Patient stories

  1. Her Relay: Overcoming a Childhood Tumor to Being An Advocate for Life

    Written by Erin Mobley, Adult BMT Data Specialist at Mayo Clinic in Florida I wanted to go skiing for my seventh birthday, but instead I celebrated in the hospital with family and friends, and a pediatric oncologist.  Two months earlier, in September 1993, on my first day of first grade, I had gotten sick and had a [...]

  2. Shelby Birch

    Family gives up mashed potatoes in respect of toddler's restrictive diet

    The Birch family of Elizabeth, Minn., doesn't eat mashed potatoes anymore. The family's youngest member, Shelby, age 2, is on the ketogenic diet to control seizures from epilepsy. The high-fat, low-protein, no-carbohydrate diet prohibits potatoes. Before Shelby started the diet, her very favorite food was mashed potatoes. "When she had to take anti-seizure medication, we [...]

  3. 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 [...]

  4. 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 [...]

  5. Curtis and three people with his orange shirts on

    Suiting up for a celebration

    "My sweet boy," Deborah Morey said as she practically skipped across the room to join him in a group photograph. The boy is her son, 15-year-old Curtis Morey, who was diagnosed with medulloblastoma (a type of brain tumor) on Jan. 27, 2012. The skipping at his Mayo appointment last week was one of several signs that March [...]

  6. 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 [...]

  7. 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 [...]

  8. 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 [...]

  9. 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 [...]

  10. 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 [...]

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