Monday, August 1, 2011

One of Our Hey Clinic College Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) guests shares her trip to Thailand.

Email I received recently from Samantha with some pictures from her trip to Thailand that she said we could share on the Blog!  -- Dr. Lloyd Hey


My Mom and I went to Thailand to visit my foreign exchange student from a couple years ago. We had a 25 hour flight, which was torture, of course. We stayed in Bangkok for eleven days, went to their mountain house in Saraburi, and also stayed at the beach, Hua Hin, for a couple days. We did everything! Swam in the Thai ocean off their boat, went jet skiing, saw a ton of temples, ate dinner on the Chao Phraya River, went shopping at the floating market, and most impressive, road elephants, it was simply amazing. Everything was beautiful. We were fortunate enough to be present for the changing of the Emerald Buddha's coat at the Emerald Temple. Every wall, statue, and alter is covered in gold leaf, which is breathtaking. I remember walking from building to building within the ancient temple site, in complete awe of the way the sun kissed every mosaic tile, exploding with glittering light.
Riding the elephants was definitely my favorite activity. Elephants in Thailand are like horses here, which I found incredible, for obvious reasons. The elephant we rode was almost eighty years old. I will treasure that experience always. Although rest was very hard to come by on our trip, my back held up very well, all thanks to you and your team.

Without my third spinal surgery, I would never have been able to go on this once in a lifetime trip. Nattacha, my foreign exchange student, had to watch me suffer with a broken rod the entire year she was with us. She took care of me and we became more like sisters than just friends. It was the greatest feeling to finally be able to have fun with her without worrying about my back and all the pain. We walked everywhere all day everyday and I could not believe how well I did. Unfortunately, I broke my toe a few days before we were set to leave, fell over a tree stump at the temple and cut my leg in front of some monks, and got sun poison at the beach, but my back, my back made it through with incredible stability and very little pain. I am truly so thankful to you all. Dr. Hey, you made it possible for me to not only accomplish a great dream of mine, but to more importantly, enjoy it. 

My spine will now continue to get better and better all because you have put me back on the right track. I'm confident that if I could make it 9,024 miles to Thailand with my new back, that I can now do so many other things I could not do before. You guys really saved me. You guys are the reason I could reunite with my sister all the way across the world. I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

One last thing about the trip, which happens to be one of the very few negatives I have about Thailand, from a scoliosis patient point of view, the traffic was the absolute worst I've ever experienced. If anything was hard on my back it was the traffic, bumpy roads, and constant stop and go. Since we've been home, I never complain about the roads of North Carolina :) which may be a good thing. If you have any further questions feel free to e-mail me.



Dr. Lloyd Hey
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery

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