Patient stories

  1. 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 [...]

  2. Jesse Jensen's Deep Brain Stimulation Story

    When he was just five years old, Jesse Jensen of Missoula, Mont. began having tics, or involuntary movements, and was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome . The tics were so violent they caused him intense neck pain and kept him out of regular school for 10 years. Last spring, Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon Kendall Lee, M.D., and [...]

  3. Carla Huelsmann

    Surgery to treat epilepsy leaves woman seizure-free

    Carla Huelsmann was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 2. Throughout her childhood and early adult years, she experienced mainly petit mal seizures. Occasionally, she experienced slurred speech and lost her train of thought. Although she disliked having the disease, medication helped keep her seizures to a minimum and allowed Huelsmann to do many of [...]

  4. Soccer Mom Strokes on the Field

    The phrase “soccer mom” might be a cliché, but for Jessica Cook of Jacksonville, Fla., it was apropos. The mom of three boys (ages 6, 10 and 13) spent hours in the car each week driving her sons from one field to another for their weekly soccer practices and games. With a family history of [...]

  5. Roxanne Thomas

    Sharing a Love for Running

    My story began in November 1993 when I was referred to Mayo Clinic with two abdominal tumors that were potentially cancerous. No tests indicated cancer, but as I was prepared for surgery, I was told that pathology would examine the tumors. If there was cancer, I might lose one or both kidneys because of the [...]

  6. Sharon Francis

    Fortunately for Sharon, life had become one big headache

    Anyone who's ever met Sharon Francis knows her laugh. It's always present, like a trademark accessory. Even when she isn't able to laugh with life, she can laugh at it because against all odds, Sharon is a survivor. Consider her beginnings: When Sharon was only 20 and a single mother with three children, her own [...]

  7. 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 [...]

  8. Mike Wuest

    Seek and you shall find the answer

    For more than four years, Mike Wuest was troubled by a tic, a twitching in his face that he could not get rid of. It started in his left eye and later moved to his cheek as well. "I assumed the tic was from some stressful events I was going through at work," Wuest says. [...]

  9. Pilocytic Astrocytoma - Andrew Mork - Update

    This is an update to Andrew Mork's story, "It really should be called The Mayo Family", from over a year and a half ago. We have caught back up with both Andrew and his mom for an updated video interview from both of them. Andrew explains the improvement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My6yxrD62og Andrew's mom, Corrie Mork, reflects on [...]

  10. 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 [...]

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