John had experienced various aches and pains for some time but figured they were just part of the normal aging process. “My Dad used to complain about the same things, so I just ignored it,” he explained.
But in 2003, something happened that could not be ignored. During a meeting at The MED, where John is Director of Internal Audit, he completely collapsed. A quick-thinking nurse immediately grabbed a wheelchair and wheeled him straight to The MED’s emergency department. During the short trip, John felt paralysis creeping through his body and his total focus was on breathing.
People thought he might be having a heart attack but the emergency room doctor quickly realized the problem was something else entirely. Basically, John’s neck bones had disintegrated. It was a severe form of cervical spondylosis, a type of arthritis. This caused his spinal cord to be compressed at three levels and without quick action John would become a quadriplegic, unable to move his body.
Drugs were quickly administered to reduce the swelling of his spinal cord and allow John to go home in a neck brace while a neurosurgery team determined how to reconstruct his neck vertebrae. Because almost three inches of bone and discs in his neck would need to be replaced, a combination of bone from John’s hip, bone paste, titanium mesh cage, titanium rod, plate, screws and other material were used to reconstruct his neck and restore John’s ability to walk and move.
It took eight months in a neck brace, along with inpatient rehabilitation and eleven and a half months of outpatient rehabilitation at The MED, but John now works, walks, and moves through life largely as before.
Then, four years later, John was on his way home from church when excruciating pain had him doubled over. Even though another hospital was much closer, John was firm about where he wanted to go for help: nothing would do but The MED. He knew from experience what a difference their care could make.
Almost as soon as he arrived at The MED ER, John was sent to the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center. The surgeons there moved quickly to remove a gall bladder that had literally exploded. The doctor said it was only the second time in her career that she had seen something like that happen.
As a result of the burst gall bladder, John had to fight infection from peritonitis. The MED hospital staff paid close attention to his condition while he improved, providing all the support, encouragement, and kindness John could ask for.
Hopefully, life won’t throw any more medical emergencies at John, but should anything happen, John knows exactly who to turn to for care.
“When you’re a patient at The MED, the life-saving care you receive stays with you for the rest of your life,” he states. “The care I’ve received here means far more to me than my 17 years of employment. The MED is a part of me now and forever.”
Help us continue to provide excellent medical care and service to our patients by giving to The MED Foundation. Go to www.themedfoundation.org/donation.