Spine Surgery at Rush ‘the Right Choice For Me’

BrookieSpaBy Brookie Spa

In 2006, I had an injury causing damage to my spine. Since then, I have endured many years of pain, with more than one surgery to attempt to ease my discomfort.

On Dec. 28, 2012, Dr. Kern Singh and his staff operated on my spine. This was my fourth surgery. Not only did I appreciate his minimally invasive procedure, but his staff was awesome. They are very kind, caring and compassionate to their patients. I never felt as if I was a bother to them with my questions or concerns.

From the time I arrived at patient registration, visiting pre-op, participating in the surgery, visiting post-op and staying for two days thereafter, the medical team at Rush University Medical Center — Dr. Singh’s team, the pain management team, OT, PT, and of course the great nursing staff — were top notch. Facility services were awesome as well.

Working in the medical field myself, it was a pleasure to be treated with respect along with each member being very caring and compassionate. Each person went above and beyond to make sure I was well cared for.

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Determined Patients Inspire Neurosurgeon at Rush

Every day clinicians and patients at Rush face moments of great challenge and great inspiration. During this time of giving thanks, they’re sharing what they are thankful for and how their experiences at Rush have inspired them. 

John O'Toole, MD, Rush University Medical Center

By John O’Toole, MD, MS

Two patients who inspired me recently were both diagnosed with intramedullary ependymoma, a benign tumor that grows in the spinal cord. Although the tumors are not life-threatening, patients face significant neurological disabilities because the tumor grows within the spinal cord itself. The definitive treatment is surgical resection.The amazing thing about this job is that we are with people in their most desperate moments. Seeing the strength my patients have when grappling with incredibly tough, life-altering experiences makes me think harder about how I face challenges in my own life.

These two patients were in the prime of their lives. Then all of a sudden they got this life-altering diagnosis. Once they both got over the initial shock, they embraced the course ahead of them. Their first thoughts were, “What do I have to do to get better?” Not all patients have that kind of attitude.

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