Minnesota patient stories

  1. Keen Eye and Quick Action Save Rochester Mom From Life-Threatening Infection

    When Heather Spaniol woke up from the first of many surgeries to rid her body of a life-threatening infection that was decimating her tissues, the gratitude she felt toward the Mayo Clinic surgeons who?d saved her life was so strong, she didn?t even register how much trauma her body had sustained. ?I think I was [...]

  2. Heart Transplant Puts an Active Athlete Back in Action

    Kraig Gresham was 47 years old when he received his heart transplant, but his journey to that life-changing surgery began years earlier. Kraig was born with aortic stenosis ? a birth defect that causes heart valves to narrow and obstruct blood flow. As a child he had heart problems as a result of his condition. [...]

  3. Daughter's Persistence Leads to Discovery of a Life-Threatening Aortic Aneurysm

    Morgan Burke spent years urging her father, Tony Burke, to make a doctor's appointment. When Tony was 12 years old, he had open-heart surgery at Mayo Clinic to repair aortic stenosis. But as an adult, the 48-year-old avoided most medical care. "I'm just that type. I don't go to the doctor ever ? unless I'm [...]

  4. After Years of Pain, a Clear Diagnosis Restores a Teen?s Life

    Written by Sanan Malkadjian I was only 14 at the time. I would be ashamed of myself because of how often my stomach hurt. It came to a point where no one would believe the excruciating pain I was facing. This was pain unlike no other. My doctors here in Michigan would blame one another. [...]

  5. Slaying the Dragon of Pancreatic Cancer

    Thomas Hoffman of Spearfish, South Dakota,?was 56 years old, weighed 235, and had been diagnosed with prediabetes when he began to diet. As the pounds melted away, his wife became alarmed at his rapid weight loss. Then one morning, he awoke and his wife?told him he was completely yellow ? not from the sun streaming [...]

  6. New Weight-Loss Device Helps Mark Harlan Improve His Health

    Mark Harlan tried diets. He tried exercise. He modified his behavior and his lifestyle. Yet nothing worked to keep off extra weight that had plagued him for years. Nothing worked, that is, until Mark underwent a cutting-edge procedure designed to help those who don?t qualify for gastric bypass surgery to shed excess pounds. In 2015, [...]

  7. Skillful Spine Surgery Gets Rid of a Rare Tumor and Keeps Mike LaBorde on His Feet

    For more than a year, Mike LaBorde thought he had carpal tunnel syndrome. His left hand and arm often tingled and felt numb. He wore a brace for a while, but it didn?t help. Then he had carpal tunnel surgery, not once, but twice. The surgeries made no difference. ?I was quite aggravated that the [...]

  8. Astounding Recovery for an 8-Year-Old Boy Shot by an Arrow

    It?s a story that plays out like a Hollywood movie. A young boy is accidentally struck by an arrow and narrowly escapes death. The arrow pierces the 8-year-old?s backbone and splits his spinal cord. He?s paralyzed from the waist down, and his doctors fear he?ll never walk again. But remarkably, the story has a happy [...]

  9. 14-Year-Old Writes the Book on Beating the Odds

    Nathaniel Kirera wasn't expected to survive birth. When he did, then he wasn't expected to live to see his first birthday, much less his 14th. He also wasn't supposed to be able learn, let alone write a book. But he's done all that, and today his medical odyssey is behind him. That Nate has achieved [...]

  10. Paired Kidney Donation Opens the Door to a More Active, Independent Life for Kathy Allen

    From Kathy Allen?s point of view, paired organ donation just may be the ultimate in generosity. Deciding to donate a kidney to someone you don?t know in a paired exchange can trigger a chain of matches that gives several people the opportunity for a renewed life. ?I can?t thank the donors enough for their selflessness,? [...]

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