In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

December 31, 2019

Our Favorite Stories of 2019

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 19 of our favorite Mayo tales from 2019:

Hospital Wedding a Gift to Dying Mom
Roma Liani hadn't planned on getting married in the hospital. But then she learned that her beloved mother, Martha, was unlikely to ever leave it.

Nurse Makes Chicago-Style Hot Dog for Dying Patient
Brittany Burnham, a nurse at Mayo Clinic Health System — Franciscan Healthcare, knew her patient didn't have much time left, so she took it upon herself to create a meal he'd been craving.

A Tale of Two Dr. Chuck Rosens
Charles Rosen, M.D., is more than happy to share his name with another Dr. Rosen: A basset hound who was named after the Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon.

A Year After Losing Her Leg to Cancer, 10-Year-Old Abri Bentley is On the Move
In the year since Abri Bentley had her left leg amputated, she and her prosthetic leg, "Stumpy," have accomplished a lot. And the list of things Abri wants to do continues to grow.

Patient Care Assistant Makes Snow Angel for Hospitalized Patient
It had been more than 30 years since one Mayo patient had seen snow, and she wondered aloud what it would be like to see a snow angel. Patient Care Assistant Kirby Rosenberg was happy to oblige.

Cy's Place: After Tragedy, Couple Opens Home to Families of Pediatric Patients
Randy and Ree Erickson lost their son Silas to cancer in 2007, but his memory lives on in the way they live their lives: Supporting families of children facing significant medical challenges.

Colten Robertson

Beads of Courage Help Mark Milestones of Treatment
Christy Collins, a cardiology nurse at Mayo Clinic, was inspired by a young patient, Colten, to start a Beads of Courage program at Mayo.

Jack's Basket Celebrates Babies With Down Syndrome
Nicole Kunkel delivers more than just gift baskets to families who have a child with Down syndrome. Her goal is to also give them a sense of hope and community.

Gentle Wings Offers Families Photos That Comfort and Heal
Dana Brennan Duffney, a desk operations specialist at Mayo Clinic, launched the nonprofit Gentle Wings to provide free photography sessions for families who have lost infants and those receiving care in the neonatal ICU.

Potato Head Project a Gift of Love and Hope for Families of Micro-Preemies
Kristin and Eric Moan's twins arrived four months early, thrusting the couple into the unfamiliar world of micro-preemies. They've used that experience to support other families like theirs.

Hospice Team Gives Patient the Public Recognition, Thanks She's Long Deserved
Seven decades after serving as a member of the U.S. Navy's female code breakers during World War II, Helen Chadwick was recognized for that service at a We Honor Veterans ceremony.

Photo courtesy of Hastings Photography.

Get Me to the Church on Time: Transplant Patient Surprises Daughter on Wedding Day
Just three weeks after a combined liver and kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic in Florida, Chris Nutter was able to fly to New York to surprise his daughter and walk her down the aisle.

Doctor and Patient Share Special Connection — and Big Macs
Medical problems led to more than a year of living on liquid nutrition through a tube for D'Ann Mitchell. After her recovery, her doctor made good on a promise to treat her to lunch.

Young Mayo Patient Joins Rochester Police Department
Stephanie Kenning's 8-year-old son, Coltin, was given the star treatment by the Rochester Police Department after his mom contacted them hoping to take his mind off of his health issues.

Fireflies (and the Radiation Therapist Who Caught Them) Light Up Patient's Time at Mayo
After a patient mentioned to Radiation Therapist Jenn Deweese that she was excited to see fireflies for the first time while in Minnesota, Jenn (and her kids) made it happen.

Patient's Family Turns Caring Bridge Posts into Book for His Physician
Eleven months after a cancer diagnosis, Bob Samuelson passed away. The care and compassion of Bob's care team inspired his family to create a book to show their appreciation.

Alice Kalin Was Told She Had a Year to Live — Then She Came to Mayo Clinic
More than 60 years ago, Alice Kalin was told the cancer in her leg would end her life. But a trip to Mayo Clinic and some advice from her surgeon would change everything.

Piper, the Therapy Dog With Three Legs and a Nose for Healing
Polly Spenle had been researching what it would take for her pup Piper to become a therapy dog when a car accident left Piper injured. But even an amputation couldn't keep Piper from her purpose.

Ethan's Angels Keep Boy's Memory Alive by Giving to Others
Ashley and Jeremy Scheffert, whose son Ethan passed away in 2015, join friends and family to collect and donate toys and gift cards to Mayo Clinic each Christmas in honor of Ethan.

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Tags: Community, Employee Stories, Patient Stories

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