Francisco Corripio first came to Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in 2012 while waiting for a kidney transplant. "I'd come to Mayo to try to get a kidney here," he says. He ended up receiving a transplant back home in Miami, where a few weeks later his health took a sudden, unexpected turn. "I got sick after my transplant and had a few stints in the hospitals in Miami," he says. "But things never seemed to get straightened out. I was getting really sick."
So sick, in fact, that Francisco began to have trouble walking. "My doctors in Miami didn't know what was going on," he says. Eventually, Francisco could no longer walk at all. He spent 83 days in a Miami hospital as doctors tried to pinpoint the cause of his troubles, to no avail. "When they finally sent me home, within two weeks I was sick again," he says. It was then that his wife said, "That's it, we're going to Mayo Clinic."
Once they arrived at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, it took some time and testing, but he finally received a diagnosis. "About three weeks after we got here, they finally found out what my problem was," he says. "They diagnosed me with HTLV, human T-lymphotropic virus."
Francisco says that following his diagnosis he and his wife began seriously talking about moving to Rochester to be closer to Mayo Clinic for the ongoing care and treatment needed to help manage his symptoms. And now that they’ve made the move, Francisco says he's starting to feel like his old self again. "I'm alive because of Mayo Clinic," he recently told the Rochester Post-Bulletin. And he tells us that "since I've been under Mayo's care, I've been feeling much better. I haven't been in the hospital for about five months."
That’s good news for Francisco — and for local fans of Cuban food. Since recovering, he’s opened Francisco's Cuban Café as a way of giving something back to a community and an institution that he says helped save his life. "One of the things that's been most exciting for me is that the doctors, nurses and technicians who I've interacted with since coming to Mayo have all come in to the café," Francisco says. And those interactions have given him just one more opportunity to convey his thanks. "Thank you very much for all of your care," he says. "I wouldn’t have my café here if it wasn't for you."
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