Neurosciences patient stories

  1. Jayden Gonzalez and his parents

    Toddler diagnosed with aggressive brain tumor

    Viola and Felipe Gonzalez were stunned when their youngest son's persistent flu-like symptoms were diagnosed as a brain tumor. The vomiting, holding his head while crying and unsteadiness weren't just a toddler's brush with the flu bug. A CT scan at the local pediatrician's office showed a mass the size of a quarter on Jayden's [...]

  2. Jeff Hughes and family

    Deep Brain Stimulation Gets Police Detective Back on the Job

    The pain was unbearable, and the questions even worse. Every month of 2005, Detective Jeffery Hughes of the Madison, WI, Police Department experienced 55 to 60 headaches, each lasting several hours. The headaches brought him to his knees in pain, but it was the recurring question from his daughter that hurt even more: "Mommy, why [...]

  3. Nick

    From Wheelchair to Rock-Climbing in 3 weeks!

    Having gone to several doctors elsewhere without receiving answers, this previously athletic student, Nick, and his mom, Becky, arrived to Mayo Clinic. They were exhausted. Nick was bundled up in many layers and in a wheelchair. Five minutes into his first appointment, Dr. Phil Fischer diagnosed Nick with POTS and Autonomic Dysfunction. He started the three-week Pediatric Pain [...]

  4. 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 [...]

  5. Madison

    Any Parent's Worst Nightmare

    When my husband and I found out we were going to have a baby, we were so excited. Little did we know of the journey baby Madison would take us on, and little did we know of the personal tragedy that would ensue following such a typically joyful time. Madison was a patient at St. [...]

  6. Cynthia Amendt

    Forever a teacher

    Whether instructing art classes or modeling for students, Cynthia Amendt has always been a teacher. When she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma — a deadly brain tumor — Cynthia thought her teaching days might be over. Then she joined a clinical trial at Mayo Clinic and now realizes she's received her most important teaching assignment [...]

  7. Ali is seizure free and still dancing

    When Ali Nowotny was just 15, she began to“blank out.” It was summer of 2006, and she was working as a waitress in her hometown of Rapid City, S.D. The episodes occurred about once a month, and left her “spaced out” for several minutes, slurred her speech and gave her headaches. Ali shrugged them off. [...]

  8. Mother and daughter bond over brain surgery

    Some mothers and daughters bond over shopping. Margie Hartmann and her daughter, Jessica McNeil, bonded over Gamma Knife surgery. Hartmann and McNeil had the treatment — a type of neurosurgery that doesn't require an incision — on the same day at Mayo Clinic, for different conditions. Hartmann had a recurrent meningioma, a slow-growing tumor. Although [...]

  9. Giving Back

    Glenn Primack had his first experience with Mayo Clinic during the last year, accompanying his best friend, Bob, who had cancer. Glenn describes his journey, both with Bob's care at Mayo (led by Dr. Keith Bible) and how that experience led him to seek diagnosis and treatment at Mayo for his own increasingly debilitating pain: [...]

  10. Hurt and Healing

    By: Andrea Miller Birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, graduation gifts…we’re set in a society that longs after gifts.  I have learned, however, that the most important gift one can receive is a clean bill of health.  I have not had the pleasure of knowing what that is truly like.  I have been sick on and off [...]

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