The Danbury Review Wednesday,
October 11, 2017

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The Best Father's Day Gift Ever

Clausen Gets New Lease on Life with Transplant

    Father's Day is a day to take dads out to eat, give them gifts, let them relax and do what they want.  Mark Clausen's Father's Day was far from calm.  Sure, it started like any other Father's Day, but that evening his relaxation turned into driving from his home in Danbury to Mayo in Rochester, MN, so his wife could get a belated Father's Day gift - a heart and a liver.  Mark's gift?  A renewed life with his wife, Janelle.  Nellie had been diagnosed with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy in 2011 and was put on a heart and liver transplant list.
    Janelle received heart and liver transplants on June 19th.  She was the talk of Danbury, everyone wondering how she was doing.  People were thrilled for her gifts.  Prayers and cards were sent her way as she lived in Rochester for 3 months.  People stepped in to take over her duties at St. Mary's Church in Danbury and with the church auction and craft show.  On September 15th, Nellie returned to Danbury where she continues to convalesce.
    This is Janelle's story, as written by her:

    I was born with a heart murmur in 1961.  At that time, the doctors told my mother that I would outgrow this condition as I matured.  I got along fine during my school years but was limited in my physical activities.  
    As the years went on, I  began to notice shortness of breath, discolored lips and nails, and fatigue but stayed very active.  After Mark and I were married in 1984, I  became  ill and saw Dr. Jack Ganzhorn in Mapleton, and he recommended that I see a specialist in Sioux City.  Once I saw the specialist in Sioux City, I was off to Iowa City to have open heart surgery.   Open surgery took place on January 7, 1985.   After finding a hole between the left and right ventricles, the surgeon fixed the problem and declared the surgery a big success.  So, I came home energized and ready to take on the world.  
    But then in the fall of 2006, I began to feel the symptoms of earlier years of daily fatigue, dizziness, and  no energy.  I tried to ignore these symptoms but had to regretfully be admitted to the Sioux City Hospital where many tests were administered, and medicine was prescribed for heart atrial fibrillation (also called AFib) which is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).   So, then  my health seemed to be back on track for a few years.  
    A relapse then took place in 2011.   Off to the hospital in Sioux City for more tests and followed up then by hospitalization in Omaha.  I came home with more medication but knew that things were just not quite right with me. 
    So after more consultations, I decided to head to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in September 2011. I was there at Mayo for a three-day consultation with tests,  appointments with doctors, etc.   I then returned six weeks later for more tests and follow-up consultations.  At this time, the doctors informed my husband and me that I would need not only  a heart transplant but a liver transplant.  In January 2012, I was admitted to the clinic for a week of numerous testing to see if I would qualify as a candidate  for a heart and liver transplant.  I then received the official letter stating that I, Janelle Clausen, would be put on the organ transplant list that same month. 
    If only we knew, the journey was at the beginning stages in that month of January 2012.   Mark and I then began our regular travels to Rochester every six weeks to three months depending on tests, medical conditions, appointments, etc.  Then as my condition worsened, I was prescribed a monitoring system that I would wear  24/7 with medicine flowing  through a PICC line to my heart. (The PICC line is used for long-term intravenous (IV) medications and for blood draws.)  Home health care regularly came to my home each week to change the PICC  line, to draw blood, and to attend to other matters.  This information was then relayed to Rochester for  continual updates between appointments.  
    This process continued for the 5.5 years until I had the "life-saving call"  at 7:18 p.m. on Sunday, June 18, 2017.  "Hello, Janelle, this is Rachel from St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.   Dr. Daly, the transplant surgeon, has a heart for you."  I then asked her to repeat her statement.  (After waiting 5.5 years, I really did not believe that this call would ever come.)  I passed the phone to my husband, Mark, who then received the details.  We were to get our bags packed and head to St. Mary's Emergency Room in Rochester with surgery scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017.   With other family members enroute; we all arrived at midnight in Rochester, and I was admitted immediately for surgery prep.  
    Well, it was a long night in many ways and a short night in other ways.  When the time approached for surgery, we were informed that the surgery had been delayed until 1 p.m.  So, we were in the waiting game again.  Then, 1 p.m. arrived, and the doctors told us that it would be 3 p.m.  Nerves began to set in -- if they weren't already with us.  The time of 3 p.m. arrived--no surgery once again.  Then at 4:30 pm, the nurse came in and shared the promising news that surgery would take place at 6 p.m.   Hallelujah, the team came to get me promptly at 5:50 pm and said, "We are ready to go."  The nurses helped me into a wheelchair and away we went .. the life-saving surgery that I had been waiting for the last 5.5 years. This was a very difficult time for everyone.  
    The family patiently waited for regular updates from the medical team of 25 individuals.  Around 11 p.m., the heart cardiologist informed my family that the old heart had  been removed.  The new heart had been transplanted and the heart was functioning on its own.  Then, the liver transplant team took over and began the liver transplant surgery.  Again, regular updates through the surgery kept us informed  through the night.  Around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, the doctors came to tell my family that I had made it through surgery successfully with the transplant of a heart and a liver.  (I was #616 heart transplant patient at Mayo, and #2888 liver transplant at Mayo since transplants began there.) 
    I was then moved to Intensive Care and stayed there for 11 days with two nurses with me 24/7.  They were continually monitoring all my systems.   So then on Day 12, I was moved to a regular room for an additional eight days.  I continued to receive personal attention from nurses and doctors to monitor my progress.
    On July 8, 2017, I was dismissed from St. Mary's Hospital and admitted to the Gift of Life Transplant House.  This house provided a "home that helps and heals" for transplant patients (like me) and our caregivers as I continued my follow-up appointments at Mayo Clinic.  
    After spending a little over two months at the Gift  of Life Transplant House and having good reports on the functions of my heart and liver, I was dismissed to go home on Friday, September 15, 2017.  What a joyous day!  
    As I now recover from my transplant surgery,  I gain a little more strength each day.   I must return to Rochester for my monthly appointments until further notice and follow the doctors' orders here at home.  My appreciation goes out to everyone for their prayers and support to get us through this long journey.
    A fundraiser benefit will be held for Janelle on Sunday, October 22nd at Danbury Catholic School.  The event is hosted by her brothers, sisters, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, cousins, and their families.  A pork loin sandwich meal will be served beginning at noon followed by a bake sale, live auction, and music provided by JK Country Band.  All donations will benefit Janelle and her ongoing medical expenses from her recent heart and liver transplant surgery.  If you have any questions, contact:  Jackie Clausen at 712-253-2784, Jeff Kluver at 515-835-2401, or Juliana Schwanz at 712-269-2803.
    Photos submitted. Thank you!

McNiff Auxiliary to Celebrate 95 Years

    On Sunday, October 15th from 1:00-3:00 at the Anthon Legion Hall, the American Legion Auxiliary McNiff Unit 389 will be having an open house in honor of their 95th anniversary.  All are welcome to join them in the celebration. Feel free to bring any photos or memorabilia you would like to share!

MVAO MS Fall Concert Monday

    The MVAO Middle School music department will present their fall concert on Monday, October 16th at 7:00 p.m.  Groups that will be performing, will be the 6th grade choir, 6th grade band, 7th & 8th grade concert choir and the 7th & 8th grade concert band.  
    There is no charge to attend the concert and enjoy the department's first quarter achievements.

Country Gospel Concert October 15th

    The 24th annual Monona County Gospel Concert will be held at St. John's United Methodist Church, 212 S. 7th St., Mapleton, on Sunday, October 15th at 7:00 PM. 
    Come and enjoy an evening of gospel and country music.  A freewill offering will be collected to help the Mapleton Rotary collect money for hurricane relief.
    Questions? Call 712-882-1936.

Turkey Supper Sunday

    St. Mary's Catholic Church, Mapleton, will host their annual Turkey Supper on Sunday, October 15th from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Church Hall. 
    Tickets are $11, $6 for kids, and free for preschoolers.
    Carry-outs are available and can be picked up at the school building. All carry-out dinners do need a ticket and are available by calling 882-1780. Deliveries in Mapleton are also available.
    Staley's Catering will again be preparing this delicious meal.

County Supervisors Hold Town Hall Meeting in Danbury

    Transparency is a word the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors likes to use when describing their work. The supervisors hope they have transparency so that the citizens of the county know the work the board is doing.
    As part of their transparency, the board of supervisors has been holding town hall meetings throughout the county. On October 4th many of the board attended a town hall meeting in Danbury prior to the community club meeting. The supervisors along with heads of various county departments briefly spoke about progress in the county, particularly in our little corner.
    The public was encouraged to speak of any concerns they had and to ask questions. While some public comments were not acknowledged by the board, others including the status of road work, future road plans, and economic development were answered by department heads.
    To the left, Tim Treiber speaks to County Roads Engineer Mark Nahra (left side of picture) while Tom McBride speaks with Department of Economic Development Director David Gleiser and Woodbury County Supervisor Rocky De Witt.

Queen Esther Order of Eastern Star Meeting

    The Queen Esther Chapter of Eastern Star No. 222 will meet on Tuesday, October 17th at the hour of 7:30 p.m. in the Masonic Temple in Onawa with Worthy Matron Debra Hahn and Worthy Patron James Alexander presiding.


Give Local With Lifeserve Blood Center

Danbury Blood Drive October 25th

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (October 10, 2017) – Blood donors who give their blood and time to LifeServe Blood Center are saving local lives!
    Give back to hospital patients


Sohm Earns 734th Regional Support Group Patch

    Pfc. Tyler Sohm of Battle Creek was part of approximately 70 Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers recently recognized during a patching ceremony held at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center in Johnston.Read More...

FFA Pumpkin Walk Planned

By Katelynn Mullin
    On October 27th at 6:00 PM the MVAO FFA will be hosting a Pumpkin Walk! The MVAO FFA will help elementary students carve pumpkins. We will then move the pumpkins to the track and put a tea light inside to illuminate


Prayers For Peace Presented

    On May 13, 1918, the Virgin Mary appeared to three children at Fatima. She appeared five more times, talking to them and revealing 3 secrets to them.; what hell looks like, to pray for Russia, and the third secret which has not


Medicare Open Enrollment: Time to Review, Plan and Shop

    Des Moines - Medicare open enrollment provides Iowans with a yearly opportunity to review, plan and shop for different coverage options.  The Iowa Insurance Division's Senior Health Insurance Information


City of Danbury Annual Financial Report


Livestock Farmers Encouraged To Make Sure All Premises Are Registered & Up To Date

    DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship encourages all Iowa livestock farmers to make sure that all locations where they have livestock have


Cost Share Funds Available for Windbreaks

    Now is a great time to start thinking and planning for that windbreak next spring. The Woodbury County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) administers cost share funding through the Resource Enhancement and


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