Patient stories

  1. Desperate for Relief From Pain, Teen Considered Amputation. Today, He's Back on Both Feet

    When he was 16 years old, Connor Bleakley asked his father, David, if he could have his foot amputated. David thought it was probably a good idea. By that point, Connor had lived with severe pain in his foot and ankle for years. He had gone through numerous treatments to relieve the discomfort, with little [...]

  2. ‘How’d We Get So Lucky?’ — Proton Beam Therapy Available at the Right Time for Jackson

    For two weeks, 14-year-old Jackson Fisher was plagued by headaches, double-vision, nausea and weight loss. His parents, Michelle and Patrick Fisher, weren’t sure what was wrong. But when Jackson came home one evening completely exhausted after lacrosse practice, they decided it was time to find out what was going on. The next day, they took [...]

  3. 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 [...]

  4. 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 [...]

  5. 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 [...]

  6. 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 [...]

  7. 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 [...]

  8. From Patient to Physician

    Dr. Brandon Lane Phillips' experience as a patient and a student at Mayo Clinic influences his own practice of medicine today As a pediatric cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Brandon Lane Phillips cared for a number of children from Mongolia who had congenital heart defects. Before they went into surgery, he would take a [...]

  9. 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 [...]

  10. Mayo, Hands for Humanity Form Village to Save Little Aisha

    In April 2013, the International Services Office at Mayo Clinic received a copy of an article from a Gambian newspaper. In the article, a father begged for help for his 2-year-old daughter, Aisha. She was born with a ventricular septal defect – a hole in the heart that occurs in the wall that separates the heart’s [...]

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