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. Madison

    Any Parent's Worst Nightmare

    When my husband and I found out we were going to have a baby, we were so excited. Little did we know of the journey baby Madison would take us on, and little did we know of the personal tragedy that would ensue following such a typically joyful time. Madison was a patient at St. [...]

  3. Diagnosing Nick's Mysterious Illness

    Melissa Shultz, a freelance writer living in Plano, Texas, wrote an article for Newsweek online about her son Nick's mysterious illness and his diagnosis and treatment at Mayo Clinic. Fatigue set in a day after Nick's dizziness started. Swollen glands followed close behind. Our general practitioner ordered blood work, including studies for mononucleosis and Lyme [...]

  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. Rehab Program Helps Texas Teen Learn to Manage Chronic Pain

    Austin Horton’s adolescence was dominated by pain. More than a dozen specialists — among them an orthopedist, rheumatologist, pain doctor, psychiatrist and acupuncturist — couldn’t offer much relief or even a definitive reason for the pain. Relief finally came from the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus. “It helped me get my [...]

  6. Nick

    From Wheelchair to Rock-Climbing in 3 weeks!

    Having gone to several doctors elsewhere without receiving answers, this previously athletic student, Nick, and his mom, Becky, arrived to Mayo Clinic. They were exhausted. Nick was bundled up in many layers and in a wheelchair. Five minutes into his first appointment, Dr. Phil Fischer diagnosed Nick with POTS and Autonomic Dysfunction. He started the three-week Pediatric Pain [...]

  7. Four Words

    This story was submitted by David Kelly from Saint Joseph, Mich. We’ve been a part of the Mayo Experience since 1998. Originally we began our treatment in a Chicago hospital. It was there that our two-year-old daughter, Hannah, had her first biopsy to determine what was causing a lump just below her right wrist. I’ll [...]

  8. "We plan to continue to use the Mayo Clinic, no matter where in the country we live"

    Every physician Anne Stohrer and her son turned to for treatment of his chronic knee and hip pain came-up with a non-diagnosis. Many frustrating years passed while they fought to find a care plan that would relieve his pain and allow him to be the young, active boy he wanted to be. As the years [...]

  9. 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 [...]

  10. Caleb Ragaller and his family

    Small Bump becomes Big Problem

    What began as a small, painless bump turned into a grueling 9.5-hour surgery for 3-year-old Caleb Ragaller (now 6). Caleb was born with a nasal dermoid cyst. Because superficial dermoid cysts are typically slow-growing and can be removed without complication, Caleb’s treatment plan appeared to be pretty straightforward. “We would go in for normal checkups [...]

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