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Dean Haugen

"Ten years ago, my Mason City Clinic heart surgeon removed my expiration date"

—Dean Haugen, Cardiology Patient

“I used to visit the ER often with undiagnosed heart problems. During my last visit in 2004, they told me I probably wouldn’t make it another year. That’s when my doctor at Mason City Clinic found my mitral valve malfunction and surgically repaired it. I recently had my annual EKG exam and my cardiologist found no heart problems whatsoever. Which means I can keep raising my squash, musk melon and tomatoes – and enjoying my life. Thank God I had such a great surgeon.”

Jansen Wyatt

"He’s the best doctor I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot"

—Jansen Wyatt, Cardiology Patient

With no warning signs, Jansen Wyatt, 54, suddenly collapsed in his home last November. His daughter-in-law rushed him to the ER at Palo Alto County Health System in Emmetsburg, where they diagnosed a severe heart attack. Jansen was helicoptered to Mason City’s Mercy Medical Center. Samuel Congello, DO, a board-certified cardiologist with Mercy’s Heart and Vascular Institute, a partnership between Mason City Clinic and Mercy Medical Center–North Iowa, performed an emergency procedure. Today Jansen feels better than ever. He has quit smoking and does cardiac rehab at Palo Alto County Health System. Dr. Congello drives there to see Jansen. “I think the world of Dr. Congello,” said Jansen. “He’s straightforward; explains things well and is understandable. He’s the best doctor I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot.

Janice Collins

"It’s hard to be a good nurse when you have hearing loss"

—Janice Collins, ENT & Allergy Patient

“As a young girl I was diagnosed with hearing loss in my right ear. I had many ear infections and surgeries, but the problem only got worse. It was getting hard to do my job because I was missing parts of conversations. Hearing aids only caused me more infections. Then I found Dr. Henry Diggelmann at Mason City Clinic. He recommended BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid), which creates sound using bone amplification. He inserted a tiny plug in my skull where the hearing aid could be attached. Two weeks after I received the hearing aid, during a follow-up exam, Dr. Diggelman took out a piece of gum and unwrapped it. I actually heard the wrapper coming off and started to cry. It was a first.”

Sandy Wagner

"How do you handle kids if you can’t use your hands?"

—Sandy Wagner, Plastic Surgery Patient

“After years as a special-education teacher handling children with significant disabilities and behavioral challenges, I began having limited use of my hands due to severe arthritis pain. I found myself fighting back tears every day because the pain was so bad. I could no longer enjoy one of my favorite hobbies, quilting, either. I met with Dr. René Recinos, a plastic surgeon from Mason City Clinic and recommended a procedure called arthrodesis. He replaced one of my finger joints and immobilized seven others to restore the use of my hands and my quality of life. I’m back to work and back to quilting. One of my grandkids said I don’t have ‘old hands’ anymore.”

Charlene Hanson

"By replacing her arthritic hip and knee, Charlene can walk in the woods again without pain"

—Charlene Hanson, Orthopaedics Patient

Retired school teacher Charlene Hanson used to love walking in the woods – until the pain and inflammation of arthritis took it away from her. Since she had heard such great things at church and in the community about Mason City Clinic’s Orthopedic Department and Dr. Darron Jones, she made them her choice to replace her arthritic hip and knee. “My recovery time was so much shorter because of the upfront education I received from the entire orthopedics staff,” said Charlene.

Roger Kuck

"Getting The Hip Replacement Surgery Done At 60 Was The Best Decision I Made"

—Roger Kuck, Orthopaedics Patient

Roger was always very active, but a few years ago his hip started to bother him. When he would go to bed at night the pain was very severe. “I would have to lay on the floor and put my legs up on the couch to relieve the pain,” said Roger.

His orthopedic surgeon at the Mason City Clinic Dr. Darron Jones said, “I can give you cortisone shots, but this is a quality of life question. How much more time do you want to be in pain?” So Roger opted for a hip replacement surgery.

One other motivation for the hip surgery was that his brother-in-law wanted him to walk the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. One year after the surgery, Roger walked a total of 26 miles in 18 hours with his brother-in-law, rim-to-rim of the Grand Canyon.

Today Roger bikes, kayaks and camps, mows the yard, and can go for a 5 mile walk.

“Getting the hip replacement surgery done at 60 years old was the best decision I made versus waiting 5 or 10 years longer. At an earlier age, you can recover successfully and it gives you more quality time.” Roger said.

Donna Drake

"I trusted him 100 percent"

—Donna Drake, Plastic Surgery Patient

Donna Drake lived with a growing basal cell skin cancer (the most common skin cancer) on her lower eyelid for three years. A family practitioner at Franklin General Hospital recommended Mason City Clinic’s plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Mark Mulkey, who identified the cancer and performed the extremely delicate eyelid surgery to remove it and reconstruct her eyelid. “I went back to work 10 days later and no one noticed. He did a wonderful job. I trusted him 100 percent,” said Donna.

Melody Wagner

"Bunion pain stopped Melody in her tracks"

—Melody Wagner , Podiatry Patient

Melody Wagner loved walking until severe pain from bunions stopped her cold. She found a board-certified podiatrist at Mason City Clinic’s Podiatry Department. Podiatrists perform leading-edge surgery for bunions and hammertoes, as well as advanced treatments for diabetic feet, heel pain, ingrown toenails and more. Melody was afraid of a painful procedure and a long recovery. Neither happened; she was able to get back on her feet quickly with the help and compassion of Mason City Clinic’s podiatric specialists.

Lyle Miller

"I didn’t know the pain in my leg came from a ruptured blood vessel in my chest"

—Lyle Miller, Cardiology Patient

“One snowy night about seven years ago, I felt a sudden pain in the back of my leg. I thought I could shake it off and went out to shovel some snow. After a few minutes, I went back inside and collapsed. My wife called 911 but the ambulance couldn’t get to me because of the snow. My neighbors used snow blowers to clear the road and my driveway so the ambulance could get to me. When I got to the ER, Dr. Jeffrey Rowe, a vascular surgeon from Mason City Clinic, performed surgery on my aortic aneurysm and saved my life. Today I feel great, thanks to him.”

Gordon Lubbers

"No more sour grapes about knee pain for me"

—Gordon Lubbers, Orthopaedics Patient

“I injured my knee as a teenager and had surgery. Then, as I got older, the pain returned and began affecting my routine and overall enjoyment of life. My doctor referred me to Darron Jones, MD, an orthopedic surgeon. After a thorough exam, he said I was a candidate for knee replacement. I had the procedure in late January 2014 and was back among the grapes by the beginning of March. I’m on my feet a lot and I operate heavy equipment. My knee feels better than ever, thanks to Dr. Jones.”

Sheryl Borcherding

"I Wanted To Dance Up A Storm At My Two Daughters Weddings, And I Did!"

—Sheryl Borcherding, Orthopaedics Patient

“We have a lot of flower gardens on our acreage, and I was having problems kneeling to weed. I couldn’t walk long distances anymore and it was painful to get in and out of the car, walk up and down the stairs. Simple everyday tasks were hard. Eventually I was limping and in a great deal of pain.” said Sheryl Borcherding of Emmons, MN.

Sheryl went to Dr. Michael Scherb, a board certified orthopedic surgeon at the Mason City Clinic, and discovered the problem was her left hip. She scheduled a hip replacement surgery.

“Within 3 weeks of my surgery I was completely off of pain meds and I didn’t have to use my walker in my house,” said Sheri.

“I am so thankful for Dr. Scherb. He is kind and caring, and I appreciate his expertise helping me get my life back to where it was before.”

“My main goal was to dance up a storm at my two daughters weddings which were six months apart, and I did.”

When Sheryl was in pain she avoided going outside. It was frustrating for her. Said Sheryl, “Now it’s a joy to come outside and work in my gardens.”

Jane Papouchis

"I Now Can Play Football And Basketball With My Grand Nephew."

—Jane Papouchis, Orthopaedics Patient

Jane, 70, a retired nurse, is a very active person. She is a mother of one daughter and son in law, and has lots of 4 legged kids: guinea pigs, goats, Newfoundland dogs and 10 cats.

“I suffered with knee pain for a long time and would always take extra strength Ty-lenol. I found myself canceling commitments with people and events because my knee pain made me so uncomfortable,” Jane said.

Jane finally went for an evaluation and scheduled a knee replacement surgery with board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Crane in July 2016. After surgery she was very diligent with her physical therapy exercises.

“I now go to Zumba once a week; swim in the local YMCA pool twice a week; can easi-ly walk up and down stairs, and play football and basketball with my grand nephew on the weekends,” Jane said.

Gene Wagler

"I Was Given 23 Years Of My Life…And Counting"

—Gene Wagler, Cardiology Patient

Gene Wagler, a special needs teacher from Clear Lake, didn’t have a history of heart problems before his heart attack 23 years ago. Gene said, “I didn’t feel any pain that day but I had a “gnawing” sensation in my chest. Within hours Gene was in the Mercy One-North Iowa ER and Dr. Sam Congello, an interventional cardiologist at the Mason City Clinic was performing a coronary angioplasty on Gene, including the placement of three stents. “Dr. Congello has been taking care of me ever since,” Gene said.

Gene has a check-up with Dr. Congello every six months, and Dr. Congello has done a number of other procedures on Gene over the years, including placing more stents. Gene said “Dr. Sam” explains things to me in a way I can understand. He’s a straight-forward talker and he has given me 23 years of my life.”

Kathleen Hanna

"I feel great and have none of the heartburn I had for so many years and have lost 12 pounds."

—Kathleen Hanna, GERD Surgical Patient

Kathleen Hanna, 60, is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and a para-assistant at Forest City Elementary School. “I had heartburn with regurgitation for 40 years, have had an ulcer, and have been on heartburn medication for about that long too.” Having been on heartburn medication for many years her physician was becoming worried that it was affecting the function of her kidneys.

“I went through a series of tests for reflux disease with Dr. Matthew Fabian at the Mason City Clinic and he told me my sphincter muscle didn’t work at all.” She was a candidate for a minimally invasive surgical procedure which implants a ‘LINX’ device of magnetized titanium bead around the esophagus just above the stomach. The quarter-sized flexible band of magnetic titanium beads open to allow food and liquid down, then close to prevent stomach contents from moving up, stopping acid reflux at the source.

“This is a game-changer when it comes to treatment of reflux disease,” said Dr. Fabian, a general surgeon who has performed many of these procedures. “While medications can control or suppress acid production in the stomach, they do not address the cause of GERD (a weak sphincter muscle) like the LINX procedure does.”

“I feel great and have none of the heartburn I had for so many years and have lost 12 pounds,” Kathleen added

Duane Obanion

"I feel great. The surgery was easy. Now I can fully enjoy my life with my wife – we garden, bike and visit with our three grown children and three grand-daughters."

—Duane Obanion, GERD Surgical Patient

In March 2019, Duane Obanion, 68, a farmer outside of Mason City, Iowa had an acid reflux attack. He aspirated into his lungs and got pneumonia. “I was in New York visiting my daughter when it happened and I ended up in the Urgent Care Center. When I got home I went to my family doctor and she put me in touch with Dr. Matthew Fabian, a general surgeon at the Mason City Clinic”.

“After testing, Dr. Fabian told me I was a candidate for the LINX surgery to repair what was causing my GERD, or Reflux disease. He told me that two months after having the surgery that I wouldn’t have to take any of the antacids or medications that I had been taking for years, ever again. And he was right.”

“I feel great. The surgery was easy. Now I can fully enjoy my life with my wife – we garden, bike and visit with our three grown children and three grand-daughters.”

LeAnn Strother

"After Breaking Her Wrist In A Fall, Hampton Woman Gets Full Mobility of Her Hand And Wrist Back!"

—LeAnn Strother, Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery Patient

In February 2019, 65-year-old LeAnn Strother, who is left-handed, fell and broke her left wrist. Because it was a complicated break, she was referred for surgery to Dr. René Recinos, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and hand specialist at Mason City Clinic. Most concerning for LeAnn was whether this injury would impact all the things she loves to do with her hands.

The forearm consists of two bones, the radius and the ulna. The radius is on the thumb side and the ulna on the pinky side. According to LeAnn, “In my fall, my radius had compressed and it was too short, and I was not going to have good movement of my wrist. So Dr. Recinos had to shorten my ulna to match my radius length. In the surgery, he used some of the bone from my ulna to graft onto my radius.

“After surgery, my wrist was in a cast for six weeks, and I had to keep my arm raised and immobile much of that time because of swelling issues. Later, I wasn’t able to move my wrist and fingers and had to work hard to get mobility and strength back, but I faithfully did the exercises Dr. Recinos said were important.

“I went to the hand therapist, Deb, at Mason City Clinic – who is awesome. Then I did occupational therapy at Franklin General Hospital in Hampton, and my occupational therapist there, Diana, was great too.

“When I went back for my six-month checkup, Dr. Recinos was very pleased. He said that I had better mobility than he had hoped for.

“Dr. Recinos was so kind and caring, and he explained things very well. I now have all my mobility back, no pain and barely any scars – he did such a beautiful job.

“I have been able to get back to doing all the things I love to do, including working part-time at the library, writing a publication for my church, cooking in my kitchen and keeping up with my eight grand-kids.”

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