Stories of Gratitude

Stephanie Rawson: Functional Mitral Regurgitation

Stephanie Rawson: Functional Mitral Regurgitation

Most little girls have big dreams and wishes. Six-year-old Claire is no exception, but the selfless nature of her biggest wish is. She wants to be a doctor for just ONE day in order to do a single, but very important surgery – one that will fix her mom’s heart. The...

Dave Durenberger: Aortic Valve

Dave Durenberger: Aortic Valve

Dave Durenberger: From health policy expert to grateful patient As a U.S. Senator from Minnesota for 16 years and then a senior health policy Fellow at the University of St. Thomas, Dave Durenberger spent much of his career working on health care reform and health...

Lisa Koenecke: COOL-IT

Lisa Koenecke: COOL-IT

Lisa's heart event occurred on Oct 23, 2007. She worked for the Delano Chamber of Commerce and was alone in her office; she remembers no part of this story and only knows it as it was told to her. Lisa collapsed and a woman working across the hall found Lisa on the...

R.T. Rybak – Heart Attack

R.T. Rybak – Heart Attack

While cross-country skiing in January 2014, R.T. Rybak, three-term mayor of Minneapolis and now president and CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation, suffered a heart attack after feeling ill and short of breath. He was transported to the hospital, where three drug-eluting...

Howard Anderson: Structural Heart

Howard Anderson: Structural Heart

  “I am not a victim of heart disease, I am a survivor.” Howard Anderson is grateful that his parents were risk-takers – he credits his being alive today with their boldness, and that of his doctors at the time. Howard was born with multiple structural heart issues in...

Andrew Lerud: Cardiac Valve

Andrew Lerud: Cardiac Valve

Andrew had an active childhood, involved in basketball, football and other sports. As a young adult, his energy level declined, leaving him with continuous exhaustion. "I would come home from work, take a nap for a couple hours, get up and try to be active and then I...

Darlene: Cardiac Valve

Darlene: Cardiac Valve

Darlene wanted to survive long enough to see her grandson get married. She was the first woman to receive the Tendyne valve, and she danced at the wedding.

Bill Kotonias: Cardiac Valve

Bill Kotonias: Cardiac Valve

MHIF’s commitment to research and education gave Bill an option that best fit his lifestyle and offered close care to help him through his valve replacement.

John Unger: Cardiac Valve

John Unger: Cardiac Valve

For John Unger, the opportunity to participate in a clinical research study of a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) device came not a moment too soon.

Doug Limon: Angina

Doug Limon: Angina

After dealing with constant chest pain for many years, Doug was willing to try anything to get his life back.

Marcus McCleery: Atrial Fibrillation

Marcus McCleery: Atrial Fibrillation

The days, months and years leading up to my eventual surgeries were dark, to say the least. At nearly 400 pounds, I was unhappy about nearly every aspect of my life.

Karla McGraw: Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Karla McGraw: Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Karla McGraw doesn’t remember her sudden cardiac arrest, and she is grateful for that. She’s also grateful for MHIF researchers for their groundbreaking work on the Cool-It and Level One programs.

Anna Schu: Cardiac Valve

Anna Schu: Cardiac Valve

When Anna Schu learned that calcium had built up in her aortic heart valve, causing her to receive inadequate blood flow through the valve, she thought that she didn’t have many options.

Peter Quimby: Cardiomyopathy

Peter Quimby: Cardiomyopathy

In 2002, Peter was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

Curt Bolin: Vascular

Curt Bolin: Vascular

In 2014, an MHIF research coordinator received a call from her niece, who had recently learned that her husband might need to have his leg amputated due to popliteal artery entrapment syndrome.

Dave Lee: Myocardial Infarction

Dave Lee: Myocardial Infarction

When Dave Lee had a myocardial infarction, he was told that his life as he knew it was over; that he was a “cardiac cripple.”

Elnora Scheffler: Cardiac Valve

Elnora Scheffler: Cardiac Valve

When Elnora Scheffler learned that her aortic valve had calcified and needed to be replaced, she was told that she may not be able to do anything about it.

Essam Awad: Cardiac Valve

Essam Awad: Cardiac Valve

Thanks to research performed at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Dr. Awad was able to undergo a minimally-invasive, low-risk surgical procedure – one that had him feeling better almost instantaneously.