Transplant patient stories

  1. 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 [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. Marathoner and Ironman Michael Koetting Back in the Race After Donating Kidney

      As an endurance athlete who has completed six Ironman triathlons and more than two dozen marathons, Michael Koetting does not fear physical challenges. So when he learned he could use his good health to help a stranger in need, he never hesitated.  In December 2014, Michael, 47, of Orono, Minnesota, donated one of his [...]

  4. 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 [...]

  5. Transplant Change-Up Gives Courtney a Second Chance

    Courtney Kidd is working hard to raise organ donor awareness after a new approach to double-organ transplant saved her life. Born with five congenital heart defects and suffering through several medical complications, Courtney needed both a new heart and a new liver. Previous surgeries at ages 2, 6, 12 and then again at 22, and [...]

  6. Living Kidney Donations Save Two Lives in the Same Family Years Apart

    Receiving a donor kidney from an anonymous deceased donor is a gift of life to anyone in need of a transplant.  Receiving an organ donation from a living family member is extra special, when you consider the risks and sacrifices associated with making that choice. Tammy Stelly, a 46-year-old retired postal worker from Middleburg, Florida, [...]

  7. Roman’s Road to a Second Birthday

    Faced with losing their newborn son, Anna and Oleg, searched far and wide for an answer. They found it and a new birthday for their son at Mayo Clinic. After an ultrasound at 32 weeks into her pregnancy, Anna Ryabova, along with her husband, Oleg Pecherskii, faced a grim prognosis for their unborn son. "The [...]

  8. Dialysis Patient Stays Active, Sets New Life Goals While Awaiting a Kidney Transplant

    If you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, it can be easy to get down and wonder why this is happening to you and how will it affect your future goals and dreams. For 57-year-old Jim McGarry of Fruit Cove, Florida, a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease that has required him to go on dialysis three days a week while [...]

  9. 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 [...]

  10. 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 [...]

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