Transplant patient stories

  1. Coordination and Teamwork Make Simultaneous Surgeries Seamless for Heart Transplant Recipients

    Michael Tyler and William Tiger didn’t know one another before the summer of 2016. But they now share a unique life event. Both 55-year-olds underwent heart transplant surgery at Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus on the same day, at the same time. Completing the simultaneous procedures was a milestone for the Transplant Center team in Arizona, [...]

  2. Life Beyond A Heart Transplant is Vibrant and Full for Elmo Aquino

    Fifteen years ago, Elmo Aquino, a resident of Orange Park, Florida, was an avid runner. He’d competed in Jacksonville's Gate River Run, an annual 15-kilometer running event, several times. But one morning in the summer of 2001, his active lifestyle came to an abrupt end when suddenly, while on a treadmill, he found he couldn’t [...]

  3. Mayo Clinic’s First Lung Transplant Recipient in Florida Makes Every Moment for 15 Years and Counting

    When Richard Oppelt arrived at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in early 2001, his lung capacity was minimal – only 21 percent of what it should have been. A sandblaster for 24 years, Richard, from Melbourne, Florida, had developed silicosis, a lung disease caused by breathing in silica dust, which can damage the lining of the [...]

  4. After a Long, Long Wait, a Transplant, Gratitude and Goodbyes

    When Randy Marlow checked into Mayo Clinic Hospital's Saint Marys Campus, he knew his hospital stay would be lengthy. He just wasn’t expecting it to last one year, seven months and 21 days. As someone who needed dual heart and liver transplants, Randy knew the probability of two suitable donor organs becoming available at the [...]

  5. Heart Transplant Opens Door to Leading a Full Life

    For 33-year-old Tara Brigham of Jacksonville, Florida, living with a heart condition since birth wasn't something that was going to get in the way of living an active normal life. In fact, she says the heart transplant she received six years ago as a result of her condition has made her life even more fulfilling. [...]

  6. 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 [...]

  7. Professional Outdoorsman Lives Life to the Fullest After Liver Transplant

    Being diagnosed with bile duct cancer that eventually necessitated a liver transplant wasn't enough to keep Steve Woodford down for long. A South African native living in Utah, Steve is professional skydiving instructor, backpacker and canyon guide in Zion National Park. He has always lived on the edge with his active outdoors lifestyle. Getting sick [...]

  8. Many Hands Make Hopeful Work for Nielsen Boys

    "There is something wrong" are words no expectant parent ever wants to hear. And for Ryan and Kathy Nielsen, they came just 20 weeks into Kathy's first pregnancy. The couple was eagerly awaiting the arrival of their child and had been busy getting their home ready. Then, doctors diagnosed their unborn son, Aaron, with congenital [...]

  9. 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 [...]

  10. 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, [...]

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