Transplant patient stories

  1. Tara Kline

    Heart-double lung transplant

    Tara Kline understands that life can change in an instant. That's because hers has — twice. A year after Tara, from the Twin Cities suburb of Burnsville, Minn., graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and told she would need a heart-double lung transplant. "It was surreal," says Tara, who [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. Kirk Watson and his wife

    Rare treatment for rare disease: Triple transplant

    On June 14, 2011, after a 107-day wait in the hospital at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Kirk Watson, 44, received the news he’d been waiting for — a heart, liver and kidney were available for him. He would be the fourth person to receive a triple transplant at Mayo Clinic and only the 11th [...]

  4. A Marathon of Another Kind: Kidney Dialysis for 13 Months

    It was the summer of 2008, and Nichole Rushton was primed and ready to run 26.2 miles – a marathon – something she had accomplished with relative ease twice before. At age 28, she well could have invented the concept of “multitasking,” keeping physically active, raising two kids and being a devoted wife to her husband, [...]

  5. Beki Rose and family

    Rare heart-liver transplant gives South Carolina woman a second chance at life

    Beki Rose and her husband, Tom, had met with half a dozen doctors, and they all said the same thing. "They told me to go home and get my things in order," says Beki, a 51-year-old mother of three with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. The congenital condition had so damaged Beki's heart and liver that [...]

  6. 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 [...]

  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. Cindy

    Saving Lives by Recruiting Marrow Donors

    Carolyn “Ceci” Christenson, age 18, of Gilbert, Ariz., has already survived a rare, life-threatening blood disorder and become a high-powered recruiter for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Her experience inspires Christenson to speak out for patients whose hope for a cure resembles a high-stakes lottery. In December 2011, she appeared on CBS’s “The Early [...]

  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. Waiting... for a second chance at life

    This post was written by Trevor Bougill, an intern at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. **** Over the past few weeks, the media has been full of reports about renowned musician Gregg Allman of the Southern Rock group, The Allman Brothers Band, who received a life-saving liver transplant at Mayo Clinic. While I’m not a [...]

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