It was a Friday in late April when Lindsey Hale made a phone call that would change the course of her life — and her daughter Jesslynn's life — forever.
Jesslynn, 17, had suffered a series of complications from a progressively severe case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Doctors near their home in Alabama told Lindsey and her husband they'd done all they could. "They just kept sending her home, saying there was nothing more they could do," Lindsey tells us. "I refused to accept that, so I called Mayo Clinic."
When her call was answered in Rochester, Lindsey explained their situation. The response she received was short and to the point. "They said, 'Can you get her here on Monday?'" Lindsey tells us.
Lindsey and her husband did, and after extensive testing, doctors told Jesslynn she qualified for a heart transplant and would be put on the national transplant list. Eight short days later, Jesslynn had a new heart. "I can't even begin to explain what kind of a feeling that is," Lindsey tells us. "I mean, who only waits eight days for their daughter to get her life back? Mayo Clinic saved Jesslynn's life. There's no question about it."
Lindsey, a registered nurse, tells us that's not the only thing Mayo Clinic has done for her family. "As soon as we found out Jesslynn was going to need a heart transplant, I began applying for jobs at Mayo Clinic," she tells us. "I knew I was going to have to work during her year-long recovery period in Rochester, and while we were here for her testing, I was called for an interview."
Though overjoyed by the prospect of working for Mayo, Lindsey tells us she didn't allow herself to get her hopes up. "After they heard everything that was going on with Jesslynn I was scared that they were going to say, 'No … you have too much going on right now,'" Lindsey tells us. "But that was hands-down the best interview I've ever had," she says. They all said, 'We're here for you.'"
After the interview, Lindsey returned to her family's hotel room. Later that night, her phone rang. "My manager called to personally offer me the job," she tells us. "That just took the biggest weight off of our shoulders. I can't even accurately describe the way I felt."
But Lindsey has no trouble describing her feelings about working for Mayo. "Being an employee of Mayo Clinic has been amazing," she says. "I've learned so much and all of my colleagues really seem to care about me as an individual, as an employee, and as a mother. I've never been so happy in my life just to come to work."
And Jesslynn, it seems, could soon be joining her. "She's doing amazingly well," Lindsey tells us of Jesslynn's post-transplant recovery. "She wants to go to nursing school and wants to work for Mayo Clinic, too," Lindsey says. "The biggest thing, though, is she's making life plans again … whereas before, I think she was mentally preparing to leave us."
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