Patient stories

  1. 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. [...]

  2. Surprise amyloidosis diagnosis leads to combined heart-liver transplant

    At the end of a routine physical in 2006, Dan Carey’s doctor asked if there was anything else he wanted to discuss. Dan exercised regularly and felt good. Except for one thing. “I get out of breath when I walk up stairs,” he told his doctor. A chest X-ray revealed healthy lungs but an enlarged [...]

  3. New technology makes heart transplant possible

    When 53-year-old JoAnn Forster of Eau Claire, Wis., had a heart attack, she was at first only aware of not feeling well. "I started perspiring and couldn't breathe," says JoAnn of her symptoms. By nightfall she was hospitalized and her doctors soon determined that JoAnn needed an additional level of care. They had her transferred [...]

  4. After successful kidney transplant, retiree is 'Living the Dream'

    As Bill Pearse was rushed to the hospital in severe pain, he directed the ambulance to take him to Mayo Clinic in Arizona. The emergency department team diagnosed Pearse with kidney stones — a relief. But additional tests revealed something far worse: a cancerous tumor on one kidney. Mayo Clinic physicians "were very persistent in [...]

  5. Heidi Ash

    Mayo Clinic's 185th Heart Transplant Patient and her "Chocolat"

    I wish I knew more ways to say, “Thank you”. I was given not just a second chance at life, but also a life with possibilities never imagined. Being born with congenital heart defects, my first open-heart surgery was performed when I was five-days-old. Six more heart surgeries followed before being tremendously fortunate to have [...]

  6. Liver transplant a rebirth for Wachira Loth

    Wachira Loth says his caregivers, colleagues and community helped him through the difficult days before his liver transplant in 1998. There was a time when Wachira Loth, an interpreter and licensed practical nurse for the Minnesota Department of Health, was afraid to look in the mirror. "I was scared of myself," he says of the [...]

  7. Dan Olson

    A heart transplant put him back in the race

    As a marathon runner and long-distance cyclist, Dan Olson thought his athletic lifestyle ensured a healthy body. But in 2002, at age 38, Dan was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle. "I couldn't believe it," he says. "I kept thinking, 'I'm in good shape. It can't really be that [...]

  8. Harmonica Helps Pulmonary and Lung-Transplant Patients Breath Easier

    After surviving two separate lung transplant procedures in 2005 and 2008, musician Larry Rawdon is sharing new ways of healing through music with other patients at Mayo Clinic in Florida. It was, after all, music that led him to Mayo Clinic and aided in his recovery after he was diagnosed in 2002 with idiopathic pulmonary [...]

  9. 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 [...]

  10. David

    My Stem Cells

    During the summer of 2011, my husband, David, underwent a series of tests which revealed extremely high levels of a certain protein in his blood.  As a result, we were referred to the Hematology Department at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, for further evaluation and diagnosis.  We were seen in September, 2011, and a bone marrow [...]

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