Patient stories

  1. Mother Gives Daughter the Gift of Life … Twice

    At 27 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Amber Sylvester went to Mayo Clinic with her husband, Mike, for an ultrasound test and received news that no parent wants to hear. One of the babies was in trouble. She had enlarged kidneys, no amniotic fluid around her body, and fluid in her abdomen. She would [...]

  2. Proton Beam Therapy Gives Young Girl Good Prognosis Despite (Frightening) Diagnosis

    It's one thing to teach compassionate communication. It's another thing altogether to be on the receiving end of, "Your daughter has cancer." Learn how proton beam therapy gave Sherry Chesak, Ph.D., and her family hope.  Sherry Chesak, Ph.D., is a program director in Education and Professional Development at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, and has worked [...]

  3. Roman’s Road to a Second Birthday

    Faced with losing their newborn son, Anna and Oleg, searched far and wide for an answer. They found it and a new birthday for their son at Mayo Clinic. After an ultrasound at 32 weeks into her pregnancy, Anna Ryabova, along with her husband, Oleg Pecherskii, faced a grim prognosis for their unborn son. "The [...]

  4. Dr. Michael Ackerman and Stefani

    A Prom Promise Kept

    As an 8-year-old girl from Michigan was headed into surgery for a heart transplant, she asked Mike Ackerman -- a pediatric cardiology fellow at Mayo who was part of her care team -- if she was going to live. Dr. Ackerman said, "Of course you're going to live, and I'm going to dance with you [...]

  5. Young girl becomes champion for scoliosis screening

    It's a rare teenager who puts in overtime. Kelsey O'Leary is that teen. At age 12, Kelsey was diagnosed with scoliosis and fitted with a brace by Mayo Clinic physicians. The Rochester, Minn., girl wore the brace day and night — logging more than the recommended hours — for three years. Kelsey, now 17, and [...]

  6. Limb Lengthening and Regeneration Clinic Offers Hope for Amarachi

    Just six months ago, every step for Amarachi Austin-Okoh was filled with pain. The 11-year-old from Nigeria had enough trouble walking. Things like running, playing tag or playing basketball seemed like a dream. But now they're things she can look forward to, thanks to a life-changing trip to Mayo Clinic. Amarachi has a condition called [...]

  7. Rallying Around 'Jack' – Buying Time for 11-Year-Old Who Touched the Hearts of His Care Team

    He melts hearts with his infectious smile, cheerful attitude and frequent magic tricks. But the slogan on Haonan Jiang's T-shirt, which reads "Tough as Nails," is a more accurate summation of his spirit, and the fight he and his family have been waging. The 11-year-old from Beijing, China, prefers to be called "Jack." He is suffering from [...]

  8. Spina Bifida Won't Slow Down Ty Wiberg

    If everyone else can do it, why can’t I? If Ty Wiberg, a 13-year-old from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, has one guiding principle in life, that might be the one. The Chippewa Falls Middle School student has undergone 16 surgeries, walks with braces and uses a wheelchair for distance. Ty was born with spina bifida, a spinal [...]

  9. Hope for 'Happy, Healthy Life' Thanks to Answers for 'Never Seen Before' Problems

    Written by Bethany Henthorn Our daughter, Mallory, was born with several congenital defects known cloacal exstrophy (OEIS – omphalocele, bladder exstrophy, imperforate anus and spinal defects) found in 1 and 400,000 live births. After Mallory’s 20-week gestational ultrasound, we were referred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, from Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Cedar [...]

  10. Putting Kieran's Heart Back Where it Belongs

    Caitlin Veitz never takes for granted just how special her daughter Kieran is. “She’s laid back, happy, wonderful,” Caitlin says. The circumstances around her birth, however, were not as serene. At her 20-week ultrasound, Caitlin learned her baby's heart was not where it was supposed to be and that it had developed outside of the [...]

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