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My name is Jill Staloch, and I had my first seizure when I was a freshman in college. Epilepsy never impacted my life, besides having to take medications and having a yearly appointment with my doctor. It wasn’t until 2010 that my life changed because of seizures. I had been seizure free for at least 10 years, but during my pregnancy, I started to have multiple seizures weekly. During this time, I was worried about my baby’s health, I could no longer drive or be left alone, I was having difficulties doing tasks at work, and I eventually had to be on bed rest. Even after delivering a healthy baby girl, I continued to have seizures. I still was unable to drive and couldn’t be alone with my daughter, and my family worried about me. Epilepsy had taken control of my life. My husband researched different ways we could get help. He said we needed to go to the Mayo. I was resistant but knew something different had to be done.
When I was 18 years old, I noticed a small lump on my right forearm. I went to my primary care physician and was told it was nothing to worry about. Within one month, five more lumps formed on my right arm. My physician scheduled me for a biopsy and due to complications. I ended up in the emergency room the very next night. My arm had turned purple and blue and swelled to twice its size. After the biopsy, I was referred to multiple different physicians, and none of them could figure out what was wrong with my arm. After three months I was beginning to lose hope of regaining my normal college life, when someone told me about the Mayo Clinic. The next day I called and scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist named Dr. Conroy. I honestly cannot say how glad I am to have met Dr. Conroy. His attitude and personality could make anyone feel better. After meeting, Dr.Conroy suggested another biopsy, which made me extremely nervous due to my previous experience. He reassured me that everything was going to be okay and that he would take great care of me.
Written by Jane Sullivan Horne When I received a kidney from my brother David 10 years ago at Mayo Clinic in Florida, little did I know that someday my only son would have to undergo the same life-saving procedure after suffering from the same rare kidney disease that has plagued my family for several generations. Nor could I imagine that my brother’s son, Adam, would also give the same life-saving gift to my son, Trey, just 10 years later. Several of my family members have suffered from a rare genetic kidney disorder called FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis), which causes scarring of the kidney and the eventual loss of function. According to the National Institutes of Health, which is studying our family’s history with this disease, mine is one of only 20 families in U.S. with this genetic pattern afflicting several generations of relatives. My father died of end stage renal disease when I was only 11 months old. My father's mother, and two of his brothers, also died of the disease. And the only exposure we’d had to transplants was in 1970 when our mother gave our brother, James, one of her kidneys. I eventually was diagnosed with FSGS and now my 26-year-old son, Trey, has it. While there is no cure for FSGS, a kidney transplant can give the patient a high quality of life for many years. I am truly an example of that now, more than 10 years after my transplant surgery. http://youtu.be/oGftj-R2drI
A year ago, the Robert Maddox family from Boyce, La., would never have imagined attending the 50th Anniversary of Kidney Transplantation celebration event at Mayo Clinic this month. A year ago, their 9-year-old son Robert, who goes by the nickname "Boo," was struggling to survive, and a transplant seemed impossible. After a devastating bout of H1N1 (swine flu) in 2009 when he was just 5 years old, Boo spent nearly 500 days in Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. After multiple surgeries, numerous transfusions, and months of uncertainty, he recovered and survived despite the odds. But he was left with renal failure, dangerously high pulmonary pressure, and susceptibility for recurring infections. Doctors told the family that he would never be a candidate for a transplant, and was destined for a life of dialysis and complications from the high pressure and infections. Determined to find hope, Robert and Renee Maddox brought their son to Mayo Clinic last winter and met with the kidney transplant team.
After heart surgery, Deshawn Corbin can run, jump and swim like a kid ... for the first time Deshawn Corbin is just 15 years old. But he’s already experienced more life than most people many times his age. Deshawn was born with complex congenital heart disease that affected the way blood traveled through his body and kept him from getting enough oxygen. His teenage mother, who’d had no prenatal care, realized she would be unable to care for a child with such special needs and gave him up for adoption. On the day he was born, Deshawn became a ward of the state and had his first open heart surgery.