Superior care, excellent outcomesAt University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, we provide comprehensive care for both simple and complex digestive conditions. Our team specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver, colon and rectum.
Returning to the diamondIn 2002, TJ was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Eventually, he found himself at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, where surgery gave him the chance to return to normal life—as a husband, a father and bullpen coach for the St. Paul Saints.
Read more about TJ's story in the "Patient Stories" tab below.
And perhaps most importantly, we offer you coordinated patient care, so you can see all our experts in one location, rather than traveling all over town to visit different doctors.
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TJ's Story - Severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
I'm a physically active guy who enjoys working out and running daily. I've worked in professional baseball for 28 years and currently serve as bullpen coach for the Saint Paul Saints, which is also pretty physically demanding.
As a result of my diagnosis, I had flare-ups from time to time but was able to keep them under control with medication for years. Unfortunately, my luck ran out in 2009, and I became extremely ill. My gastroenterology team at the time told me I wasn't going to make it. I lost 70 pounds in less than a month. While going in and out of various hospitals, I tried everything in my power to save my colon. I was told it would need to be removed if I wanted to survive, and though resistant to this drastic measure, I knew I needed to persevere to be around for my three boys and my beautiful wife, Amy. I was eventually referred to University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, where I met my hero, Dr. Robert Madoff, a colon and rectal surgeon. In February of 2011, he removed my colon and fitted me with an external colostomy bag. I resumed all my normal activities, including my coaching duties with the Saints. That November, Dr. Madoff performed the first of a two-part surgery where he created an internal 'pouch' that would serve as my colon, using some of my small intenstine. Once we determined my body would not reject this new internal pouch, he was able to remove the outer colostomy bag during a second surgery in February 2012.
Finally, I feel like a regular guy again ... and I'm able to confidently enjoy all my favorite activities ... with my career and with my family. And as part of my follow-up, I will have to see Dr. Madoff every year. But I look forward to it. I owe him my life.