Patient stories

  1. Mother and daughter bond over brain surgery

    Some mothers and daughters bond over shopping. Margie Hartmann and her daughter, Jessica McNeil, bonded over Gamma Knife surgery. Hartmann and McNeil had the treatment — a type of neurosurgery that doesn't require an incision — on the same day at Mayo Clinic, for different conditions. Hartmann had a recurrent meningioma, a slow-growing tumor. Although [...]

  2. Barbara McGrady

    The part in my hair

    Good Morning, Dr. Lanzino. I wanted to let you know that I am alive and happy. I went through a real state of anger and kept asking, "Why me?" I worried about the aneurysm that was clipped and the other one. I now find that I am asking, "Why not me?" Hearing back from both [...]

  3. Dan Stietz

    "Overcoming" Paralysis

    This submission came via email from P.J. Stietz, a Mayo Clinic employee: My husband and I just recently marked the sixth anniversary of the accident that paralyzed him. It was Mayo that came to his rescue, patched him up and got him ready to face the world again. We owe a great debt to the [...]

  4. "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 [...]

  5. Overcoming Epilepsy

      My name is Rachel Skaug, formerly Rachel Kaalberg, and I used to have seizures as a child. My seizures started in 1988, when I was just at 4 months old and lasted until I was 10 years old in 1998. I am from Madison, WI but much of my testing happened at the Mayo [...]

  6. From the mailbag...

    A patient writes: I am Cynthia Smith and was recently a patient at Mayo. I have written the following story to share... Thanks to Dr. Link, and the entire Mayo staff, I am now pain free from 7 years of excruciating tongue and facial pain. I suffered from glossopharyngeal neuralgia (severe tongue pain) and trigeminal [...]

  7. Tom Vanderwell's Mayo Clinic Story

    Tom Vanderwell is a Mayo Clinic patient from Grand Rapids, Michigan who has come to Rochester three times since 1978 for evaluation and care relating to an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his neck. I work with our social media team at Mayo Clinic, and I first connected with Tom virtually through Twitter in March, a [...]

  8. 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 [...]

  9. Melissa Bruesehoff

    Surgery puts an end to life-limiting epilepsy seizures

    Melissa Bruesehoff is a wife, mother, teacher and church council member — titles that for many years she couldn't imagine claiming. Bruesehoff was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 4 years old, and complications from the condition prevented her from experiencing many things that most people take for granted. "During my school and college years, [...]

  10. Arden and dog, Happy

    Seizure-free after new surgery

    One of Arden Berge's most surprising discoveries while he was a graduate student in meteorology had nothing to do with the weather. "I'd been lying on the bed reading, and all of a sudden I looked up and there were paramedics standing over me," says Berge. He'd soon learn why. He'd had a seizure, and [...]

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