Transplant patient stories

  1. New Liver, New Outlook

    When Brian Gurule learned that a rare disease was the reason for his liver failure, he realized it was a race against time to find a medical center where he could get a transplant. At Mayo Clinic, he received the care he needed to give him a fighting chance. In 2016, Brian Gurule was told [...]

  2. Hanna's Lifesaving Liver Transplant

    When a local hospital was reluctant to list their daughter for the liver transplant she needed, Melinda Kohlmyer and her husband brought young Hanna to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. There, Hanna got a second chance at life. After several busy days in the hospital, Melinda Kohlmyer was enjoying a few quiet moments with [...]

  3. The Match of a Lifetime

    When Ed Waters needed a kidney transplant, his wife, Darlene, stepped up to be his donor. The couple was delighted to find that, just as in the rest of their married life, they were perfectly compatible. When Ed and Darlene Waters of Glenwood City, Wisconsin, got married 43 years ago, it seemed they were an [...]

  4. Crafting An Artist's Healthy Future

    Lupus was wreaking havoc on Emily Olson's health. Her Mayo Clinic care team's decision to employ a medication typically not used for this autoimmune disorder, along with a kidney transplant, not only saved Emily's life, it reignited her independence and confidence. Emily Olson has always loved drawing, and she wanted to make a living with [...]

  5. Handily Moving Forward After Devastating Injury

    When Kennedy Folkedahl's hand was cut off during a construction accident, the young man thought life as he knew it was over. But thanks to the support of his Mayo Clinic care team and years of physical therapy, Kennedy is embracing an alternate future with enthusiasm and appreciation. When Kennedy Folkedahl completely severed his left [...]

  6. A New Kidney With a Little Help From His Friends

    When Fred Anderson needed a new kidney, he didn't have to look far to find eager donors. His friends Jim Ross and Ted Schreiber both stepped forward. Although Jim ended up being the donor, all three banded together to ensure the transplant journey included plenty of support and camaraderie. Fred Anderson of Great Falls, Montana, [...]

  7. Bidding Farewell to Enormous, Faulty Kidneys

    "Owner of the world's largest kidneys" was never a title Gene Okun wanted to have. Today, thanks to a living donor and a Mayo Clinic surgical team, he no longer does. Gene Okun's kidneys had to go. They were big. They didn't work. And they were ruining his life. "My stomach's so big that it [...]

  8. Kidney Transplant Opens the Door to Lanell Johnson's Next Adventure

    Lanell Johnson's path to a kidney transplant wasn't easy. But now that she's received a new kidney and is enjoying a return to good health, Lanell and her husband are eager to move forward. Lanell Johnson takes pride in what she calls her battle scars ? the result of her long journey to a successful [...]

  9. Facing Death and Fighting Back

    When doctors said there was nothing they could do for his end-stage liver disease, Danny Willis refused to give up. He obtained a lifesaving transplant at Mayo Clinic. And even a near-fatal setback after that couldn't stop him from reclaiming his health. Danny Willis isn't a big fan of superheroes, yet the former Mayo Clinic [...]

  10. 'Lobby Days' Offer Life-Changing Information About Kidney Transplants

    After enduring kidney dialysis for years, a conversation Martin Ruiz Zerme?o had at his dialysis center with Mayo Clinic social worker Jeffrey Welch paved the way to a successful kidney transplant. Martin Ruiz Zerme?o's home was melancholy. "When you don't feel well, there's sadness at home," he says. Stealing joy from Martin's life was kidney [...]

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