Fall 2019

Making headlines

A beautiful sound

Brooke Eaton holds Lola Bond, the little girl who received her son's heart, at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.

A flurry of emotions washed over Brooke Eaton’s face as she raised a stethoscope to her ears to listen to the sound of her son’s heart beating in another child’s body. 

Eaton tragically lost her 2-year-old son, Cazmirr “Cash” Landers, in September 2018 after he drowned. Eaton donated his organs, and then-5-month-old Lola Bond received his heart.

In August Eaton met Lola and her grandparents at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, where Lola underwent her lifesaving transplant. “Lola reached out to me and I broke down, I cried,” Eaton told “Good Morning America.” “We bonded instantly, and it felt so right.”


A popular app developed two years ago at the U’s Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center is giving people who snore a workout—and giving their bed partners a better night’s sleep.

In a simple game, Soundly helps to strengthen the muscles that keep the airway open at night by requiring users to say “knee” and “naw” to control a character in the app. “It’s like doing a pushup for your airway,” Soundly founder Brian Krohn told KARE11 in July. 

In a clinical study, about 30 percent of users saw significant reductions in snoring and another 30 percent saw moderate improvement, Krohn says.

Solving a medical mystery

The young woman was dangerously allergic to nuts. Yet despite avoiding them diligently, she kept having anaphylaxis-like reactions, and her doctors couldn’t figure out why. 

Then she connected with Bradley Benson, M.D., at University of Minnesota Medical Center, who is known for solving such mysteries with his so-called “diagnostic flash mob.” His team of doctors, seeing no apparent allergy trigger, suspected a mast-cell proliferation disease. 

Three months later, their suspicion was confirmed, The New York Times Magazine reported in July. The young woman now takes medications to keep her immune system in check and hasn’t had an episode since.