Transplant patient stories

  1. 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 [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. Boo Maddox

    Boo Maddox takes on H1N1, dialysis, and complications on his way to a successful kidney transplant

    A year ago, the Robert Maddox family from Boyce, La., would never have imagined attending the 50th Anniversary of Kidney Transplantation celebration event at Mayo Clinic this month. A year ago, their 9-year-old son Robert, who goes by the nickname "Boo," was struggling to survive, and a transplant seemed impossible. After a devastating bout of H1N1 (swine [...]

  4. Transplant Diary and a Father's Day Heart

    When Clint Frederick learned that he needed a heart transplant, he naturally wondered what the road ahead would look like. So he searched for a book that described the process from a patient’s perspective. His search came up short. But it planted seed. Perhaps he'd change things for other patients. "After I was approved for [...]

  5. John Greller with his wife and son

    Of Heroes and Gold Medals

    When John Greller won three gold medals for swimming during the National Kidney Foundation's U.S. Transplant Games, he gave them to his heroes. The first went to his wife, Jane, who has remained by his side, as John says, "in sickness and in health." The second medal went to his son, Brian, who donated a [...]

  6. 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 [...]

  7. 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 [...]

  8. New Heart instead of a Honeymoon

    Instead of honeymooning in Ireland, Adam Janusz and his wife, Saori, took a journey of the heart. Janusz, then 32, was diagnosed with a rare heart ailment, requiring ventricular assist devices (VAD) to keep his heart pumping. Eventually, he’d need a heart transplant. The couple’s odyssey started when they’d been married for less than two [...]

  9. Gift from Daughter to Dad: a Liver Donation

    Chuck Lewensten ran a successful business, hunted in Africa and played tennis with his fiancé, Jill. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis changed all that. By the summer of 2010, the disease had ravaged Lewensten’s liver, leaving him homebound and dependent on his family for care. Instead of hunting trips, Lewensten’s travels took him only to the emergency room. [...]

  10. Melissa Blevins and Risa Simon

    New friendship cemented with kidney donation

    Melissa Blevins, administrator for the Transplant Center and Living Donor Programs at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Arizona, knew that one day she’d be an organ donor. Her epiphany occurred 15 years ago. She was working as nurse transplant coordinator and, one night, two pediatric patients died. “One needed a transplant. The parents of the other [...]

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