Patient stories

  1. #StrokeMonth: It's a Numbers Game

    Written by Lesia Mooney, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mayo Clinic's Advanced Primary Stroke Center in Florida. 795,000. That's the number of people annually in the United States who have a stroke. 130,000. That's the number of Americans who die each year due to stroke.  $36.5 billion. That’s the cost of stroke annually, which includes the cost of health care [...]

  2. Enjoying a 'New Normal' After Epilepsy Surgery

    A few years ago, Jessica Veach’s life was going according to plan. She’d started her career as an elementary school teacher — a dream she'd had since she was 8 years old — and was settling into married life with her husband, Colin. Jessica was also successfully managing epilepsy, which she had been diagnosed with [...]

  3. Morgan Tyner

    Morgan Tyner: Overcoming Brain Cancer

    In the fall of 1990, Morgan Tyner experienced a moment that would change his life forever. While at work, Morgan, a newly practicing dentist, suffered a seizure. After undergoing many tests over the course of several days, he received a very serious and life threatening diagnosis – anaplastic astrocytoma – an aggressive and fast growing [...]

  4. Josh Johnson

    Teen back in action after neurosurgery for spinal cord tumor

    In early 2009, Josh Johnson's parents thought their 14-year-old's back was likely sore from a few falls he'd taken while snowboarding competitively. They live in Afton, Minn. and Josh spends his winters snowboarding and his summers wakeboarding. However, after a couple months of complaining, they knew it must be something more. Josh couldn't even bend over [...]

  5. Overcoming Epilepsy

    My name is Rachel Skaug, formerly Rachel Kaalberg, and I used to have epileptic seizures as a child. My seizures started at four months old, which was in 1988, and lasted until I was 10 years old, in 1998. I am from Madison, Wis. Much of my testing happened at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. I [...]

  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. Mark McNeary

    Mark McNeary: "A miracle of a different sort"

    For Mark McNeary, a retired music industry executive, his miracle story began shortly after finishing Saturday morning chores at his ranch in Kingman, Ariz. Sudden, searing head pain and throat problems made it clear that he needed immediate medical attention. His wife, Julie, drove him 30 miles to the nearest emergency room at Kingman Regional [...]

  8. "Hopeful life" after surgery to remove rare brain tumor

    When 7-year-old Jacob Harpel was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, doctors told his parents, Koreen and Paul, that it was most likely noncancerous (benign) and slow-growing and recommended a wait-and-see approach to treatment. But with the tumor causing seizures and dizzy spells, the Harpels decided to seek a second opinion. After extensive testing, a [...]

  9. Neuromyelitis Optica Treatment at Mayo Clinic Restores Grace Jeffers’ Sight

    In 2009, Grace Jeffers of Chicago was wheelchair-bound, having severe back pain and losing control of the left side of her body. She had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but when a blood test sent to Mayo Clinic in December showed that Jeffers actually suffered from neuromyelitis optica (NMO), her physician referred her to Mayo [...]

  10. 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 [...]

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