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Liz’s Story

Welcome to Liz's CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep everyone updated during Liz's surgery and recovery. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement for Liz as she goes through this journey.   

When Liz was 9 years old she developed a disease called Takayasu’s Arteritis which caused her arteries to narrow in various spots throughout her body.  As a result of serious narrowing of her aorta, Liz had a synthetic aortic bypass placed from her heart to above her kidneys when she was 12 years old.  A few years later they revised her bypass from above her kidneys to below her kidneys to help improve blood flow through her body.  The disease is no longer active in Liz’s body, but her arteries have remained permanently narrowed causing her to have high blood pressure and some areas of compromised blood flow.  Over the last 18 years Liz has remained relatively healthy, but in May doctors found that Liz’s aortic bypass has an aneurysm in it.  As a result of the aneurysm, the doctors have decided to replace the bypass with a new synthetic bypass from near her heart to below her kidneys.  The old bypass will be tied off and left in her body since it will be too difficult to remove after being in her body for so many years.  The new bypass will be placed down the center of her chest.  With this procedure doctors hope to improve Liz’s shortness of breath, fatigue, and blood flow to her organs.  Liz has been seeing Dr. McPhail, a vascular physician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, over the last 8 years.   He has referred her to surgeons and other specialists at Mayo, who as a team, will be involved with her care.  Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support as our family goes through this process.