PATIENT STORIES AND REVIEWS
After a devastating accident, life-saving brain surgery means a second chance
Matthew Todd remembers falling, but little else about that day in April 2018. It started like any other day. Then, it took a turn that changed his life and could have easily resulted in his death. Todd was at work at a car dealership in Henderson, N.C. As he held open the door for a customer entering the dealership, something caught his right foot, causing him to tumble.
“I remember realizing I was taking a hard fall, and I pushed my hand out in front of me to catch myself,” he recalls. “Then, nothing.”
Never Give Up
With deep brain stimulation, Scott Caslin finds pain relief and a positive outlook
Scott Caslin was only nine years old when he learned he had dystonia. By the time he was 13, the disease—a neurological movement disorder syndrome characterized by muscle contractions that result in twisting and abnormal fixed postures—had left him bedridden and in constant pain.
From Surviving to Living Again
After decades of pain and a roller-coaster of failed surgeries, Nevro HF10 therapy delivers relief at last
For Gregory Fox, now 55, the back pain started more than 20 years ago. The cause was lumbar disc degeneration, but it was aggravated by stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and the years Fox spent on the road as a drummer and a bus driver.
Spinal fusion surgery in 1999 brought him relief for a time, but by 2013, he had started to lose sensation from the waist down. The spinal fusion had started to disintegrate, and his spine was shifting. The numbness worsened to the point where Fox was unable to get out of bed.
After Unbearable Pain, a Feeling of Hope
With DRG stimulation, Andrew Diaz is on the path out of ‘mind-boggling’ pain
On his worst days, Andrew Diaz, 38, couldn’t leave his bed. “The pain was all-encompassing. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t see properly. It was debilitating,” he recalls.
On a scale from 1 to 10, the pain on those days rated as a solid 10. Most days, he hovered around an 8, which meant he could move around enough to meet his most basic needs, but normal daily activities were still out of the question. “There was no going to the mall or the store with my wife or kids or anything like that,” he says.
A New Outlook on Life
For Robert Shipp, deep brain stimulation brings self-sufficiency and an end to embarrassment
“I was unable to write my name for probably seven or eight years,” Robert Shipp recalls. With handwriting “like an EKG” thanks to severe tremors, he relied on his wife or daughter to write things for him. At work, he used a rubber stamp to sign his name.
“It was embarrassing,” he says. Eating out meant having to ask for his drink with a lid and straw. “I was unable to use a knife and fork. I only ate things I could eat with a spoon, because the shaking was so bad.”
Blocking the pain at its source
Life with HF10 spinal cord stimulation
For Sandra Weddle, now 47, the trouble started when she was in her early 30s. Chronic pain plagued her throughout six surgeries to address her degenerative disc disease. By the time she turned 40, the pain was so bad that she had to quit work.
Eventually, she was unable to walk or stand for more than a few minutes. “I had to sit down to make toast,” Weddle recalls. “I constantly took pain pills.”
David Lemaster, 68, was in a similar boat. After taking a fall at age 60, he contracted a blood infection during surgery to fix damaged discs. The infection led to arachnoiditis, a type of chronic pain caused by inflammation of a membrane around the spinal cord.
“I had pain whenever my body decided to have pain, and I had no control over it,” says Lemaster. “I went through all kinds of procedures—acupuncture, drugs, biofeedback, steroid injections, shocks to deaden the nerves—and nothing helped.”
Then one Tuesday in March, those two lives changed forever. That was the day both Weddle and Lemaster were implanted with Nevro HF10 therapy under the care of Dr. Nandan Lad—making them the first two patients to receive Nevro paddle HF10 devices in North Carolina.
After excruciating headaches, blessed relief
How peripheral nerve stimulation gave trivia buff Charles Hensley his life back
"At 22, an age usually associated with limitless possibilities, Charles Hensley was at his wits’ end. After suffering a gunshot wound and a fractured skull, Hensley endured a headache that just wouldn’t end.
The relentless pain consumed his existence, plunging him into a deep depression. As the headache continued—morning, noon and night—Hensley’s doctors tried all the medications they could think of.
Nothing touched the pain. Until Hensley met Duke neurosurgeon Dr. Nandan Lad."
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