Transplant patient stories

  1. Surprise amyloidosis diagnosis leads to combined heart-liver transplant

    At the end of a routine physical in 2006, Dan Carey’s doctor asked if there was anything else he wanted to discuss. Dan exercised regularly and felt good. Except for one thing. “I get out of breath when I walk up stairs,” he told his doctor. A chest X-ray revealed healthy lungs but an enlarged [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. Mayo Clinic patient Shirley Thompson, recipient of a double lung transplant

    An Unexpected Miracle from Down the Hallway

    Sometimes miracles happen when you least expect them. No one believes that more than Fleming Island, Florida resident Shirley Thompson, whose tale of how she received two new lungs while in a medically induced coma at Mayo Clinic hospital in Florida isn’t exactly the typical scenario. The 48-year old married, mother of two was first [...]

  4. Mia Welch

    Heart transplant puts Mia Welch back in the dance

    Mia Welch danced to a video game while at Mayo Clinic Hospital awaiting a transplant. For months, a constant beat filled Mia Welch's room at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona. But it didn't come from a radio or MP3 player. It was the beat of an artificial heart that was keeping Mia alive. Mia's troubles [...]

  5. New technology makes heart transplant possible

    When 53-year-old JoAnn Forster of Eau Claire, Wis., had a heart attack, she was at first only aware of not feeling well. "I started perspiring and couldn't breathe," says JoAnn of her symptoms. By nightfall she was hospitalized and her doctors soon determined that JoAnn needed an additional level of care. They had her transferred [...]

  6. Harmonica Helps Pulmonary and Lung-Transplant Patients Breath Easier

    After surviving two separate lung transplant procedures in 2005 and 2008, musician Larry Rawdon is sharing new ways of healing through music with other patients at Mayo Clinic in Florida. It was, after all, music that led him to Mayo Clinic and aided in his recovery after he was diagnosed in 2002 with idiopathic pulmonary [...]

  7. Coming full circle: Sharing a message of hope

    Ardell Lien had always dreamed of one day sailing around the world. But when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, the retired military man from Caledonia, Minn., thought his sailing days were behind him. "I was down to 150 pounds," says Ardell, "and everyone in town knew I was on my way out. I [...]

  8. 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 [...]

  9. David

    My Stem Cells

    During the summer of 2011, my husband, David, underwent a series of tests which revealed extremely high levels of a certain protein in his blood.  As a result, we were referred to the Hematology Department at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, for further evaluation and diagnosis.  We were seen in September, 2011, and a bone marrow [...]

  10. Novel treatment leads to liver transplant for bile duct cancer

    Doug Yaus had always been an energetic, healthy man. "At 43, I had never even broken a bone," he says. That was until April 1998 when he noticed in a mirror that the whites of his eyes looked yellow. "In just two days, my skin was jaundiced," says Doug. His family doctor in Xenia, Ohio, [...]

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