Cardiovascular patient stories

  1. Following Her Father's Last Words, Vivian Finds New Life Because of Mayo Clinic

    Vivian Tsai remembers the last words her father said to her: "See a doctor." He recognized her symptoms. For years, puzzling symptoms and a troubling medical condition had stalked their family. Growing up in Taiwan, Vivian was athletic and seemed to be healthy. However, she began to lose strength in her early 30s and went [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. Surprise Diagnosis Spurs Learning Curve, Search for Help

    Diagnosed with a rare disease, livedoid vasculopathy, Cheryl Sturdevant turned to Mayo Clinic for help. Then she turned to helping others. When Cheryl Sturdevant found out she had livedoid vasculopathy, she had no idea what it was. An uncommon disorder, livedoid vasculopathy affects the skin. For no clear reason, it often causes deep wounds in [...]

  4. Taking It in Stride -- Amputations, Heart Surgeries and a Pump Won't Dampen Dick Feller's Spirit

    Dick Feller likes to joke about his medical escapades. In just six years, Dick Feller had three open-heart operations, had both legs and an arm amputated, and was fitted with a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, to keep his heart pumping. That's a lot for one person to take. But with unconditional support from [...]

  5. The Flu, a Grocery Store Clinic and a Mayo Clinic Nurse May Have Saved My Life

    My head pounded incessantly. With every sip of water, I felt like I was swallowing razor blades. I coughed and wheezed so hard that my stomach muscles ached. But as sick as I was, this would be one of my healthiest days, because a visit with a vigilant nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic may have [...]

  6. Patient Comes to Mayo for Foot Surgery, Receives Lifesaving Surprise

    When Virgil Jernigan came to Mayo Clinic for foot surgery, he was in for a lifesaving surprise. During an exam before his surgery, he mentioned to his nurse practitioner that he had been feeling fatigued and short of breath. So she ordered cardiac testing. Virgil was shocked to learn he had a leaking mitral valve – [...]

  7. 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 [...]

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