In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

September 27th, 2016

After ‘Freak Accident,’ Mayo Clinic Helps Paralympian Swimmer Get Back in the Water

By In the Loop intheloop

Mallory Weggemann, a self-proclaimed “hyper-competitive” athlete, competed in seven swimming events at the 2016 Paralympic Games.Just a few years ago, Mallory Weggemann couldn’t imagine getting in the pool again, much less competing in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. An “accomplished high school swimmer,” Mallory became paralyzed from the waist down in 2008 after receiving an epidural injection for back pain, according to a feature story on espnW.com. She was just 18 years old and was unsure where these new lanes would lead her.

Writer Pat Borzi chronicles the comeback story that Mallory has written for herself, beginning with a fateful Paralympic swim meet at the University of Minnesota two months after her paralysis. That meet was a springboard to get Mallory swimming again — something she feared she’d no longer be able to do. She went on to win gold and bronze medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

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September 27th, 2016

Mayo Clinic Minute Reporter Jeff Olsen Practices What He Preaches

By In the Loop intheloop

As a reporter for Mayo Clinic Minute, Jeff Olsen gets up close and personal with health and wellness experts at Mayo Clinic. He’s taken their lessons to heart, making a number of positive health changes.

When it comes to his health, Jeff Olsen has always tried to do the right thing. But sometimes, life has gotten in the way of those good intentions. (We can relate.) “I’m a husband, a father of four, I work two jobs,” Jeff explains, adding that his full schedule and full life have sometimes led to what he calls “bad decisions.” Over time, those decisions — an extra handful of nuts here, a few scoops of ice cream there —added up to extra pounds.

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Tags: Dr James Levine, Dr Amit Sood, Dr Karen Grothe, Jeff Olsen, Katherine Zeratsky, Mayo Clinic Minute

September 27th, 2016

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."

Mark Twain

September 22nd, 2016

Three Years After Accident, Amber Rose Comes to Mayo for Reconstructive Surgery

By In the Loop intheloop

Amber Rose Kordiak has endured years of surgery and hospital stays since a near-fatal farm accident three years ago. The sweet and spirited 10-year-old has smiled through it all. Now, that smile stands to get even bigger, thanks to reconstructive surgery at Mayo Clinic.

On July 6, 2013, 7-year-old Amber Rose Kordiak stepped outside to ask her father, Jesse, if he needed any help on the farm. On her way back inside, she noticed a large tractor tire leaning up against a barn. She then did what comes naturally to children: She climbed onto it. Jesse started to tell her not to play on the tire, but before he could finish his warning, the 600-pound tire was tipping over on top of Amber Rose. According to KSTP-TV, the tire's "6-inch metal rim sliced right through her face." Jesse tells the station, "I ran over there and lifted it up and I just tried to hold her face together," and adds, "I just thought she was going to die right there."

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Tags: Dr Uldis Bite

September 22nd, 2016

Researchers at Mayo's Well Living Lab Study Health Effects of Indoor Work Environment

By In the Loop intheloop

For the past several months, a group of employees from Mayo Clinic have been taking part in a pilot study inside Mayo’s Well Living Lab that, on the surface, seems more fiction than reality.

Imagine going to work each day in an office space that's constantly changing. We're not simply talking about the nature of your work or the quality of the snacks in the break room. We're talking about the physical environment: the lights, window treatments, air temperature, your desk— heck, even the location of the walls, plumbing, and air ducts. Sounds crazy, right? Well, for a group of folks who work in Mayo Clinic's Medical Records Department in Rochester, this has been reality for the past several months.

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Tags: Alfred Anderson, Dr Brent Bauer, Randy Mouchka, Well Living Lab

September 22nd, 2016

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

Mother Teresa

September 20th, 2016

ICU Staff Throw Party for Patient's Son, Proving Care Doesn't Stop at the Bedside

By In the Loop intheloop

After learning their patient’s son was about to celebrate a birthday, the ICU staff at Mayo Clinic in Florida went into party planning mode to make the day special for the 5-year-old and his parents.

Cyrus Fitzpatrick was going to be 5 soon. And his parents, Paul and Paula, wanted to celebrate. But party planning wouldn't be the same as in year's past. That's because Paul was in the intensive care unit at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus and wouldn't be able to make it home for a party.

Paula asked the care team if it would be possible to bring Cyrus's party to Paul, perhaps by bringing a cake into his room. Paul's team thought the occasion called for something bigger. So with the family's approval, the team went into party-planning mode. The result: a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed celebration, complete with cupcakes, decorations, gifts and even a DJ. Among the guests were many of Paul's caregivers, some of whom came to the hospital on their day off to be there.

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Tags: Cora Mendoza, Fredy Insuasty

September 20th, 2016

Free Skin Cancer Screening Leads to Life-Saving Diagnosis for Mayo Nurse

By In the Loop intheloop

Cindy Stenglein’s decision to have a free skin cancer screening on her way to the starting line of this year’s Stay Out of the Sun Run in Rochester may have saved her life.

Cindy Stenglein almost didn't stop. She initially walked right by the booth where free skin cancer screenings were being offered before this past summer's annual Stay Out of the Sun Run in Rochester. "I had a full-body checkup a couple of years ago, and nothing was wrong," she tells the Rochester Post-Bulletin. "I was feeling fine."

But then Cindy, a nurse at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, remembered the "nagging" mole on her left arm. "I wasn't too concerned, because my mole didn't match any of the typical moles that are often associated with melanoma," she tells the newspaper. "It looked nothing like the mole pictures I had ever seen before."

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Tags: Cindy Stenglein, Dr Jerry Brewer, Dr Tina Hieken, Melanoma

September 20th, 2016

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

“It is worth-while to secure the happiness of the patient as well as to prolong his life.”

Dr. Will Mayo

September 15th, 2016

After 25 Years of Care, Grateful Patient Wants to Return to Mayo as a Volunteer

By In the Loop intheloop

John McKee hopes to fulfill his dream of becoming a volunteer at Mayo Clinic. When John McKee retires next month, he and his wife, Rosemary, could make a bee line for their condo in Florida, where they've spent the past few winters. But Florida isn't where the McKees long to be. Instead, they're dreaming of moving north – 100 miles north of their home in Waverly, Iowa, to Rochester, Minnesota. That's where John, a real estate agent, hopes he can fulfill his dream of becoming a volunteer at Mayo Clinic, which he credits with saving his life more than once during his 25 years as a patient.

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Tags: Dr David Holmes Jr, John McKee, Mayo Clinic Volunteer Services

September 15th, 2016

Andrew Yori Reflects on Ninja Warrior Experience, Lessons Learned Along the Way

By In the Loop intheloop

Lab technician Andrew Yori didn’t expect his rookie season on American Ninja Warrior to go as well as it did.Many of us at Mayo Clinic enjoyed watching Andrew Yori — a.k.a. the K9 Ninja — compete on American Ninja Warrior. We introduced you to Andrew, a lab technician at Mayo's Rochester campus, in April, when he was preparing for a qualifying event in Indianapolis. And we followed him as he moved ahead in the competition, eventually making it to the season finals in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to try climbing Mount Midoriyama, as he was taken down by the dreaded Jumping Spider.

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Tags: Andrew Yori, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

September 15th, 2016

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you."

John E. Southard

September 13th, 2016

Parents of Heart Transplant Recipient Send Donor 'Gift of Love and Light'

By In the Loop intheloop

Last September, Aria Grams received the gift of life. A year after a successful heart transplant, her parents are honoring her donor’s gift by releasing sky lanterns and lighting candles in her honor.

In May, Aria Grams turned 2. But today, Sept. 13, her family is celebrating a second birthday of sorts. That's because it's the one-year anniversary of Aria's life-saving heart transplant, thanks to a generous gift from another 2-year-old. And tonight, the Grams family will host an event they're calling Lanterns to Heaven "to show our love and appreciation for our donor family," according to a Facebook page created for the event. They'll be sending Aria's donor "and heroes like her a gift of love and light from Earth" by releasing sky lanterns and lighting candles at Barker's Island Pavilion in Superior, Wisconsin.  [...]

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Tags: Dilated Cardiomyopathy, ECMO, heart transplant, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Pediatrics

September 13th, 2016

Mayo Physical Therapist Goes Rim2Rim Across Grand Canyon with Patient

By In the Loop intheloop

Kristin Salzman and Jenny Kollach crossing the Grand Canyon.

Kristin Salzman first met Jenny Kollasch, a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, after experiencing discomfort following one of several surgeries she underwent as part of her stage IIIA breast cancer treatment. "I couldn't lay back, I was hurting so badly," Kristin says. "So someone suggested I go to physical therapy, and that's when I met Jenny."

That was three years ago. In the time since, caregiver and patient have become fast friends. "When we first met, it was like we'd already known each other for a long time," Jenny says. "Sometimes, you just connect with people like that."

Earlier this year, Kristin asked Jenny to take a hike ... with her. More specifically, she asked Jenny to  join her for a 40-some-mile hike through the Grand Canyon. [...]

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Grand Canyon, Jenny Kollach, Physical Therapy

September 13th, 2016

Quote of the Day

By In the Loop intheloop

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

Albus Dumbledore

September 8th, 2016

Writer Intertwines Romance and Epilepsy in Novel Set at Mayo Clinic

By In the Loop intheloop

Amelia Autin’s romance novel gives an accurate description of how doctors at Mayo evaluate and treat epilepsy.

“Shane Jones, junior senator from Colorado, lay in his hospital bed in the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, staring in disbelief at the barrage of doctors and interns assembled in his private room. He could have gone anywhere for medical testing and diagnosis – and had, with no results – but he’d chosen the Mayo Clinic Hospital when a doctor friend from his days in the Marine Corps had recommended it. No other medical professional he’d consulted had ever heard of his symptoms, much less had been able to put a name to them. But the doctors here had.”

While those words from the prologue of romance novelist Amelia Autin’s book, Killer Countdown, are fictional, they depict real-life events. The inspiration, Autin tells us, came when her husband, Vincent, was diagnosed with epilepsy at Mayo Clinic in 2014. “My husband’s symptoms are exactly the symptoms that I give the hero in my book,” she says.

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Tags: Dr Katherine Noe, Epilepsy

September 8th, 2016

After a String of Losses, Rochester’s ‘Second Street Waving Guy’ Turns Grief Into Joy

By In the Loop intheloop

Dr. Walter Franz joined Joe Johnson on Second Street to wave the flag on the Fourth of July.

Rochester’s Second Street is home to many institutions familiar to locals and visitors alike. There’s Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Hospital’s  Saint Marys Campus, the Canadian Honker and Virgil’s Auto. And then there’s Joe Johnson, a beloved fixture better known as the Second Street Waving Guy. Almost every day for the past decade, Joe’s been out on Second Street waving flags in outfits as flamboyant and joyful as he is. “I love my waving,” he tells us. “Some days I’m out there four, six, eight hours a day. Weekends too. People see me and think, ‘This guy won’t give up.’”

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Tags: Dr Walter Franz

September 8th, 2016

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"I never give up. When I put my heart into something, I'll never give up."

Joe Johnson

September 6th, 2016

Singing Social Worker Brings a Smile to Patient on Last Day-O Chemotherapy

By In the Loop intheloop

An off-the-cuff promise has turned into a new tradition at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Arizona, where social worker Marci Kyle now sings a special song for her patients finishing cancer treatment.

Marci Kyle is not a singer. Or a songwriter. So she isn't sure what inspired her to tell one of her patients, Lester Healy, that she'd sing for him at his last chemotherapy appointment. "His wife told me, 'I'm going to hold you to that,'" Marci, a social worker in the Hematology/Oncology Department at Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona, tells us. So she went back to her office with one question on her mind: "What am I going to do?"

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Tags: Hematology/Oncology, Marci Kyle

September 6th, 2016

When It Comes To Exercise, Researchers Say the More, the Healthier

By In the Loop intheloop

A research team including Mayo Clinic’s Zhen Wang, Ph.D, Timothy Beebe, Ph.D., and Mohammad Hassan Murad, M.D., has found that having a social network of support when exercising greatly increases our chances for success.

We've all heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, according to a new study, that same principle can also be applied to our daily exercise routines.

A team of researchers that includes Mayo Clinic's Zhen Wang, Ph.D., Timothy Beebe, Ph.D., and Mohammad Hassan Murad, M.D., collaborated with the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation for an illuminating exercise survey. The survey was given to those who had participated in at least one American Birkebeiner ski race (also affectionately known as "the Birkie"). Founded in 1973, the race has grown into "the largest Nordic ski race in North America, attracting over 12,000 participants in 2015," according to the study.

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Tags: Dr Mohammad Hassan Murad, Dr Timothy Beebe, Dr Zhen Wang

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