• Sharing Mayo Clinic

    Mayo Clinic Has Given Me Back My Life

Hello, my name is Charles Drysdale. I would like to share my story about how Mayo Clinic has given me back my life.

My story begins in late 2005. During my regular checkup my primary care physician discovered that my hemoglobin level was abnormally low (4). I was promptly hospitalized and transfused. This began a series of exams with the local specialists in gastroenterology, hematology and nephrology.

Charles Drysdale and grandson, Connor
Charles Drysdale and grandson, Connor

Over the next 14 months I was subjected to a wide variety of tests to see why I was “losing blood.” No one was able to offer a diagnosis. All they did was treat my symptoms and run more tests. In frustration, after my third series of upper/lower GI tests, I asked my specialist what was wrong with me. He finally said we don’t know. You have a complex case and need to go to Mayo Clinic. That was the most useful thing he had said over the last year.

I contacted Mayo in Jacksonville and was scheduled for an appointment in April of 2007. I began the screening process and was amazed that by the end of the first week they had diagnosed me with acute liver failure. Over the next three months I progressed thru the screening process to determine if I was a suitable transplant candidate. I’d previously had some heart problems that raised a question about my suitability. During this whole ordeal the pre-transplant team was supportive and positive. I can truthfully say my coordinator was an angel. She never let me get down. My case went before the committee several times but I was finally approved in July of 2007 and was put on the transplant list. I realized because of the unique nature of my situation I would require not only a liver but also a kidney, and that I might have a long wait for a donor. I went home to wait for the phone call.

Four days later I got a call!!!! The next few days are a blur. My surgery, that was estimated to take from 10-12 hours, only took six. The recovery team had me up and walking in about two days. I was home after 10 days. The whole process wasn’t perfect, but I can’t imagine a better outcome.

I just completed my two-year review. All systems are operating normally. I feel great and have been able to return to my life. Two years ago I moved around Mayo in a wheelchair. Now I’m able to work full time, go fishing, kayaking, cycling, swimming and enjoy watching my grandson grow up.

My family and I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me.

Regards, Charles Drysdale
Orange Park, FL

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