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From Surviving to Living Again

Patient Story Surviving to LivingAfter 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.


From Misery to Marathons

Banishing back pain, spinal cord stimulator got Andrew DeAngelis off the couch and onto the racetrack.

Five years ago, Andrew DeAngelis’ life had ground to a halt because of his chronic back pain. Previously active, he had become overweight, depressed and virtually immobile, relying on a cane to get around. “Most of the time I couldn’t get off the couch. I don’t think there was a single day it didn’t hurt to get out of bed,” he says. “I was on all kinds of pain medication, and nothing seemed to be working.”


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."



Duke Health Patient

First appointment with Dr. Lad and he is even better than I had hoped for in a neurosurgeon, and Dr. in general. Very happy with his disposition and answers to my questions and concerns. Will be having a procedure by him somewhere in the near future and I have no qualms whatsoever about his skill and the necessity of this procedure.

Duke Health Patient

I have been to John Hopkins before and your care and friendly staff WAY surpasses theirs. You're #1 in my book!!

Duke Health Patient

I was very impress with staff!

Duke Health Patient

Very pleased with initial visit.

Duke Health Patient

Dr. Lad is an excellent surgeon with excellent bedside manner. His PA Beth has been EXTREMELY helpful and responsive.

Duke Health Patient

Dr. Lad and his staff were excellent! I was very impressed with their medical knowledge and care of me as a person. And, I am happy that this evaluation/survey was presented to me following my visit.

Duke Health Patient

I appreciated his up front answer to my lower back pain.

Duke Health Patient

Excellent care - Doctor seemed to care about me.


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