Patient stories

  1. Transplant Change-Up Gives Courtney a Second Chance

    Courtney Kidd is working hard to raise organ donor awareness after a new approach to double-organ transplant saved her life. Born with five congenital heart defects and suffering through several medical complications, Courtney needed both a new heart and a new liver. Previous surgeries at ages 2, 6, 12 and then again at 22, and [...]

  2. Bruce Schwartau

    Grateful for his life and glad to help others

    When Bruce Schwartau was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver disease, he understood he'd eventually need a liver transplant. Until then, he didn't want his condition to change his life. For years, it didn't. Bruce continued his university course work, traveling to communities throughout southern Minnesota to teach. But as his disease progressed, [...]

  3. An upbeat attitude and a brisk tempo keep this musician playing

    Wain McFarlane knows how to work a problem. When hypertension caused Wain's kidneys to fail in 2006, he built dialysis into his busy schedule. And when, just months after receiving a kidney from his 26-year-old niece, Wain was diagnosed with liver cancer, he knew he and his Mayo Clinic team would deal with it, quickly. [...]

  4. Complementary Medicine Provides Healing Touch for Patient in Final Days

    Marilyn and David Weissing, both Mayo Clinic employees, knew something was wrong when their 19-year-old son, Karl, asked to be taken to the hospital one summer evening in 2014. Karl, always healthy and active, rarely complained about anything. So David immediately drove him to the Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus. Karl, a beekeeper, [...]

  5. Surviving Hepatitis C -- A Patient’s Journey Through Two Liver Transplants

      For most organ transplant recipients, receiving the “gift of life” is a one-time experience. But for Nellie Betancourt, battling the hepatitis C virus that had been in hiding in her body for years required another “second chance at life,” thanks to a second generous donor and a new generation of anti-viral drugs. Betancourt, a [...]

  6. Professional Outdoorsman Lives Life to the Fullest After Liver Transplant

    Being diagnosed with bile duct cancer that eventually necessitated a liver transplant wasn't enough to keep Steve Woodford down for long. A South African native living in Utah, Steve is professional skydiving instructor, backpacker and canyon guide in Zion National Park. He has always lived on the edge with his active outdoors lifestyle. Getting sick [...]

  7. Beki Rose and family

    Rare heart-liver transplant gives South Carolina woman a second chance at life

    Beki Rose and her husband, Tom, had met with half a dozen doctors, and they all said the same thing. "They told me to go home and get my things in order," says Beki, a 51-year-old mother of three with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. The congenital condition had so damaged Beki's heart and liver that [...]

  8. Waiting... for a second chance at life

    This post was written by Trevor Bougill, an intern at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. **** Over the past few weeks, the media has been full of reports about renowned musician Gregg Allman of the Southern Rock group, The Allman Brothers Band, who received a life-saving liver transplant at Mayo Clinic. While I’m not a [...]

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