Transplant patient stories

  1. An upbeat attitude and a brisk tempo keep this musician playing

    Wain McFarlane knows how to work a problem. When hypertension caused Wain's kidneys to fail in 2006, he built dialysis into his busy schedule. And when, just months after receiving a kidney from his 26-year-old niece, Wain was diagnosed with liver cancer, he knew he and his Mayo Clinic team would deal with it, quickly. [...]

  2. Bruce Schwartau

    Grateful for his life and glad to help others

    When Bruce Schwartau was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver disease, he understood he'd eventually need a liver transplant. Until then, he didn't want his condition to change his life. For years, it didn't. Bruce continued his university course work, traveling to communities throughout southern Minnesota to teach. But as his disease progressed, [...]

  3. Complementary Medicine Provides Healing Touch for Patient in Final Days

    Marilyn and David Weissing, both Mayo Clinic employees, knew something was wrong when their 19-year-old son, Karl, asked to be taken to the hospital one summer evening in 2014. Karl, always healthy and active, rarely complained about anything. So David immediately drove him to the Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus. Karl, a beekeeper, [...]

  4. Heidi Ash

    Mayo Clinic's 185th Heart Transplant Patient and her "Chocolat"

    I wish I knew more ways to say, “Thank you”. I was given not just a second chance at life, but also a life with possibilities never imagined. Being born with congenital heart defects, my first open-heart surgery was performed when I was five-days-old. Six more heart surgeries followed before being tremendously fortunate to have [...]

  5. Dan Olson

    A heart transplant put him back in the race

    As a marathon runner and long-distance cyclist, Dan Olson thought his athletic lifestyle ensured a healthy body. But in 2002, at age 38, Dan was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle. "I couldn't believe it," he says. "I kept thinking, 'I'm in good shape. It can't really be that [...]

  6. Wife Gives Husband the Gift of Life with Living Donor Kidney

    When 29-year-old Cameron Mullis of Jacksonville, Florida, was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy and told he’d need a kidney transplant, he was facing the likelihood of kidney dialysis and several years of waiting for a suitable donor. Little did he realize, his potential donor was living under the same roof as him. IgA nephropathy, also known [...]

  7. Liver transplant a rebirth for Wachira Loth

    Wachira Loth says his caregivers, colleagues and community helped him through the difficult days before his liver transplant in 1998. There was a time when Wachira Loth, an interpreter and licensed practical nurse for the Minnesota Department of Health, was afraid to look in the mirror. "I was scared of myself," he says of the [...]

  8. Surprise amyloidosis diagnosis leads to combined heart-liver transplant

    At the end of a routine physical in 2006, Dan Carey’s doctor asked if there was anything else he wanted to discuss. Dan exercised regularly and felt good. Except for one thing. “I get out of breath when I walk up stairs,” he told his doctor. A chest X-ray revealed healthy lungs but an enlarged [...]

  9. Liver transplant gives man a new lease on life

    Julie and Marshall Curtis credit a steady stream of miracles — and Mayo Clinic — with saving Marshall's life. A series of miracles. That's how Marshall Curtis describes the care he received at Mayo Clinic. Marshall came to Mayo after being diagnosed with cirrhosis, the result of a rare genetic disorder. He was gravely ill, [...]

  10. Lung Cancer Patient Survives With Help of Novel Procedure, Celebrates Next Generation of Innovation

    Raegan Cury didn’t worry at first when she developed a cough in early 2002 that wouldn’t go away. She was a healthy young woman, athletic, a former gymnast, and her initial chest X-ray showed what looked like pneumonia. Even her husband, a pulmonologist, wasn't too worried, until she received a surprising diagnosis. “I never thought [...]

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