Patient stories

  1. A Second Opinion for Trevor

    Shortly after he was born in early 2008, Trevor King was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, a condition that could cause sudden cardiac death. He may be the youngest patient ever to get a pacemaker-defibrillator, a device that sends an electric shock to the heart when it detects a potentially life-threatening heart rhythm. But in [...]

  2. Hayley Lairmore

    Hayley's POTS Story: Getting Answers at Mayo Clinic

    Editor's Note: The following was written by Christine Lairmore of Lake Arrowhead, California. When our daughter, Hayley, turned 14 on March 8, 2009, we took her to Disneyland to celebrate. After a day full of riding rides and eating junk food, she woke up vomiting and kept vomiting all night long and all the next [...]

  3. Ryan Chubbuck

    Rare congenital subglottic stenosis treated with airway reconstruction surgery

    Kelly Chubbuck admits she was a cautious first-time parent. But her motherly instinct told her it wasn't her nervousness that caused her infant son Ryan to breathe noisily and at times, even stop breathing." There were times I had to shake Ryan to get him to take a breath," remembers Kelly. "And it wasn't until [...]

  4. 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 [...]

  5. Jacob Harpel's Thanksgiving Story

    Eight-year-old Jacob Harpel from Glencoe, Minn., was diagnosed with a plum-sized brain tumor the day before Thanksgiving last year. He had aggressive brain surgery at Mayo Clinic in August to remove the tumor; with the surgery he had a 50% chance of losing his peripheral vision on one side and a 50% chance of speech [...]

  6. Injured At Birth

    Ironically, little Taylor Rose Beauseau experienced what will likely be the most severe injury of her life during her birth. While emerging through her mother's birth canal, her right shoulder became trapped, injuring the nerves that control her right arm. In most cases of brachial plexus injury during birth, the nerves are stretched and infants [...]

  7. Ali Szewczynski

    Pen pals share experiences with congenital heart defects

    Born almost 60 years apart, pen pals Carol Allan and Alli Szewczynski share an unusual bond. Both were “blue babies,” born with heart defects that impaired proper blood circulation, causing a blue tinge to their skin. And both had successful life-changing surgeries at Mayo Clinic. Carol Allan’s story Carol, 68, of Calgary, Alberta, was diagnosed [...]

  8. Thumbs-Up After Successful Thumb Reattachment

    Anistasia Smith and her mother, Bridgette Grunewald, give a big thumbs-up to Brian Carlsen, M.D., and the team at Mayo Clinic who cared for the then 4-year-old in February 2011. Anistasia’s left thumb had been severed in a recliner chair. “Anistasia was asleep, cuddling on her grandma’s chest. When the recliner was brought to an [...]

  9. Chloe's Story: Brain Surgery for Movement Disorder

    A couple of weeks ago, a friend at work sent me a link to a video in which Chloe Williams shows and tells her story of having brain surgery for a movement disorder called myoclonus. It includes video of Chloe both before and after surgery. I sent Chloe, who is now 19 and has completed [...]

  10. One good shot to make things right

    When Corinne was 6 years old, she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a childhood cancer of the bone marrow. Corinne's parents, Mike and Deb Watters, learned the cancer was in her hip and leg. Treatment would include chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, then surgery, followed by more chemo. When dealing with a procedure of this [...]

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