• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Finding grace after battling a brain tumor

April 21, 2019
Sharing Mayo Clinic patient Pastor Johann Lochner with his family and Mayo physicians

As a pastor, Johann Lochner believes his life's journey is guided by a higher power. Nowhere was that knowledge made clearer for Johann than at Mayo Clinic, where he encountered a team of physicians whose care and surgical talents in removing an insidious brain tumor gave him his life back.


When Johann Lochner boarded a plane bound for his native South Africa to visit a relative who had cancer, he knew he'd be spending time in medical facilities. What the 51-year-old pastor never imagined was that he would be the one requiring care.

Days after landing in South Africa in April 2017, Johann was admitted to the hospital when he began to have problems moving the right side of his body. An MRI showed a mass on the left side of his brain. His South African surgeon diagnosed it as a rare tumor known as PXA, or pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma.

And the situation only got worse. After a communication breakdown with his care team, Johann was unable to receive treatment for his condition. His wife, Stephanie, was desperate.

"I see my husband declining physically," she says. "I'm in the middle of Africa. No one wants to help us, and I'm having such a struggle to coordinate care." Read the rest of Johann's story.
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This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.

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