Patient stories

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    Collaboration that changes lives

    Elyn Simmons was 31 years old and eager to start a family with her husband, Guy. But in 2016, she was diagnosed with a hormonal disorder — PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome — that causes fertility problems. Then Elyn began experiencing other symptoms, including unexplained weight gain, increased body hair, migraines, and severe fatigue. Teamwork by Mayo Clinic clinicians and specialists in Mayo’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology found the source of Elyn's problem. In 2018, she was…

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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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    Glimmer of Hope: Gregor Heinrich

    While Gregor Heinrich never could have imagined that testicular cancer was related to his problems with vision and gait, learning he was positive for KLHL11 protein biomarkers meant he could receive treatment for both the cancer and the illness behind it. When Gregor Heinrich visited Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, in November 2019 seeking a second opinion for puzzling symptoms thought to be related to multiple sclerosis, he wasn’t sure what doctors might discover. Plagued by peculiar…

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    Reversing a dire disorder on the road to renewed health

    Advanced testing at Mayo Clinic Laboratories that confirmed a diagnosis of myasthenia gravis put Lorinda McKinley on the road to renewed health after she nearly lost it all to the rare autoimmune disease. When Lorinda McKinley arrived at Mayo Clinic’s Spine Center in February seeking a second opinion for neck surgery, her eyelids were droopy, her jaw routinely fell open, and she couldn’t lift her arms above her head. Based on the results of an…

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    Detecting danger: Dan O'Bryan

    Dan O’Bryan didn’t think his dizziness and lightheadedness were anything to worry about. Nearly 100 miles away, the team at Mayo Clinic that was remotely monitoring Dan’s heart could see the truth. Looking back, Dan O’Bryan now can see the connection between his dizzy spells and episodes of lightheadedness during spring 2021, and the slow heart rate and atrial fibrillation diagnoses that led him to have a pacemaker implanted in his chest. At the time, however, he didn’t realize that his…

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    Genetics connects family members at the hip

    As family members, Barbara Domaille, Deborah Neville, Pamela Neville, and Rylie Ronnenberg share many things in common that they treasure, and only one they wish they didn’t: a hip abnormality called femoroacetabular impingement. After undergoing genetic testing at Mayo Clinic, the four women learned that their collective hip woes were caused by a hidden genetic connection. And although that knowledge may not change how their condition is managed, it does offer some relief from nagging…

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    Reclaiming his life after lab testing confirmed a serious illness

    Care and support from his wife, Christine, (left) and his daughter, Megan, (right) were crucial for David Voeltz during his journey to a diagnosis of necrotizing autoimmune myopathy. At 71, David Voeltz is a happily married family man who appreciates putting in a hard day’s work and enjoys spending time in the woods. But for David, the ability to walk through nature with his children and grandchildren, and to climb in and out of the dump…

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