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The Power of Collaboration | Victoria's Story

The Power of Collaboration | Victoria's Story

When you hear phrases in your diagnosis like “only happens to 1% of people” and “extremely rare” you want the world’s best providers to be caring for you. The Bomber family was no exception. In 2011, when Amber’s daughter Victoria was only one year of age, she suffered a bladder infection that revealed that Victoria had gallstones and that she had two ureters, the tubes that connect a kidney to the bladder, coming off one of her kidneys. Both conditions are extremely rare for children.

Through Victoria’s pediatrician, Dr. Susan Zelewski and Altru’s new membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Dr. Zelewski was able to connect with the Mayo Clinic about Victoria’s unique case through an eConsult, a tool through which physicians can electronically consult with a Mayo Clinic specialist when they believe additional input will benefit their patient. After testing and imaging done at Altru, it was determined it was best for Victoria to travel to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to see a specialist and a pediatric surgeon to remove her gallbladder.

toddler with blonde hair in pigtails holding light brown teddy bear

“I was extremely glad that we were able to consult on what was best without having to travel long distances,” said Victoria's mom Amber. “When she went for surgery for her gallbladder, we had a really good experience. I was able to stay with her right up (until she went) into the operating room and stayed with her overnight in the hospital.”

“eConsults offer an important benefit for our patients when we don’t have local specialists to provide the services,” said Dr. Susan Zelewski, Victoria’s pediatrician. “The ability to formulate a plan with a Mayo specialist electronically without our patients having to travel is especially helpful in pediatrics since we have a limited number of subspecialists locally. Victoria’s story is a great example of this partnership at work.”

preteen in striped shirt with glasses in front of field

Victoria will be 12 years old this winter, she is an active middle schooler who enjoys baking, art, reading, dancing, and playing violin. Since receiving surgery at Mayo Clinic when she was two years old, the Bombers have returned to Mayo for follow up only once when Victoria was five years old. The Bombers remain thankful that they could work with Victoria’s care team at Altru close to home.

“The collaboration of the Altru team and the Mayo team made our visits seamless.” said Amber. “We have a wonderful pediatrician who made us aware of the Mayo Clinic Care Network and sought out answers for us. I really am proud that this collaboration has continued.”