Rachel is a wonderful 15 yo young lady from Tennessee diagnosed with scoliosis just a couple of years ago with a curve in the upper 40's, possibly low 50's. She then had follow-up X-Rays just recently when experiencing increased pain, and her curves had jumped up to around 90 degrees x2.
Her family made the long drive from Tennessee to Raleigh this Saturday just ahead of the huge snowstorm that crashed in on us here in the Triangle, dumping 10 inches on Sunday, and another 3 inches on Monday! They stayed at the hotel across the street from Duke Raleigh Hospital, and luckily I was able to make it in early Monday morning to do her surgery.
She did very well during her nearly 5 hour surgery using our special electronic checklist quality and safety control system that has over 400 safety checks that enables our team to work seamlessly together. We were able to get a very nice correction safely, and she woke up smoothly, nice and warm, using some new warming techniques that worked like a charm.
Rachel bounced back quickly from surgery, and stood up next to her "big" (older) sister postop day 1, and realized that her bigger sister was now shorter!!! Rachel had gained about 3 inches in one day!
Rachel advanced quickly on her diet and walking program, and felt ready to make the drive back to Tennessee this morning after being cleared by physical and occupational therapy today climbing stairs and getting into and out of a test car in they physical therapy room at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Rachel and her family stopped by our Hey Clinic office right next to hospital after discharge, got her ultra-low radiation ultra-HD EOS X-Ray in our office, and wanted a quick photo together before driving the 8 hours home through the mountains.
She also took a minute to give thanks to all of the kind nurses, scrub techs, implant reps, neuromonitoring techs, CRNA's, SRNA's, anesthesiologists, nursing aids, Hey Clinic PA's and support staff who helped make her dream come true.
Meanwhile, Rachel won over the hearts of ALL of the Duke Raleigh nursing and other staff who worked with her, as Rachel shared thankgivings to everyone with kind words, but also hand-written thank you notes and drawings!!
Get well soon Rachel, and thanks for brightening up all of our lives here.... you brought a smile to many caregivers!!!
Lloyd A. Hey, MD MS
Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Care