A Patient's Story: Lynn

Dec 1, 2021 | Kimberly Schmidt | @kimberlyd

On the evening of Sept. 23, 2010, Lynn Van Maaren woke up with labored breathing and pain in her chest. Her husband, Robert, immediately took her to their local hospital in Newton, Iowa. Diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, the staff gave Lynn about a 50/50 chance of surviving the day.

Anxious for an alternative, Robert talked to a physician who suggested Mayo Clinic. And that’s where the Van Maarens went.

The Mayo Clinic Liver Team was sure that Lynn’s condition was due to a failing liver. Once they were able to regulate her blood pressure to a safe level, Lynn was placed on the liver transplant list. On Oct. 16, 2010, Lynn went through her first transplant which appeared successful. But unfortunately, infection set in. "She was as yellow as a road sign," Robert says. Back on the transplant list, Lynn received her second liver on Nov. 12, 2010.

"I was staying in the local hotels and eating out every meal," Robert recalls. "Then a room became available at the Gift of Life Transplant House. What a gift that was to me both emotionally and financially."

While spending long hours at the hospital, Robert noticed signs for the Blood Donor Center. He decided that donating blood would be a great way to pass time and to give back to others in need.

"I’ll never be able to give back the amount of blood Lynn received, but I will do my part," Robert says. With Lynn’s strong will to live, her doctor’s expertise, and especially with God’s help, she is grateful for each new day.

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our webpage http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

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