griffis

Michelle and Owen Griffis

“Everything people take for granted I had to relearn — how to write, how to brush my hair and how to eat. The hardest thing was sitting up,” Michelle says. “I had to teach my brain how to send messages to my muscles to move.”

Although it wasn’t an easy process, Michelle made steady progress. In November, she was able to walk with a walker, and in January, she progressed to walking with a cane.

Today all that hard work has paid off, and Michelle has returned to living the life she loves. She’s enjoying being back at work. She’s sliding down slides with her son at the park. She’s even planning several trips — contemplating a journey to New York City or San Francisco with her best friend, and making arrangements to go to Des Moines for her youngest sister’s wedding.

“This is the best I’ve felt in years. It’s so peaceful and amazing not to have those headaches,” Michelle says. “Mayo gave me my life back. I can now be an active, hands-on mom with my son again. That means the world to me.”


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6 days ago · Hanna's Lifesaving Liver Transplant

When a local hospital was reluctant to list their daughter for the liver transplant she needed, Melinda Kohlmyer and her husband brought young Hanna to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. There, Hanna got a second chance at life.

When a local hospital was reluctant to list their daughter for the liver transplant she needed, Melinda Kohlmyer and her husband brought young Hanna to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. There, Hanna got a second chance at life.


After several busy days in the hospital, Melinda Kohlmyer was enjoying a few quiet moments with her newborn daughter, Hanna, resting comfortably in her arms. She was looking forward to spending some unhurried time together with her baby.

But things changed quickly when a nurse came into the room and told Melinda she had to take Hanna to the neonatal ICU. That unexpected announcement was the beginning of the little girl’s journey to Mayo Clinic, where she eventually would receive a liver transplant.

Steady decline

Shortly after Hanna’s birth, Melinda noticed her daughter looking a little jaundiced — a thought later confirmed by her care team.

“I didn’t think anything of it,” Melinda says. “In the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘OK, get her under some lamps, and she’ll be fine.’ But that wasn’t the case.”

Instead, Hanna would stay in the neonatal ICU for the next week while her care team performed tests to figure out what was causing her discoloration.


“We just had to live with the fact that eventually she was going to need a liver transplant. That was the only way to save her.”

Melinda Kohlmyer

“After a liver biopsy, they determined she was born with a rare liver disorder called biliary atresia, which of course we’d never heard of before,” Melinda says.

The medical team told Hanna’s parents that a technique called the Kasai procedure might be able to help. It involves connecting the liver to the small intestine, bypassing the liver ducts that don’t work properly.

“Unfortunately, that didn’t work,” Melinda says. “We just had to live with the fact that eventually she was going to need a liver transplant. That was the only way to save her.”

Proactive approach

As Hanna’s health got worse, her parents determined the best place for her to get that lifesaving transplant would be at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus.

“We finally decided to seek out a second opinion at Mayo because we didn’t feel like our local hospital was being proactive enough in getting Hanna listed for a transplant,” Melinda says.

When the family arrived at Mayo Clinic, they met with Katryn Furuya, M.D., a pediatric hepatologist. “I knew within five minutes of meeting her that we had come to the right place and that we were going to transfer Hanna’s care to Mayo Clinic immediately,” Melinda says.

Once that was accomplished, Dr. Furuya and the rest of Hanna’s care team wasted no time.

“They proposed a very proactive and aggressive treatment plan, and wanted to list Hanna for a liver transplant right away,” Melinda says. “They also explained to us that the healthier Hanna could be before surgery, that would be directly indicative of how well she did postsurgery. And so we wanted to get her on board at Mayo and started with all of that as soon as possible.”


“We felt like Hanna’s care was always their top priority and that everyone involved was truly interested in saving her life.”

Melinda Kohlmyer

From there, young Hanna’s care plan moved forward quickly.

“When I saw Hanna for the first time, it was clear to me — given that she had remained jaundiced despite having undergone a Kasai procedure — that she needed to begin her liver transplant evaluation process right away,” Dr. Furuya says. “In the meantime, I started her on medication that would help her feel more comfortable and take away the itchiness she’d also been experiencing because of her liver problems.”

After Hanna completed her transplant evaluation at Mayo Clinic, her parents had planned to take her home while they waited for a donor liver to become available. But a decline in Hanna’s health didn’t allow for that.

“She started having so many things go wrong,” Melinda says. “She got an extended stomach, the flu, and like four or five other chronic issues all going on at the same time. So we ended up staying at Mayo Clinic.”

That turned out to be a blessing in disguise, according to Melinda.

“The most positive thing I saw come out of that was that there were so many different people and so many different departments who came to Hanna’s aid,” she says. “We had infectious diseases specialists. We could get an ultrasound right there in her room. It just felt like there was such a large team of professionals who were helping her.”

Melinda says that, to a person, they all made her feel like Hanna was their only patient.

“I don’t know how they do that because I know Mayo truly is a very busy place,” Melinda says. “But that’s exactly how we felt. We felt like Hanna’s care was always their top priority and that everyone involved was truly interested in saving her life.”

New energy

A key member of Hanna’s care team was Charles Rosen, M.D., the surgeon who performed the little girl’s liver transplant. “He’s our superhero,” Melinda says of Dr. Rosen, who is chair of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Transplant Surgery. “We get giddy whenever we see him in the hallway at Mayo because he saved Hanna’s life. He saved our daughter’s life, and he did an incredible job.”

Dr. Rosen also did an excellent job, Melinda says, of making sure Hanna’s recovery got off to the right start.

“I remember Dr. Rosen walking into Hanna’s recovery room at 4 or 5 a.m. the morning after her transplant,” Melinda says. “She was asleep, and he tiptoed over, checked her out and gave me a thumbs up. And I was like, ‘OK. That’s all I need to know.'”


“We always felt safe at Mayo and like someone was always taking the time to really understand Hanna and do what was best for her.”

Melinda Kohlmyer

Since then, Hanna’s health has improved significantly. “Her color returned to normal within the first few hours of the transplant,” Melinda says. “After we were discharged and sent back home, she’s continued to make steady progress. She’s now 2 years old, and she’s just happy and healthy and has so much energy. It’s hard to keep up with her now, actually.”

Melinda believes the health and vitality Hanna is enjoying wouldn’t have been possible without the proactive team approach to her care the family found at Mayo Clinic.

“We always felt safe at Mayo and like someone was always taking the time to really understand Hanna and do what was best for her,” she says. “Because of that, we feel like we’re getting back to normal now, and that feels really good.”

To those who may be considering becoming organ donors but haven’t yet taken that step, Melinda has this to say: “Just know that by making that choice, you can potentially help save the lives of many different people — people like Hanna.”


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Fri, Nov 30 12:08pm · Honoring Caregivers by Supporting Mayo Clinic's Mission

Warren and Marilyn Bateman's links to Mayo Clinic stretch back through decades past, and their commitment to supporting the organization will endure for years to come.

Warren and Marilyn Bateman’s links to Mayo Clinic stretch back through decades past, and their commitment to supporting the organization will endure for years to come.


A framed handwritten recipe for pickles adorns a wall of Warren and Marilyn Bateman’s home in the hills of Maggie Valley, North Carolina. It was part of a birthday card for Marilyn and includes a scrawled signature below the recipe — one that has become one of the Batemans’ most treasured gifts.

The card was from Sister Generose Gervais, a longtime administrator at what is now Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus.

“She was a delight,” Marilyn says with a smile as she recalls Sister Generose, who passed away in 2016. “Always wanting you to stop to chat and have a candy from her candy dish, or help her make pickles.”

The Batemans say they’re blessed by the values and memory of Sister Generose. The iconic pickle recipe is a reminder of her compassion, respect and excellence. It’s just one of the connections to Mayo Clinic that led the Batemans to support a number of causes, and to honor Mayo Clinic nurses and Sister Generose.

Connecting to a special place

The Batemans grew up in small Minnesota towns, each forging their own connections to Mayo Clinic.

Warren lived in Plainview. But it was about 19 miles away, in Rochester, where he made one of his most cherished childhood memories in August 1934. Warren, who was then 11, joined his father to travel in their Studebaker from Plainview to Rochester to see President Franklin Roosevelt honor Drs. William J. and Charles H. Mayo, M.D.

“I was very small, so I was able to wriggle into the front row,” Warren says. “To see the president — that was a big deal. And for the president to come here, it was special.”

Over the years, Warren came to view Mayo Clinic as a special place. He fondly remembers many automobiles around Central Park in downtown Rochester on his visits to sell cabbage or other farm-fresh goods.


“You could take a trip around the United States just by walking the block.”

Warren and Marilyn Bateman

“When I was a kid, they didn’t allow local residents to park there, so I’d walk by and see the license plates from all different places,” Warren says. “It was incredible. You could take a trip around the United States just by walking the block.”

Warren served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, eventually becoming a commissioned officer and drawing an assignment on the fleet admiral’s staff near the end of the fighting. Following the war, he served more than 20 years as a reservist while becoming a successful lawyer.

Warren didn’t return to Mayo Clinic until long after he had retired. He developed a rash while living in Miami, and he came to Rochester for a second opinion. At Mayo Clinic, Warren was given a more accurate diagnosis than the one he originally received in Miami. From there, he and his Mayo care team drew up an individualized care plan for his needs.

“That was when I started coming to Mayo,” Warren says. “I was always pleased that they told me the truth, and that’s why I kept coming back.”

Caring with compassion

For Marilyn — a native of Austin, Minnesota — it was the reputation of the Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing that drew her to Rochester in 1954. After graduating in 1957, she worked with some of Mayo Clinic’s most well-known general and thoracic surgeons at the time — O.T. Clagett, M.D., Philip Bernatz, M.D., and William C. Mayo, M.D., the grandson of Dr. William W. Mayo and son of Dr. Charles H. Mayo.

“They were not only fine surgeons, but fine gentlemen,” Marilyn says. “I loved working with them.”


“I’ve cried with my patients. I’ve laughed with my patients, and I’ve given hugs to patients that needed it.”

Marilyn Bateman

Later she worked for a Mayo Clinic-backed research project and then as the first nurse certified in preoperative and postoperative waiting areas, as well as recovery areas for same-day procedures.

“I felt that if a patient came to the preop waiting area before surgery, they needed somebody with compassion, somebody with understanding,” Marilyn says. “I’ve cried with my patients. I’ve laughed with my patients, and I’ve given hugs to patients that needed it.”

Marilyn retired in 1997 — the same year she and Warren married on Valentine’s Day.

Paying tribute to nurses

Their long-standing connections to Mayo Clinic have inspired the Batemans to give back. At Christmastime, they give to the Poverello Fund, an endowment that offsets a portion of medical expenses for patients receiving care on the Saint Marys Campus. Since its founding in 1983, the fund has helped more than 13,000 patients.

The Batemans began giving to the fund by contributing a percentage of the sale of their house. That drew a visit from Sister Generose, who wanted to learn more about the family’s intent for the funds.

The Batemans also worked with Mayo Clinic’s Department of Development to recognize their gifts to capital projects, research and the Mayo Clinic Model of Care.


“Mayo Clinic is truly a part of our lives, and it always feels like family.”

Marilyn Bateman

“I was over in Saint Marys and saw all those statues for the sisters, and there was nothing visible in the Gonda Building for the nurses,” Warren says. “I wanted a person when they came here, to think of a nurse or the nurses that treated them.”

With that in mind, the Batemans respectfully declined to have an atrium in the Gonda Building named in their honor. Rather, they advocated for naming the space for Mayo nurses. Now called the Mayo Nurses Atrium, it’s the largest-known physical space named in honor of the nursing profession at any medical center.

Two inspirational pieces are included in the atrium. First is “Forever Caring” by Gloria Tew. It was dedicated in 2003 to honor Mayo Clinic nursing professionals — past, present and future. The bronze sculpture portrays nurses in practice, education and research.

Second, Dale Chihuly’s untitled glass sculpture hangs one level above the atrium. The 6,000-pound piece spans 45 feet and features 1,375 pieces of glass among 13 chandeliers.

Meeting new needs

Most recently, the Batemans saw the need to continue advancing surgical projects at the Saint Marys Campus. To that end, they donated funds to support the construction of new operating rooms.

The rooms are important because of an increase in the number of patients who need complex surgery. Across Mayo Clinic, about 130,000 surgeries are performed each year, with many challenging cases handled on the Saint Marys Campus.

The new operating rooms are nearly 1,000 square feet each to accommodate new technology and robotics that will not fit into existing operating rooms. They also let more specialists work simultaneously. This allows Mayo Clinic surgeons to help patients who need more complex surgeries or are at higher risk for complications. The rooms also offer the opportunity for surgeons to pursue the best practices in robotic, hybrid and surgical innovations.

True to the Batemans’ philosophy of declining recognition, their support for these rooms is given in honor of Sister Generose.

“She had such a presence,” Marilyn says. “She worked so hard for each and every patient and staff member.”

That sentiment fits with the Batemans’ view that Mayo Clinic’s reputation comes from its people.

“At Mayo Clinic, you feel welcome,” Warren says. “Everyone treats you with a smile. The doctors, the nurses, they all say, ‘Is there anything else bothering you?’ They want to treat you. They’re interested in you.”

“Mayo Clinic is truly a part of our lives, and it always feels like family,” Marilyn adds. “It’s like coming home.”

Note: A version of this article was published previously in Mayo Clinic Magazine.


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Wed, Nov 28 5:00am · Facial Pain Is More Than Meets the Eye

Nancy Hannafin suffered from terrible pain on one side of her face for several years. Finally, a visit to her optometrist led to a breakthrough. Nerve pain was causing the problem, and brain surgery at Mayo Clinic fixed it.

Nancy Hannafin suffered from terrible pain on one side of her face for several years. Finally, a visit to her optometrist led to a breakthrough. Nerve pain was causing the problem, and brain surgery at Mayo Clinic fixed it.


Nancy Hannafin makes a point of appreciating the little things in life: birds singing, flowers blooming, sun shining. But for a long time, crippling pain prevented her from enjoying those small pleasures.

“I had nerve pain in my face, ear and teeth, and it was horrific,” says Nancy. “There was no medication that could help it. It wouldn’t touch it. I went for two years trying to find out what it was.”

Nancy explained her excruciating pain to dentists, orthodontists and other doctors in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where she lives — all to no avail. “And we have some excellent doctors here,” she adds.

Nancy describes the pain as how it would feel “if a dentist drilled in your mouth without anesthetic.” The sporadic, debilitating pain disrupted her life. It kept her from sleeping, and it hurt to chew.

“You’re about ready to go crazy because you know something’s going on,” Nancy says. “The side of my face was getting numb. The pain went through my eyes, through my forehead, down the back of my head into my teeth, and nobody knew what it was.”

Finally, Jaclyn Morin, O.D., an optometrist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, was able to help unlock the mystery.

Finding the source

When Nancy’s right eye became swollen, sore and irritated, she took her unusual symptoms to Dr. Morin. Nancy’s eye exam appeared normal, but Dr. Morin suspected there was more to be discovered.

“The high level of pain she was experiencing on the right side of her face certainly was concerning to me,” Dr. Morin says. “I referred Nancy to our Neurology Department.”

“She got the appointment for me there, and bingo, they found out what it was,” Nancy says.

David Nye, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Health System neurologist, identified Nancy’s debilitating condition as suspected trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic pain disorder affecting the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from the face to the brain.


“It was a blessing. I could not live much longer with that horrific pain.”

Nancy Hannafin

Dr. Nye prescribed medication as the first line of treatment. After one medication caused low blood sodium and two others were ineffective, Dr. Nye referred Nancy to colleagues at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus to consider surgical treatment.

“After two years of wrestling with this, they were finally able to tell me exactly what it was,” Nancy says. “My doctor explained that the padding of the nerves in an area near my jaw was worn away, and the blood vessel was thumping on those nerves, and that’s why it hurt so much.”

Relieving the pain

To get rid of the pain for good, Nancy underwent a brain surgery in November 2017 called microvascular decompression surgery. The procedure was led by Fredric Meyer, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon.

“Dr. Meyer said he’s done quite a few of those surgeries, and, by gosh, if they didn’t fix it,” Nancy says. “It was a blessing. I could not live much longer with that horrific pain.”

The surgery relieved the abnormal compression of Nancy’s cranial nerves, easing her discomfort dramatically.

“I’m still healing. But immediately, that pain was diminished,” says Nancy. “It was gone. I couldn’t believe I was free from pain. I have never been so happy in my life.”

She says she can’t express enough gratitude for her medical team. “If I couldn’t have had the team of wonderful doctors working together that I had, I would never have made it,” Nancy says.


“Nancy’s experience makes me proud to be part of an organization that provides a multidisciplinary approach to health care to meet the needs of our patients.”

Jaclyn Morin, O.D.

Dr. Morin, who has been following Nancy as a patient for more than two years, says she finds it rewarding to hear about positive patient outcomes and experiences such as Nancy’s.

“As health care providers, we want our patients to receive the best care — address their concerns and alleviate their symptoms whenever possible,” Dr. Morin says. “Nancy’s experience makes me proud to be part of an organization that provides a multidisciplinary approach to health care to meet the needs of our patients.”

Nancy hopes that by sharing her story, she will help raise awareness of her condition for others struggling with similar symptoms.

“I hope this can help somebody who may be reading this find out and get help for themselves,” she says. “Maybe if I would have read about this type of thing, I could have gotten help sooner. I just want to send on the message.”

Nancy says now she’s enjoying her pain-free days to the fullest.

“I’m going to smile,” she says. “I’m going to look at the sun. I’m going to smell the flowers. I’m going to enjoy what I have. I’m doing the best I can, and what more could I ask for?”

Note: A version of this story was published previously in Hometown Health.


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Mon, Nov 26 5:00am · Reaching Out to Help Others Across the Globe

A small group of Mayo Clinic providers have worked with Denis Mukwege, M.D., Ph.D., one of the winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, to treat victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The huts where women live behind the hospital waiting for surgery in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A small group of Mayo Clinic providers have worked with Denis Mukwege, M.D., Ph.D., one of the winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, to treat victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


In October, Denis Mukwege, M.D., Ph.D., received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to stem the tide of sexual violence inflicted on women by armed fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Across the globe in Minnesota, a small group of Mayo Clinic staff rejoiced. They have seen first-hand the revolutionary work performed by Dr. Mukwege at his hospital in the Congo, delivering physical healing and much more to a constant stream of rape victims.

In 2010 and 2014, a Mayo team, led by Deborah Rhodes, M.D., worked alongside Dr. Mukwege at Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu. The team included Lois Mc Guire, Emanuel Trabuco, M.D., Sean Dowdy, M.D., Douglas Creedon, M.D., Ph.D., Eric Dozois, M.D., and Philip Fischer, M.D. The trips were born after a series of encounters Dr. Rhodes had with individuals who told her about the horrific conditions facing girls and women in the Congo.

“It’s such an improbable story,” Dr. Rhodes says of the relationship.

It began when one of Dr. Rhodes’ patients returned from a visit to the Congo and told her about the brutal injuries incurred by women, girls, sometimes even babies. Dr. Rhodes was haunted by the stories. “I just could not get it out of my mind,” she says.

Left to right are Eric Dozois, M.D., Lois Mc Guire, Sean Dowdy, M.D., and Deborah Rhodes, M.D.

Left to right are Eric Dozois, M.D., Lois Mc Guire, Sean Dowdy, M.D., and Deborah Rhodes, M.D.

She felt compelled to do something. The chance to take action came when a friend arranged for her to meet with a U.N. global ambassador for women and children affected by war. The ambassador told Dr. Rhodes that it would be great if she could gather a team of providers to go to the Congo and raise awareness of the situation there.

“No one knows about this, and no one is doing anything,” the ambassador said.

That was all Dr. Rhodes needed to hear. It didn’t take long for her to recruit others. After a personal, month-long fundraising campaign to raise money for the travel, the team embarked on its first journey in November 2010.

During their two trips, team members saw casualties of a war where sexual violence was used as a weapon by rogue militias and guerilla fighters. At Panzi Hospital, the Mayo Clinic team assisted in surgeries to treat injuries sustained as a result of this extreme sexual violence. Team members bore witness to the region’s poverty and the overwhelming need of the hospital to treat its traumatized patients.

A ray of hope

The team noted that, in addition to physical healing, Dr. Mukwege provided his patients something equally precious and rare in the war-ravaged region. He gave them hope.

“To understand Dr. Mukwege’s contributions, you have to understand the environment in which he prevails,” Dr. Rhodes says. “There are many great surgeons in the world, of which he is certainly one. But there are very few surgeons who made the sacrifice he’s made to provide services that would be completely unavailable if not for him.”

The environment is so poor that there is no access to most medical services. Without Dr. Mukwege, the extent of the trauma done to the women of the Congo is such that many of them would die.


“There is nowhere else to go. Patients sometimes walk five, 10, 15 days to get to the hospital.”

Deborah Rhodes, M.D.

“He is the only surgeon within thousands of miles who has the ability to offer treatment,” Dr. Rhodes says. “There is nowhere else to go. Patients sometimes walk five, 10, 15 days to get to the hospital.”

And Dr. Mukwege and his team are making sure the journey is worth it. With simple, clean cement rooms that have openings to the outside to allow for a breeze, the hospital is a safe haven where patients lie in comfortable cots with soft blankets. They are treated kindly and cared for in ways not available to them elsewhere.

“He has built this oasis through sheer determination,” Dr. Rhodes says. “It really is the difference between life and death for these women.”

Eye-opening experience for all

The time spent working with Dr. Mukwege and his staff at Panzi Hospital was eye-opening for both the American and African teams, says Lois Mc Guire, a Mayo Clinic nurse practitioner.

“Dr. Mukwege had never worked with a nurse practitioner before, so he was curious about what the role was and what I could and couldn’t do,” she says.  “We discussed the different cases. He was aware of all the treatments we would offer in the U.S. But due to the fact that he often didn’t have the right medications available to him, his treatment options were limited.”

Physicians at Panzi Hospital were taught to use equipment and supplies provided to them by the Mayo team. Roger Dearth, Mayo Clinic’s director of Financial Reporting and Consolidations, worked on his own time to help collect, package and ship the items. Among the supplies sent was equipment to conduct cystoscopies and breast biopsies.

With the cystoscopy equipment — a thin tube with a light and camera that’s inserted through the urethra into the bladder to help guide surgeons— physicians at Panzi Hospital were able to more easily perform reconstructive surgery on their patients.


“Dr. Mukwege and his surgeons there are really worldwide experts curing the type of trauma they see.”

Emanuel Trabuco, M.D.

The breast biopsy machine was a game changer in the way breast cancer patients were treated.

“If you went to the hospital with a suspicious breast lump, you would get a mastectomy even if the lump was benign, because they didn’t have any way to biopsy,” Dr. Rhodes says. “One of our first patients to use the equipment was scheduled for a mastectomy, but she got to keep her breast.”

Mayo Clinic surgeons also taught their colleagues at Panzi Hospital new techniques in pelvic reconstructive surgery.

But the Mayo team learned just as much, if not more, than Dr. Mukwege’s team. “Dr. Mukwege and his surgeons there are really worldwide experts curing the type of trauma they see,” Dr. Trabuco says.

Most pressing need answered

During their time at Panzi Hospital, the Mayo team saw a wide range of need — from simple to seemingly insurmountable. Ordinary items like sanitary pads and adult diapers are a high-value commodity for Dr. Mukwege’s patients.

“Dr. Mukwege was pretty successful at fixing the fistulas. But some of the women are still incredibly incontinent,” Dr. Trabuco says. “Without any supplies, there are implications for their entire social lives.”

But Panzi Hospital’s most pressing need was different. And it opened the door for Dr. Rhodes and her Mayo Clinic team to establish a long-term connection to the Congo.

“One of the last days, I was sitting in Dr. Mukwege’s office, and he came in and he said to me: ‘Many people come here, and they bring their wrapped sandwiches and bottled water. They shed a tear and make a promise, and we never see them again. Something tells me, you’re going to be different,'” Dr. Rhodes says. “And here I am, hiding my wrapped sandwich and water, and I said, ‘I will try my hardest to be different. But you have to tell me what you need and what I can actually do.'”

Panzi Hospital has no running water. Electricity is available a few hours daily, but it’s not dependable. There was no official medical record. So what Dr. Mukwege said next astonished Dr. Rhodes.

He said what they needed most was research.

“We cannot publish the outcomes of our work to support grant applications and justify funding that will sustain the hospital,” Dr. Mukwege told Dr. Rhodes.

Dr. Rhodes kept her promise by raising enough money in less than a year to bring one of Panzi Hospital’s physicians to Mayo Clinic to pursue a master’s degree in clinical research. That physician was Alain Mukwege, M.D., Dr. Mukwege’s son.

“He was one of the only surgeons who spoke English well enough and didn’t have family obligations that prevented him from leaving the country for two years,” Dr. Rhodes says. “He really was the best candidate.”

In 2013, Dr. Alain Mukwege received a master’s degree in clinical research from Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education. He had planned to return to Panzi Hospital and begin the important work of recording and publishing results of his father’s work. However, just before he was to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo, an assassination attempt was made on his father and family. The senior Dr. Mukwege was moved to Panzi Hospital, which is protected by the United Nations. For his own protection, Dr. Alain Mukwege would remain in the U.S. and conduct his research from afar.

Speaking out to save lives

The Mayo Clinic staff members who’ve seen Dr. Mukwege work remain committed to making the plight of the women in the Congo known, and to making people aware of the advances Dr. Mukwege has made in the field of fistula repair.

“I was very reluctant, as we all were, to speak about our experience when we got back,” Dr. Rhodes says. “It’s almost like you’re taking somebody else’s violation, and you’re using it without their permission. I felt these women’s stories were not my stories to tell.”

Ultimately, Dr. Rhodes decided to talk about the team’s experience to continue spreading awareness of the situation in the Congo. “If you don’t speak up, then you miss the opportunity for things to happen,” she says.


“I believe we have an ethical obligation to share our knowledge — and our expertise and our resources — with our brothers and sisters across the world.”

Deborah Rhodes, M.D.

After a presentation given by Drs. Rhodes and Dr. Dowdy, Marina Walther-Antonio, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic gynecological researcher, introduced herself. “Her reaction was my reaction years before. She said: ‘I can’t stomach this. I can’t look the other way. What can I do?'” Dr. Rhodes says.

Dr. Rhodes told Dr. Walther-Antonio that because of rape, many of Dr. Mukwege’s patients had acquired HPV and developed cervical cancer. But there was no way for them to be tested for the virus, so they didn’t know if they were at risk and needed cancer screening.

“The researchers spent two years developing a test, which is currently in a test phase,” Dr. Walther-Antonio says. “It is intended to function like a pregnancy kit, where you pee on a vial, and it tells you whether you have a high-risk HPV strain or not. Materials are targeted [so they are] less than two dollars to make, don’t require clinical expertise or laboratory handling and are color based to make it widely interpretable because most of these patients can’t read.”

Honoring the Mayo mission

Hand-in-hand with raising awareness about the plight of patients at Panzi Hospital is elevating the level of care they’re offered.

“We are five phone digits away from doctors who are renowned in thyroid disease, in cancer, and all I have to do is call them up,” Mc Guire says. “I think that when you have resources like that, it’s your obligation to think outside of your own world and clinic, and think how we can best utilize the incredible staff and resources to help somebody else.”

Since Mayo Clinic’s beginnings, healing underserved communities has been an integral part of its mission.

“I believe we have an ethical obligation to share our knowledge — and our expertise and our resources — with our brothers and sisters across the world,” Dr. Rhodes says. “If we don’t do that, if we only feather our own nest, then we have not served the Mayo brothers’ mission.”


“Global health issues are integral to Mayo’s mission. Mayo is really a resource for the world.”

Philip Fischer, M.D.

Dr. Rhodes says she hopes the next trip will allow them to distribute the newly developed HPV test to women in rural areas. The team also hopes to provide medical residents at Panzi Hospital an iPad-based education program. The hospital has many medical students and residents who train there. It also has a medical school next to it, but the students don’t have computers. They are cut off from anything beyond outdated textbooks. Dr. Rhodes and her team hope to get education materials on iPads to give to students.

By supporting Dr. Mukwege’s work in the Congo, Mayo Clinic is building on the foundation laid by the Mayo family.

“We’re living out the heritage of Drs. Will and Charlie, which was not just inviting other patients in, but seeing other physicians out in the world,” Dr. Fischer says. “Global health issues are integral to Mayo’s mission. Mayo is really a resource for the world.”


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Wed, Nov 21 5:00am · A Passion for Serving Underserved Communities

Concerned by health disparities in African-American communities, Dr. LaPrincess Brewer developed a program that partners with local churches to foster healthy lifestyle choices and improve heart health.

Concerned by health disparities in African-American communities, Dr. LaPrincess Brewer developed a program that partners with local churches to foster healthy lifestyle choices and improve heart health.


Editor’s note: LaPrincess Brewer, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, has been applying an innovative, community-based participatory research model to prevent heart disease in underserved communities. Dr. Brewer’s program, called Fostering African-American Improvement in Total Health (FAITH), has been recognized nationally and internationally as making substantial improvements in the health of its participants. This is Dr. Brewer’s account of how she got started in medicine and what compels her research.

By LaPrincess Brewer, M.D.

I don’t have the classic story, where as a child, I dreamed of being a physician and went around wearing a toy stethoscope and carrying a doctor’s bag.

I discovered my love of patient care and medicine after my freshman year at Howard University in Washington, D.C. As a chemical engineering major, I completed a summer internship at 3M in Minnesota. I loved the experience and had a supportive unit supervisor. It was a direct application of all the knowledge I gained in class. But something was missing.

Combining two loves

That palpable void was human touch and having a lasting impact on people’s lives. So when I went back to college that fall, I contacted my advisers and told them I wanted to try something that would allow me to interact with people beyond a basic science laboratory. They recommended clinical research as an avenue to shadow a physician balancing clinical practice and research for the benefit of patients. I had never really thought of this as a possibility.

The next summer, I was selected into Research Experiences for Undergraduates — a summer research fellow program at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. I fell in love with it.


“To understand why the disparities existed, I wanted to become more equipped to tackle them head on.”

LaPrincess Brewer, M.D.

I was assigned as a mentee to a world-renowned cardiologist within the Center for Emerging Cardiovascular Technologies to work on a project in partnership with NASA. The aim of the project was to develop better therapeutic measures to prevent muscle breakdown and dysfunction in astronauts, which is a major limitation to long-term space missions by humans. Having the opportunity to shadow him was eye-opening. I discovered that I could combine my love of science and engineering with patient care. From that moment on, I made it my goal to apply to medical school. I was fortunately accepted into the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington D.C., and the rest is history.

Losing loved ones to disease

I was really drawn to becoming a physician, given the privilege afforded to care for and learn from patients and then channel this knowledge to have a larger impact on population and public health, particularly within underserved groups. This stems back to my upbringing within the African-American church. I saw so many members of my congregation — many people I looked up to — slipping away from uncontrolled chronic diseases, predominantly heart disease and its risk factors. Not all were related to me, but they all felt like family. I wondered why they were dying so early from conditions that could have been prevented in the first place. There was so much potential loss.

In between my third and fourth year of medical school, I decided to take a year to pursue a master of public health degree, which stemmed from my clinical practice as a medical student. I became overwhelmed with the degree of cardiovascular disease health disparities within the communities we served in our nation’s capital. These disparities were magnified among the poor and underserved. To understand why the disparities existed, I wanted to become more equipped to tackle them head on.

Changing the culture of health and wellness

I was honored to be accepted to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. One of our elective courses in health promotion charged us with developing a community-based intervention that had the potential to be sustained over the long term. My group members were interested in chronic disease prevention within the African-American community. It was only fitting that we would partner with the African-American church, given its profound impact in the lives of African-Americans from a spiritual, social, political and health standpoint.

We developed the project in partnership with a local African-American church that was a stone’s throw from the medical institution. No one had ever reached out to this church to do any sort of health program from Hopkins. And it was perfect timing for us, as the church’s pastor had a keen interest in establishing a health ministry within the church. He expressed sorrow in witnessing several of his church members passing way from heart disease, hypertension, heart attack, stroke and diabetes. He wanted a way to change the culture of health and wellness within his church.

In partnership with the church auxiliary leaders and pastor, we created a summer nutrition education program that included presentations held at the church by health professionals, an interactive cooking demonstration and multimedia video presentations. We had tons of fun and developed a genuine relationship with the church congregation. There were about 50 people in the original FAITH program, and we truly impacted the entire local faith community as the message spread throughout the congregation and the social networks of the members. 

Journey to Mayo Clinic

I continued to have a nice relationship with the church and continued to attend worship services there while I completed my medical school and residency training. I decided to pursue a cardiology fellowship, as it was a beautiful fusion of my passion for cutting-edge and innovative medicine and public health. I fell in love with Mayo Clinic and its resounding value that “the needs of the patient come first.” I was elated to be accepted into the fellowship program.


“Our program has sparked healthy lifestyle practices among our participants, but it’s also changed their views and perspectives about participating in clinical research.”

LaPrincess Brewer, M.D.

It was somewhat bittersweet to reveal the news of my life transition from Baltimore to the Midwest to the congregation. The church even threw me a very nice going-away party for my family and friends. The one common theme from the church members was to “not let FAITH go.” They expressed to me through testimonials how the program had truly impacted their church and emphasized that the program would be of benefit to others. They wanted me to “spread the word” in a sense by sharing the program. I really took their encouragement to heart, and it has really motivated me to keep going and has brought me to this moment.

Opening doors in Rochester

When I arrived at Mayo Clinic, my advisers knew from the start that my interests included a focus on addressing cardiovascular health disparities given my prior work with FAITH and other community outreach programs during my residency training. Fortunately, they aligned me with key mentors, including Dr. Yvonne Romero, Dr. Sharonne Hayes and Dr. Joy Balls-Barry, who helped to forge relationships with several African-American pastors here in Rochester.

The pastors were privy to my work in Baltimore and wanted to bring this to their churches. In the fall of 2013, we held town hall meetings with several churches in Rochester. After much trust-building and mutual understanding, we decided to alter the focus of the program from chronic disease prevention to heart disease prevention, given the needs of this community and my expertise in cardiology.

The approach we use for conducting research is unique and is called community-based participatory research. This approach aligns well with Mayo Clinic’s model of patient care, as it emphasizes that the needs of the community come first. We see the community as partners at every phase of the research process to meet their needs.

Together, we have forged a powerful relationship that has truly blossomed into a communitywide initiative. Our program has sparked healthy lifestyle practices among our participants, but it’s also changed their views and perspectives about participating in clinical research.

Building trust and relationships

My first meetings with the Rochester African-American church community were not always easy but were extremely revealing of my purpose in partnering with this endearing, yet somewhat marginalized population. They expressed the limited academic-community level partnerships with their churches and also questioned my intentions. That was something I totally did not expect. They truly challenged me, but I am so appreciative for our enlightening dialogues because I learned many lessons on how to better tailor my approach and be adaptable.

We broke much ground with the Rochester African-American community by building trust and relationships. Many viewed their participation in this research study ultimately as a form of social justice. They felt their participation in this study was giving back to future generations within the community. They saw our program in a way as Mayo giving back. It has been fulfilling and an honor to have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally through our work.


“The suggestion from the community to remix FAITH to harness mobile technology was something I never would have imagined. It shows the power of community partnerships and learning through listening.”

LaPrincess Brewer, M.D.

We initially partnered with three churches in Rochester and have now doubled the number of churches in our expanded program to the Twin Cities in a relatively short time frame. All churches and study participants have provided us with exceptional input which has resulted in the evolution of our program from face-to-face, in-person sessions to an innovative mobile health (mHealth) intervention.

Harnessing technology for wider reach

As a study team, we learned that the churches wanted a way to share this information with their family and friends. The participants suggested that we revamp FAITH to include a digital component. We decided as a community and research team to develop a digital app. We often say: “FAITH. There’s an app for that.” The information we previously delivered during the face-to-face sessions has been translated to the app for participants to share with others, and to have as a resource and tool to foster healthy lifestyle change.

The suggestion from the community to remix FAITH to harness mobile technology was something I never would have imagined. It shows the power of community partnerships and learning through listening.

In its current form, FAITH is easily adaptable and can be easily distributed and tailored toward any community. It would be my dream for it to be a national initiative to protect heart health in underserved populations. I am extremely grateful to lead this program as a junior staff (faculty) member because it has helped me to realize my potential. It has further inspired me to be a go-getter to take my research to the next level.

It all has been fueled by the needs of the community and patients I serve.


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Mon, Nov 19 2:01pm · Making Music Again After Bidding a Tumor Goodbye

After months of living with sharp, shooting pain in her arm, Corrine Craig sought help at Mayo Clinic. Her care and treatment by a multidisciplinary team took away the pain and allowed the piano player to return to the pastime she loves.

After months of living with sharp, shooting pain in her arm, Corrine Craig sought help at Mayo Clinic. Her care and treatment by a multidisciplinary team took away the pain and allowed the piano player to return to the pastime she loves.


Corrine Craig ended 2016 in horrible pain. It disrupted her days and kept her from her enjoying some of her favorite activities, including playing the piano.

“The pain would shoot from the top of my shoulder to my elbow to my hand like a lightning bolt. It felt like a Taser gun,” Corrine says. “I never knew when it would hit me. I could be cooking dinner or driving my car. It hurt to do everyday activities like opening a jar or getting dressed.”

Corrine knew she needed help. So in early 2017, she went to several doctors near her home in Scottsdale, Arizona — first her primary care physician and then an otorhinolaryngologist, who ordered an MRI with contrast.

That test uncovered the source of Corrine’s pain: a tumor in her neck. After undergoing a biopsy, the otorhinolaryngologist told Corrine she had a brachial plexus nerve sheath tumor. The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that send signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand, and controls all arm movement. The type of tumor Corrine had appeared to be a schwannoma.

“Although schwannomas are the most common type of peripheral nerve tumor, they are still quite rare. The true incidence is not known,” says Pelagia Kouloumberis, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon.

Turning to a team of experts

In August 2017, Corrine decided to seek care at Mayo Clinic. She scheduled a consult with Dr. Kouloumberis and Shelley Noland, M.D., a plastic surgeon in the Peripheral Nerve Clinic at Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus.

“Her tumor was pressing on the two nerves that form the upper trunk of the brachial plexus,” Dr. Kouloumberis says. “That’s why it was causing such sharp, debilitating pain down her arm all the way to her hand.”

Based on her scans and symptoms, Dr. Kouloumberis and Dr. Noland agreed with the earlier assessment that Corrine’s tumor most likely was a schwannoma. After discussing all the possible options, their strongest recommendation was for Corrine to have the tumor surgically removed.


“I had 100 percent faith that I was in the best of hands and everything was going to work out.”

Corrine Craig

“Dr. Kouloumberis and Dr. Noland are such talented doctors,” Corrine says. “I had 100 percent faith that I was in the best of hands and everything was going to work out.”

The surgery was scheduled for Nov. 10, 2017.

“The procedure involved making a small incision just above her clavicle. We then worked through the muscles in the neck to get to the area where the nerve roots live,” Dr. Kouloumberis says. “By separating the surrounding nerves using a microscope and microinstruments, we were able to expose the tumor. This allowed us to remove it all in one piece.”

During the procedure, the surgeons stimulated the nerve roots with a hand-held stimulator to make sure that no damage was done to the normal functioning nerve roots.

“People with peripheral nerve tumors require care from multiple providers. Our team comprises professionals from several disciplines,” Dr. Kouloumberis. “By working together, we are able to deliver the highest level of care and expertise required to treat these tumors.”

Enjoying pain-free days

After the three-hour surgery, Corrine stayed in the hospital overnight.

“The next morning, Dr. Koulumberis was by my bedside,” Corrine says. “The sharp shooting pain was gone. I still have some tingling in the right thumb, but that’s nothing compared to what I felt prior to surgery.”


“I’m eternally grateful to everyone at Mayo, especially the team of doctors who were willing to take on this challenge of removing the tumor. Mayo gave me hope.”

Corrine Craig

After the surgery, Corrine did physical therapy on her own for several months to improve her range of motion. The surgery coupled with that physical therapy paid off when she was able to return to the piano.

“It gives me comfort and puts me in another state of mind. Playing again and being able to use my hand is wonderful,” says Corrine. “I’m eternally grateful to everyone at Mayo, especially the team of doctors who were willing to take on this challenge of removing the tumor. Mayo gave me hope.”


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