Patient stories

  1. 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 [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. 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 [...]

  4. 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 [...]

  5. 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 [...]

  6. 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 [...]

  7. 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 [...]

  8. Stopping the Seizures

    After brain surgery at Mayo Clinic, Xander Torres is a healthy, happy kid "My hand is wiggly." When 4-year-old Xander Torres said these words to his mother, Sarah, she had no idea the long journey they would begin. "To be honest, I didn't think much about it at first," she says. Several weeks went by [...]

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