Transplant patient stories

  1. Bone Marrow Transplant Is Answer for Mom of Seven Battling Aplastic Anemia

    When her doctors suspected Kristen Soley had aplastic anemia, a rare condition in which the body stops making enough new blood cells, she says something told her to call Mayo Clinic. Aplastic anemia carries with it a high risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding. It can develop at any age and can occur suddenly. In [...]

  2. Mauricio Perez Olegaray and his wife

    Mexican man grateful for normal life after liver transplant

    When doctors in Mexico City diagnosed Mauricio Perez-Olegaray with liver cirrhosis, he thought the condition was the result of earlier alcohol consumption and a genetic predisposition. But at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., doctors discovered instead the silent progress of hepatitis C. For the next six years, a team of Mayo Clinic specialists cared for [...]

  3. 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. [...]

  4. Mother Gives Daughter the Gift of Life … Twice

    At 27 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Amber Sylvester went to Mayo Clinic with her husband, Mike, for an ultrasound test and received news that no parent wants to hear. One of the babies was in trouble. She had enlarged kidneys, no amniotic fluid around her body, and fluid in her abdomen. She would [...]

  5. New Kidney From Sister Gives Hurdler a Chance at 2016 Olympics

    Heads turned when Aries Merritt walked into the lobby at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix at 5 a.m. on Sept. 1, with family and TV cameras in tow. Just four days earlier, he won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. But, on this day, facing one of [...]

  6. Dr. Michael Ackerman and Stefani

    A Prom Promise Kept

    As an 8-year-old girl from Michigan was headed into surgery for a heart transplant, she asked Mike Ackerman -- a pediatric cardiology fellow at Mayo who was part of her care team -- if she was going to live. Dr. Ackerman said, "Of course you're going to live, and I'm going to dance with you [...]

  7. Mayo Patient, Staffer Run Phoenix 10K Together

    Mayo Clinic patient Don Salamone is proof that being in great shape before undergoing a heart transplant can enhance recovery. Even while tethered to a ventricular assist device that kept his heart functioning until the transplant surgery, he pushed himself to work out on a stationary bike for two hours daily and walked several miles [...]

  8. Surviving Hepatitis C -- A Patient’s Journey Through Two Liver Transplants

      For most organ transplant recipients, receiving the “gift of life” is a one-time experience. But for Nellie Betancourt, battling the hepatitis C virus that had been in hiding in her body for years required another “second chance at life,” thanks to a second generous donor and a new generation of anti-viral drugs. Betancourt, a [...]

  9. Cystic Fibrosis Patient Says Double Lung Transplant Transformed His Life

    Nobody knows better than Jon Jantomaso how precious every breath can be. The 49-year-old realtor from Seminole, Florida, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 2 months of age, and for the first 12 years of his life slept in a mist filled tent to help him breath and clear the mucus from his lungs. He [...]

  10. Joseph J. Tepas III, M.D., a 68-year-old pediatric surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida, who had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and later a lung transplant at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

    Physician Experiences the Mayo “Patient Experience” After Double Lung Transplant

    When a doctor suddenly becomes the patient with a life-threatening illness, Mayo Clinic’s commitment to high-quality medical care that puts the needs of the patient first takes on fresh perspective, especially as it relates to the principle of compassionate care, which is a hallmark of Mayo Clinic. Such was the case when Joseph J. Tepas III, M.D., a 68-year-old pediatric [...]

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