Spinal Connections Newsletter
Dr. Ghiselli and Renee Kirchner, PA-C, Return from Medical Mission Trip in Honduras
Through cooperation between Nuvasive Spine Foundation (NSF), One World Surgery, and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Dr. Ghiselli and Renee Kirchner, PA-C, volunteered a week of their time operating on patients in need in Carretera a Olancho, Honduras. They were part of a surgical team including orthopedic spine and neurosurgeons from all over the U.S. and South Africa, and they performed 26 adult degenerative spine surgeries during their five days in the country. The lumbar and cervical spine medical mission trip was organized by the three nonprofits to bring life-changing spine surgery, technology, and training to this medically under-resourced community.
The NPH Honduran clinic provided modest hospital and boarding facilities, but their welcoming staff and the grateful patients made the experience very rewarding. Gary and Renee said the trip was a “once in a lifetime experience.” It was so rewarding in fact, that they both plan to return on another spine medical mission trip in April, 2023.
The trip brought to mind this quote from Mother Theresa: “I can do things you cannot do. You can do things I cannot do. Together we can do great things.”
Had Beatty is not your average 82-year-old. This retired lawyer stays active: he is a volunteer coordinator at a homeless shelter, a proud father and grandfather, and a pickleball enthusiast.
It was his pickleball group (they play three times per week) he missed the most when he started having back pain. He first noticed it in his glute, leg, and foot; the pain gave him trouble walking. Then he started having pain while sitting and lying down. Pretty soon he could barely walk at all and the only place he could sleep was in a reclining
chair. He tried injections for several months, but they didn’t help.
His 60th wedding anniversary was coming up, and he and his wife had planned a 10-day trip to England, they were going to rent a car and drive to several spots in the country. But the prospect of sitting on a plane and in a car for that long seemed impossible to Had.
Had's primary care doctor recommended Dr. David Wong so Had scheduled an appointment. He was reassured by Dr. Wong’s professionalism and experience.
Dr. Wong quickly diagnosed Had with spinal stenosis, which was compressing his nerves and causing the pain. Dr. Wong recommended a micro decompression surgery at L3-5 to fix it. Dr. Wong felt confident the surgery would eliminate the pain and Had could go on his anniversary trip.
When Had awoke from surgery he noticed the pain was gone. Dr. Wong reported that the nerves in Had’s back,
which are supposed to look like flat shoelaces, were so inflamed that they instead looked like pinky fingers. Had felt he had been given “a new lease on life,” pickleball and his anniversary trip were suddenly back on his schedule. Had is very thankful for Dr. Wong and his team, “they are so responsive, they complement Dr. Wong’s excellence perfectly.”
Had and his wife had a wonderful time in England in July. He has completed his physical therapy, and now you can find Had on the pickleball court once again.
Dr. Wong Leads Faculty to Middle East
As part of NASS’ (North American Spine Society) commitment to advancing global spine care, NASSi (NASS International) was proud to attend this year’s ArabSpine Diploma Course and Dubai International Spine Conference in Dubai, UAE. David Wong (ex-NASS President, Program Chair, and IEC member) again led an intrepid team of NASSi faculty over to Dubai to engage with surgeons from across the Middle East, Africa, and Indian sub-continent.
First, Dr. Wong’s team lead the ArabSpine Diploma Course, which included 1.5 days of lectures at the Dubai Neuro Spinal Hospital, and half-day practical labs at the Gulf Medical University. Both had hands-on cadaver workshops to enable the 90 participants to hone their practical skills.
Next was the ArabSpine Dubai International Spine Conference (DISC). Dr. Wong and the NASSi faculty graciously agreed to stay on and joined the other 40 faculty and the 250 delegates for the 21st ArabSpine DISC held at the Emirates Towers, Dubai, UAE. The DISC delivered a very comprehensive program including sessions on: (1) Ethics and Education, (2) Cervical Myelopathy, (3) Degenerative Spine Disease, (4) Innovation and Technology, (5) Aging Spine, (6) Deformity, (7) Trauma, and (8) Spinal Tumors.
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Denver Spine Surgeons is changing our name to Colorado Spine Partners in December, 2022. But don't worry, our doctors, our location, our phone number - and your care - won't change at all.
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