In the Loop

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December 28th, 2017

Our Favorite Stories of 2017

By In the Loop

Each year, In the Loop, like many of the world’s great news organizations, looks back and shares some favorite stories of the year gone by. It’s an edifying exercise, and it gives us a story to publish around the holidays that doesn’t feel like work. (Especially when we use the same clever packaging every year.)

Since we’re not a particularly scientific lot, we simply pick our own favorites from the past year. Then we whittle our list down to a reasonable number that happens to line up with the year in question. So, without further ado, here are 17 of our favorite Mayo tales from 2017:

 

Sister Lauren Weinandt

After 60 Years of Service, Sister Lauren Becomes Official
Not much surprises Sister Lauren Weinandt, who has witnessed many big changes at Mayo Clinic during her six decades of service. A recent change, however, caught her off guard.

 


After Amy Cierzan-Shaw was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, her number one goal was to see her daughter Alison get married 11 months later. When her condition took a turn for the worse, Amy’s care team at Mayo Clinic found a way to honor their patient’s wish.

'Do You Think That Could Happen – A Wedding in the Hospital?'
Amy Cierzan-Shaw was determined to see her daughter get married, despite a devastating cancer diagnosis months before the wedding. When her care team realized time was not on Amy's side, they brought the wedding to her.

 


At Mayo Clinic , nurses are giving wedding gowns a new purpose by making them into angel gowns for their tiniest patients.

Angel Gowns Turn Bridal Gowns Into Priceless Gifts for Infants and Their Families
Mayo nurses put their hearts into making beautiful dresses they hope no one will ever wear.

 


For 15-year-old Clarissa Sanchez, there hadn’t been much to smile about since she’d been diagnosed with cancer. However, a special makeover by Adrian Rios at Mayo Clinic’s Proton Beam Therapy Program provided good medicine for Clarissa.

Makeover is Good Medicine for Young Cancer Patient
Clarissa Sanchez hadn't had much to smile about since being diagnosed with cancer. But a special makeover at Mayo Clinic's Proton Beam Therapy Program brought her smile back.

 


After receiving heart-wrenching news, a patient requested one last piece of pumpkin pie with "a good cup of coffee." Care team members and the Canadian Honker fulfilled the patient’s wish.

Pumpkin Pie and Doing Whatever It Takes for Patients
Care-givers often go to great lengths to comfort their patients. When a terminally ill woman said she'd like to enjoy one last piece of pumpkin pie with a good cup of coffee, her care team sprang into action.

 


Nurse practitioner LaSonya Fleming is a talented vocalist who believes music can heal. Sometimes she sings at her patients’ bedsides and, in one special case, at a patient’s funeral.

Nurse Practitioner's Gift to Family of Dying Patient: Songs That Comfort and Heal
LaSonya Fleming is a nurse practitioner and a talented vocalist who believes music can heal. In one special case, she learned how powerful it can be.

 


Knox Olafson, a pediatric cancer patient at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Minnesota, was one of several kids who were recently given an opportunity to run the bases at Target Field in Minneapolis thanks to Brighter Tomorrows.

Helping Pediatric Patients Round Third, Head for Home in Fight Against Cancer
Four-year-old Knox Olafson was recently given the opportunity to run the bases at Target Field, thanks to Brighter Tomorrows. His trek around the bases stole the hearts of those who got to witness it.

 


Over 30 years ago, Andy Romaniuk took his doctor’s advice and started walking. And he hasn’t stopped since, logging thousands of miles. Recently, Andy started playing polka music on his walks – a tribute of sorts to his late wife.

Andy Romaniuk Is a One-Man Walking Polka Party
More than 30 years ago, Andy Romaniuk took his doctor's advice and started walking. He hasn't stopped since, logging thousands of miles, and recently added polka music to the mix.

 


Sampson was born with a condition that has caused large tumors to grow on his face and cause blindness in one eye. He’s now preparing for surgery to remove the tumors and, hopefully, save his vision.

Series of 'Miracles' Brings Liberian Boy to Minnesota for Life-Changing Surgery
Sampson was an outcast in his village. Thanks to a series of miracles, he would get the care he needs.

 


Staff from Mayo Clinic’s grounds keeping crew recently put the needs of the patient ahead of their own by helping a team of nurses honor the life of a dying military veteran.

Care Team Honors Dying Patient's Last Minutes of Life
When a military veteran nearing the end of his life requested an American flag be placed over him for comfort, staff went to work to fulfill his last wish.

 


During her 31 years as a hospital chaplain for Mayo Clinic, Mary Johnson was a part of many vigils kept for patients near the end of their lives. She’s now turned some of those experiences and memories into a new play that will debut at the Rochester Civic Theatre later this winter.

Patient Afraid to Leave His Wife Alone Finds Answer in Tammy Rew
When a patient's wife with early-stage Alzheimer's disease became confused during the patient's medical appointment, Tammy Rew stepped in to help.

 


Bear Hunt Reunites Young Cancer Patient and His Furry Friend
Social media recently used its powers for good, with a little help from Mayo staff, when it helped reunite a young cancer patient with his lost teddy bear.

 


When Jennie Geurts came in for a recent appointment at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, her care team surprised her with something unexpected. Call it the Luke Bryan Treatment.

No. 1 Fan Scores Meet-and-Greet With Luke Bryan, Courtesy of Fan Club of Her Own
When Jennie Geurts came in for a recent appointment, her care team surprised her with something unexpected. Call it the Luke Bryan Treatment.

 


Lucy Bernas came to Mayo Clinic for healing. Along the way, she’s proven to be a healer herself.

On Her Own Journey Lucy Bernas Helps Others Heal
When surgery to treat sinus cancer left Lucy Bernas unable to eat or speak, she came to Mayo Clinic for healing. Along the way, she's proven to be a healer herself.

 


After more than 10 years of serving up much more than just coffee, Joyce Nelson, one of Mayo Clinic’s most famous and beloved baristas, is calling it a career.

'Joyce the Barista' Pours Her Last (Official) Cup of Love
After more than 10 years of serving up much more than just coffee, one of Mayo Clinic's most beloved baristas called it a career.

 


Earlier this year, Jonathan Morris, M.D., attended a fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. The evening included the premier of a video featuring the story of one young cancer patient who Dr. Morris says he will never forget.

A Dance to Celebrate Beating the Odds
Sometimes a patient's story is so moving that it's impossible not to be affected. Jonathan Morris, M.D., explains why a moment he witnessed at a fundraising event is one he'll never forget.

 


A Mayo Clinic care team recently took the time to perform a simulated surgery on a young patient’s stuffed dog to help ease his fears about his own post-operative care.

Surgeon Operates on Stuffed Dog to Ease Young Patient's Fears
A Mayo Clinic care team recently performed a simulated surgery on a young patient's stuffed dog to help ease the patient's fears about his own post-operative care.

 


Let us know what clicked with you by sharing your comments below. You can use the handy social media tools to share these stories with others.

 

Tags: Community, Employee Stories, Patient Stories

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