Cardiovascular patient stories

  1. An Unexpected Stop in Lake City Provides Comfort and a Smooth Transition Home

    Gail and Bob Boehmer recall driving through Lake City, Minnesota, many times on their way to northern Wisconsin, where they first met. Neither of them ever imagined the town on Lake Pepin would become a home away from home. The Waterloo, Iowa, couple recently spent six weeks in Lake City. It wasn’t something they’d planned. [...]

  2. Still Diving Deep: Heart Repair Keeps Bends at Bay

    Veteran scuba diver Scott Martin, 46, and his girlfriend left Florida in July 2011 to celebrate his birthday in Cozumel, Mexico. His experience there changed the way he thinks about his heart and his favorite pastime. The couple had been in Cozumel for five days, diving twice a day. On the morning of the last [...]

  3. Mike Johnson

    Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

    I went to Mayo Clinic for heart valve replacement surgery on October 13th, was released on the 18th, and can only say excellent things about the: Surgeon Dr. Hartzell Schaff and his staff. The surgery and recovery went smoothly, I believe, due to Dr. Schaff's experience and expertise in the type of valve replacement surgery [...]

  4. The Team Behind Team Lola

    Most 13-year-old girls wouldn't see having a scar down the middle of their chests as cool. Lola Montilla, however, is not your average 13-year-old girl. When she looks at the scar on her chest from the surgery she had at Mayo Clinic to repair the Ebstein’s anomaly heart defect she was born with, she says [...]

  5. Ron Reffitt Jr. with Dr. Hartzell Schaff and Dr. Vuyisile Nkomo

    Michigan man's care highlights Mayo's culture, expertise

    Just days after being told he had a tumor inside his heart, Ron Reffitt Jr., of Elk Rapids, Mich., was on a medical airplane headed to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Gazing down at Lake Michigan on that beautiful sunny day in January 2009, he wondered: Is this the last time I’ll see this? His [...]

  6. Kay and Ben Thiemann

    Mayo Clinic is my answer

    People often ask 22-year-veteran Kay Thiemann why she has stayed at Mayo Clinic for so many years. Her answer is simple: “Because we embrace our mission to put the needs of the patient first. And because we are committed to delivering quality care for our patients each and every time. It is very important to [...]

  7. 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 [...]

  8. Kirk Watson and his wife

    Rare treatment for rare disease: Triple transplant

    On June 14, 2011, after a 107-day wait in the hospital at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Kirk Watson, 44, received the news he’d been waiting for — a heart, liver and kidney were available for him. He would be the fourth person to receive a triple transplant at Mayo Clinic and only the 11th [...]

  9. 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 – [...]

  10. An Extension of the Heart

    Marla Burkhart’s heart was functioning at roughly 30 percent when she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency cesarean section eight weeks before the due date of her first child. After she and her husband had chosen a name for their child, she placed her faith in her heart and the support of a [...]

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