Spinal Operation 14th Jan 2012


It is very difficult for me to convey in a simple letter the huge sense of gratitude I feel towards you. When I visited you on 4th Jan 12 my quality of life was non-existent. I could not walk, sleep or look after myself and was totally reliant on my wife for everything. Not only was the pain beyond comprehension the devastating effect it was having on my personal life was immeasurable. However, the overwhelming sense of relief when you said you could help me and offered a short notice surgical procedure on 14th Jan 12 was indescribable. I also owe Jenny a big thank you for sorting everything out and making this date a reality in such short order.  Obviously I was apprehensive about the operation and the fact I was to be conscious, but I knew I had no choice, it was merely another step on the road to recovery. In retrospect I needn’t have worried, I’m not going to lie, it was painful at times but it flew by very quickly and I was asleep for half of it. However, the outcome was quite astonishing, you said you were confident of a 50 to 80% improvement and that is exactly what you delivered; nearer 80 than 50. Within minutes of the operation I could walk again unaided, taking
me back in time to 2007.

Since the operation my recovery has followed the exact same path as you predicted, the troublesome flare arrived in week 2 and has gradually subsided a little every day and I feel just that little bit nearer to the postop week 1 nirvana. I’m in my 7th week now, back to work and have started physio and am doing a great deal (by my standards) of walking. I’m only covering ½ a mile a day but without the payback I used to have of a day in bed to recover which typified 2010/11 until the eventual collapse in Nov 11 that meant a 1 metre walk to the lavatory was out of the question.

Yes, life is great. I said if you could get me back to how I was in 2007 I’d be amazed, well I am suitably amazed and will be forever grateful. I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet, things could not have been worse pre-op but they certainly could have been post-op - there are no guarantees. However, thanks to your expertise and incredible talent I am better than I could ever have imagined and will be taking up walking as a pasttime; I never thought I’d hear myself saying that. I’ll send you photos once I feel confident my wife and I can spend the day out on the moors. It is still early days and I don’t want to ruin your handiwork, but in the meantime if any prospective patient has any doubts or needs a little encouragement then let them read this letter or give them my e-mail address. I was a desperate man in need of help and you came to my aid and turned my life around for which my wife and I cannot thank you enough.

Mr J A Thirkettle has kindly offered to give independent email support to patients considering Endoscopic Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Please contact him via barneythirkettle@yahoo.co.uk or through the Spinal Foundation by email via jago@spinal-foundation.org