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Patient stories

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    A new path forward

    From the beginning of Hussein’s life, a shroud of worry surrounded him. Something was wrong. The infant couldn’t keep down anything he ate. When he was 6 weeks old, his mother, Manal, noticed blood in his stool. He lost precious weight and was hospitalized due to failure to thrive. Hussein’s first few months were defined by medical tests, painful procedures, and uncertainty. “YOU NAME IT, THEY TESTED HIM FOR IT,” HUSSEIN’S FATHER, ALI, SAYS. “THEY…

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    A new heart, new hope for a newborn

    Travis Heidt was holding his son, Franklin, for the first time. "It was a very joyous time and also an overwhelming time," says the first-time parent. He was unsure of how to hold Franklin, unsure of how to care for him. But Travis knew that he and his wife, Morgan, would figure it out. They had a beautiful boy. He and Morgan had created a family. "The second that he came out, something changed inside…

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    Celebrating 10-years with a new heart - just like her big sister

    Linsey Rippy was 16 weeks pregnant with her second child when she learned her daughter, Madi, had dilated cardiomyopathy. She was just two-and-a-half years old. “Our hospital in the Twin Cities ran every genetic test on Madi, but nothing came up,” Linsey said. “She’d had a virus a few weeks before, so they figured that’s what caused her to develop the condition.” Doctors also figured that meant there was little risk of the baby Linsey…

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    A shared heart: Two families come together after tragedy, transplant

    Around the 15th of every month, Christin Gigstad and Tina Haug think of each other. They pick up their phones and text. Even if they've already talked that week, they want to check in. It's an important date for them, one that no one else can fully understand. Four years ago, Christin and Tina were strangers. Their lives were brought together by crisis. And now they like to say they have a shared heart, thanks…

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    Gabriel Ryan wasn't supposed to live. Today, he is thriving

    Eric and Micayla Ryan were experienced parents. They had three children already and thought this ultrasound would be as routine as the ones that had come before. They knew what to expect. Or so they thought. But instead of reassurance, this ultrasound revealed a problem: cysts on the kidneys of the Goodhue, Minnesota, couple's fourth child. Their doctor arranged for the Ryans to meet with specialists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, some 30 miles away,…

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    Thankful for Tygh: The Derossett Family

    Arriving full-term amidst a flurry of excitement, Tygh Derossett’s birth at a Kentucky hospital in 2016 mimicked that of most newborns. He cried, he received Apgar scoring, and he got a bath. On his second day of life, Tygh’s health care team took a few drops of his blood and sent it to Kentucky’s newborn screening lab. A few days later, Tygh left the hospital with his parents, Amanda and Aarron, and the new family…

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    3-year-old takes on rare cancer with a little help from his friends

    Proton beam therapy benefits patients with tumors located next to critical organs with potentially fewer severe side effects and complications, compared to other forms of radiation therapy. This is especially important for children with cancer ― children like 3-year-old Rhett Flaten who in May became the 5,000th patient to receive the cutting-edge treatment since the Rochester Proton Beam Therapy Program began six years ago. Rhett Flaten loves superheroes. Playing with superheroes and other toys is…

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    Mayo Clinic Children's Center leaves South Carolina girl smiling after surgery to correct pectus excavatum

    When Sara Hutchins noticed an indent in her daughter Scarlett’s chest, she immediately recognized the cause: pectus excavatum, a condition that causes the breast bone to sink into the chest. “My father had the same condition,” Sara says. “He’d had surgery to correct it but was never satisfied with his results.” Sara wanted to ensure that if Scarlett had surgery, she’d like what she saw in the mirror afterward. “I did a lot of research,”…

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    A father's gift to his son

    Father's Day will be extra-special this year for the Teeples family in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After spending much of his two years in a hospital bed with a rare kidney disease, toddler Easton Teeples has returned home from Mayo Clinic after a lifesaving transplant from dear old dad. https://youtu.be/G870m0WfMek It's a special bond between father and son. For Steve Teeples and his first child, Easton, it's extraordinary. Easton was diagnosed as a newborn with congenital…

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    Hyperbaric treatment speeds healing after cleft palate surgery

    Before Kael Jaeger was born, his 20-week ultrasound revealed to his parents, Jacy and Jesse Jaeger, that he had a cleft lip and palate. As the couple adjusted to this new reality, his care team stepped up and created a plan for repairing this common birth defect. A cleft lip and palate are openings or splits in the upper lip and roof of the mouth that don't close as an unborn baby develops. While usually…

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