In September of 2017, I had come to the end of my proverbial rope. After a fall in 1978 of approximately 30 feet, I had some 14 major back and neck surgeries and was now in so much pain I was ready to give up. Seven years earlier the head of Neurosurgery at a very prominent hospital told me when I came for a much anticipated appointment, “if anyone ever tells you they can help you they’re pulling your leg”. I left devastated, in tears and did not really know how much longer or how much worse things could get.
Things indeed did get worse and over the next seven years my 6 foot 6 inch frame folded over too about 5’7”. The pain was completely over the top when I decided I had two choices; one very final, the other was search for a surgeon capable and willing to save my life. I started searching for Twin Cities Neurosurgeons and actually read the bio’s when I stumbled on Dr. Harris. In bold type he stated that he specialized in brain and complex spinal surgery. I had no choice but to see if he was serious, my appointment was made.
His staff treated me with a great deal of respect and seemed to streamline the process because the next thing I knew I was standing in front of Dr. Harris being told that he could help me! He warned me that it would be the worst thing I had ever been through and I kind-of chuckled because I had been through staph infections of the spine, multiple 3+ level fusions, I didn’t think I had anything to lose.
The 13 hour surgery was all that Dr. Harris promised. He removed a four level bad fusion done in 1988 and then went on to fuse virtually everything but the kitchen sink. I was up and walking the first day after surgery with huge grin on my face as I again stood 6ft 5in tall. In May of 2018, seven months after surgery I played golf for the first time in ten years without any increased pain. Yes my swing was really ugly but it didn’t matter, it was fantastic. The improvement in my quality of life cannot be understated, you need to be patient and persistent and understand you have a very long road ahead and the possibility of a much better outlook for tomorrow.
The recovery took a little over a year but Dr. Harris most definitely saved my life on October the 19th, 2017.