Patient stories

  1. Twin Sisters Share Many Things in Life, Including New Lungs

    It’s often said that twins share similar traits and have unique bonds that other siblings simply don’t have. Sometimes those traits are things one would rather not share with their twin, especially when it comes to a potentially life-threatening medical condition. Linda Foster and Brenda Santinelli, 60-year-old twin sisters from Pensacola, Fla., are active women [...]

  2. Nicole’s Journey From Nurse to Transplant Patient and Back

    When Nicole Jahns was just five months old, her parents – and her doctors – knew something was wrong. She wasn't gaining weight like a five-month-old should, and she wasn't, as her doctors put it, "thriving." They soon discovered why. Nicole had cystic fibrosis, an inherited disorder that affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat [...]

  3. She Was Born with Two Holes in Her Heart and No One Knew

    Lung transplant brings unexpected answers to 27-year-old Ileana Hernandez was born with two holes in her heart. But for 27 years, no one knew. Hernandez, a computer systems engineer, worked long hours at her job with Bank of America in Jacksonville, Fla. She had transferred from her native Mexico because of her particular set of [...]

  4. From the Alaskan woods to top of the transplant list

    The first sign something was wrong came when Dennis Chavez was out hunting caribou with his wife, Maria. The Wasilla, Alaska, native suddenly found that he couldn’t cover ground like he used to. He quickly became winded — much more quickly than he expected. He ignored the signs for a while. But one day a [...]

  5. 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 [...]

  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. 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 [...]

  8. Curtis Higgons, 22 year-old double lung transplant recipient at Mayo Clinic in Florida poses at the bowling alley with his bowling ball.

    Miracle Patient Overcomes Unique Challenges to Receive Double Lung Transplant

    To 22-year-old double lung transplant recipient Curtis Higgons, being dubbed the “miracle patient” by his physicians may seem somewhat overstated. But when you consider the medical challenges his doctors had to contend with in preparing him for a life-saving double lung transplant, his moniker may be well deserved. Curtis was born with cystic fibrosis, an inherited [...]

  9. Curtis Higgons, 22 year-old double lung transplant recipient at Mayo Clinic in Florida poses at the bowling alley with his bowling ball.

    Miracle Patient Overcomes Unique Challenges to Receive Double Lung Transplant

    To 22-year-old double lung transplant recipient Curtis Higgons, being dubbed the “miracle patient” by his physicians may seem somewhat overstated. But when you consider the medical challenges his doctors had to contend with in preparing him for a life-saving double lung transplant, his moniker may be well deserved. Curtis was born with cystic fibrosis, an inherited [...]

  10. From the Alaskan woods to top of the transplant list

    The first sign something was wrong came when Dennis Chavez was out hunting caribou with his wife, Maria. The Wasilla, Alaska, native suddenly found that he couldn’t cover ground like he used to. He quickly became winded — much more quickly than he expected. He ignored the signs for a while. But one day a [...]

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Apr. 26, 2014