Minnesota patient stories

  1. Lifetime of Seeking an Answer Finally Rewarded With a Diagnosis

    Stacy Carlson was born with congenital myasthenic syndrome, and although she received a number of opinions throughout her life, it wasn’t until age 44 that she received a definitive diagnosis. It was after her local physician referred her to Andrew Engel, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic, that DNA testing confirmed a particular gene fault responsible [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. Mother Gives Daughter the Gift of Life … Twice

    At 27 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Amber Sylvester went to Mayo Clinic with her husband, Mike, for an ultrasound test and received news that no parent wants to hear. One of the babies was in trouble. She had enlarged kidneys, no amniotic fluid around her body, and fluid in her abdomen. She would [...]

  4. Experimental Nerve Graft Puts Former Green Beret Back on his Feet

    Others might have panicked, but former U.S. Special Forces Engineer Kevin Flike kept his wits about him when he was shot in the abdomen during a firefight in Afghanistan four years ago. Through the worst pain of his life, the Green Beret pushed forward. He radioed his injury to teammates and began assessing the wound, [...]

  5. Marathoner and Ironman Michael Koetting Back in the Race After Donating Kidney

      As an endurance athlete who has completed six Ironman triathlons and more than two dozen marathons, Michael Koetting does not fear physical challenges. So when he learned he could use his good health to help a stranger in need, he never hesitated.  In December 2014, Michael, 47, of Orono, Minnesota, donated one of his [...]

  6. Turning off the Tremors -- Deep Brain Stimulation Helps Patient Enjoy Little Things Again

    Mary Daugherty just wanted to sit still. For nearly four decades, the 73-year-old experienced tremors in her hands, arms and head. In 2014, she decided to do something about it. Mary’s journey began when she was in her mid-30s and started to notice a slight trembling in her upper extremities. “I thought I just got [...]

  7. Walking by Faith, and Now by Sight

    In many ways, Jenny Peterson was like other mothers of young children. She cooked and baked, cleaned and washed clothes, and cheered her children on from the sidelines of their activities. In one significant way, though, Jenny was different: She did all of these things without sight. Jenny lost her vision in 1976, after having [...]

  8. From Patient to Physician

    Dr. Brandon Lane Phillips' experience as a patient and a student at Mayo Clinic influences his own practice of medicine today As a pediatric cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Brandon Lane Phillips cared for a number of children from Mongolia who had congenital heart defects. Before they went into surgery, he would take a [...]

  9. Transplant Change-Up Gives Courtney a Second Chance

    Courtney Kidd is working hard to raise organ donor awareness after a new approach to double-organ transplant saved her life. Born with five congenital heart defects and suffering through several medical complications, Courtney needed both a new heart and a new liver. Previous surgeries at ages 2, 6, 12 and then again at 22, and [...]

  10. Mayo, Hands for Humanity Form Village to Save Little Aisha

    In April 2013, the International Services Office at Mayo Clinic received a copy of an article from a Gambian newspaper. In the article, a father begged for help for his 2-year-old daughter, Aisha. She was born with a ventricular septal defect – a hole in the heart that occurs in the wall that separates the heart’s [...]

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