Cardiovascular patient stories

  1. Mom of 6-Year-Old Counts Reasons to Take Heart Health Seriously

    Marla Burkhart's story dates back to 2009, when she underwent an emergency cesarean section at Mayo Clinic eight weeks before her due date. Before the surgery took place, doctors discovered that Marla had a condition called peripartum cardiomyopathy, a rare pregnancy-related heart condition that occurs in about 1 in 3,000 deliveries and causes inefficient blood [...]

  2. Quadruple Bypass at Age 24

    Last spring, Ravuth Thorng, then just 24, noticed it was increasingly difficult to do ordinary tasks, such as walking to his car. “I felt out of breath walking from my parking spot to work,” says Thorng, who worked at a home improvement store in Rochester, Minn. In retrospect, he recalls that during the previous winter, [...]

  3. Dr. Michael Ackerman and Stefani

    A Prom Promise Kept

    As an 8-year-old girl from Michigan was headed into surgery for a heart transplant, she asked Mike Ackerman -- a pediatric cardiology fellow at Mayo who was part of her care team -- if she was going to live. Dr. Ackerman said, "Of course you're going to live, and I'm going to dance with you [...]

  4. Howard Snitzer

    96 minutes of CPR — and living to tell the tale

    Howard Snitzer will be the first to tell you he’s a lucky man. “I just wish I’d won the lottery instead,” he says, jokingly. But Snitzer knows his good fortune netted him something much more valuable: his life. Snitzer, a 54-year-old chef, miraculously survived a cardiac arrest thanks to a flawless and unrelenting response from [...]

  5. Date Night

    'Date Night' Takes on New Meaning for Heart Patient at Mayo Clinic in Arizona It would be hard to ignore the elephant in the room. This "elephant" happens to be the 400-pound artificial heart machine that is keeping alive a very special patient at Mayo Clinic in Arizona -- a 41-year-old husband and father of [...]

  6. Bob Dimler

    “You have been given a life sentence!”

    I was told these words following a night in the ER where I received superior care/ treatment to determine if I was having and/or had a heart attackand yes I did. After 3 days in St.Marys, where I received the very best of care and was tactfully informed by my cardiologist that the condition of [...]

  7. Mike Politowicz

    Heart attack — not shark attack — almost brings surfer down

    New imaging technology helps determine cause, treatment for heart symptoms Many surfers fear sharks. But not Mike Politowicz, 45, a seasoned surfer with 30 years of experience. “Surfing is a form of relaxation,” he says. Relaxation, that is, mixed with a little adrenalin and heart-pounding anticipation of a good ride. But on Aug. 7, 2010, [...]

  8. Naomi playing volleyball

    Naomi Atrubin, American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Hero winner award

    Naomi Atrubin of Rochester, Minnesota, is a two-time heart attack survivor. Not only is she a survivor, but she is also an active volunteer in the community, giving back to others through educating people she meets about heart disease. One of Naomi’s volunteer interests is participating in Mayo Clinic’s One Voice patient/family advisory council for [...]

  9. WomenHeart Sisters

    The Heart of a Woman

    Written by heart attack survivor Susan Cardelli: Just last week was the 10th Anniversary of my heart attack---January 25, 2001---or as the medical community would call it "A Cardiac Event". Whenever I hear it referred to as a "cardiac event", I always picture myself walking down the red carpet, dressed in a sequined hospital gown, [...]

  10. How Jack Stiehl got a second birthday - thanks to a VAD

    Jack Stiehl, 71, Sun City West, Ariz., was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2004. He had difficulty breathing and was easily winded. In 2007, with ever worsening symptoms, Stiehl recalls his local physician saying he was out of options; he wasn’t a candidate for a heart transplant. Then, a friend suggested Mayo Clinic. “I [...]

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