Minnesota patient stories

  1. Sean Murphy on the ski slopes

    Relief for pain caused by Chiari type I malformation

    When Sean Murphy's chronic headaches set in, they first bothered him after physical exertion, then after a stressful day at work. Within months, the headaches were constant, always localized in the back of his head. The pain became debilitating. Murphy consulted his family doctor and was referred to a neurologist. His hometown physicians were stumped. [...]

  2. Young girl with complicated health problems grows up seeing Mayo as second home

    Hello: I am Carolyn of Missouri.  I have long been a patient of Mayo Clinic since about 1942 and am still a patient visiting about every 3 months. Sometime after I was born, we moved to Glendale…that is where we lived when I took sick at the age of about 20 months.  The Dr. there treated me [...]

  3. Caleb Ragaller and his family

    Small Bump becomes Big Problem

    What began as a small, painless bump turned into a grueling 9.5-hour surgery for 3-year-old Caleb Ragaller (now 6). Caleb was born with a nasal dermoid cyst. Because superficial dermoid cysts are typically slow-growing and can be removed without complication, Caleb’s treatment plan appeared to be pretty straightforward. “We would go in for normal checkups [...]

  4. Ning Chien

    With an uncertain cancer diagnosis, Ning Chien sought answers at Mayo

    Calling Ning Chien "active" would be an understatement. She enjoyed a healthy and busy life in Fremont, Calif., with her husband, Liang, and their son's and daughter's families nearby. Coming up on the calendar was a family trip to explore majestic Hawaii. But sudden sharp pain and an uncertain diagnosis of liver or pancreatic cancer [...]

  5. 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 [...]

  6. Dianne Rhein

    Mayo: My Best Hope for Treating My Rare Cancer

    Mayo Clinic had already been a source of invaluable consultations for my long-time autoimmune Sjogren’s Syndrome and for genetic counseling to ascertain potential genetic predisposition for the autoimmune conditions, cardiomyopathy and cancer that populated my family tree. But late in 2008, skilled staff at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., greatly increased the odds that I’d [...]

  7. Teen Perseveres Surgeries to Straighten Legs

    Last year, when Dr. Amy McIntosh watched me walk down the hall with my extremely bowed legs, it was obvious to her that I needed surgery. Without the surgery, my legs would be subject to joint and knee pain when I got older. It was my senior year in high school, and I was a [...]

  8. Ali Szewczynski

    Pen pals share experiences with congenital heart defects

    Born almost 60 years apart, pen pals Carol Allan and Alli Szewczynski share an unusual bond. Both were “blue babies,” born with heart defects that impaired proper blood circulation, causing a blue tinge to their skin. And both had successful life-changing surgeries at Mayo Clinic. Carol Allan’s story Carol, 68, of Calgary, Alberta, was diagnosed [...]

  9. Putting the Pieces Together to Solve Medical Mystery

    Kim Goranson knew something wasn't right. For more than 10 years, she endured exhaustion, pain and bouts of confusion. But to her frustration, repeated medical evaluations revealed nothing. A high-energy real estate agent in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kim saw her successful career slip away as the symptoms took a heavy toll on her life. "I had [...]

  10. Darrin Nelson and his family

    Living the Dream - Part 3

    Darrin Nelson of Rochester, NY, wrote this blog entry on Sept. 1, 2009, the day after he was released from Mayo Clinic – St. Marys Hospital following minimally invasive heart surgery to repair his mitral valve. This is the third post in a series of four. Check back Friday for the next installment. OK, now [...]

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