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The past year has been a difficult one for young Olivia Craker. She was diagnosed at just 12 years of age with supraventricular tachycardia -- a condition that caused her heart to unexpectedly race at speeds of more than 200 beats per minute. That meant she and her family had to stay within close driving distance of local hospitals whenever they left home. Olivia's pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire referred her to Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, where she and her family met with pediatric cardiologist Bryan Cannon, M.D., to explore a remedy to Olivia's heart problems.
After considering various options, Dr. Cannon performed an ablation, a procedure using a catheter to correct structural problems in the heart, which cured Olivia of her fast heart rate. Olivia's mom, Kristin, tells us that Olivia has remained so grateful to Dr. Cannon that she made it her mission to visit him on the one-year anniversary of her procedure to thank him for helping her and show him just how well she's doing.
Following that visit, which took place last week, Olivia's parents penned a letter to Dr. Cannon that expressed their gratitude for the care he and others at Mayo provided to help their daughter. With their permission, here’s a portion of that letter:
“Last year when we met you for the first time and you confirmed her diagnosis of supraventricular tachycardia, she was very sad to hear it. She was hoping for it all to be a mistake. Instantly, you put her at ease with your gentle spirit, concern, and truthful answers. We feel so blessed by that.
… When Olivia went into the surgery, she was not sure if she would wake and find out a pacemaker was needed. You were honest in your explanation that if you needed to 'zap' too much of the heart, a pacemaker would be necessary. She learned very quickly to trust you and, thankfully, no pacemaker was needed. You gave Olivia back her life. She will never forget you … none of us will."
When asked what the letter meant to him, Dr. Cannon tells us that he was just happy to help. "We always hear all of the negative stuff that happens, so it's nice to see that somebody's actually doing very well," he says. "She's an outstanding young lady, and she's doing extremely well."
Olivia recently wrote about her medical experience and how it's changed her outlook on life for a "Holiday Memories" contest for her hometown Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, for which we're told she won top honors in her age group. You can read her essay here.
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