Norah Bradbury – Testimonial
My name is Norah and until recently I was a relatively healthy 61 year old retired lady enjoying life and certainly not suffering from any back problems or walking problems. Unfortunately I suffer from coeliac disease (gluten intolerance, medically diagnosed) something that has recently had major consequences for me. On September 2017 whilst cleaning at home I was in a bathroom with ceramic floor tiles and the next thing I knew I was horizontal looking at the ceiling but in excruciating pain literally unable to move. Suffice to say after an emergency journey to LGI Hospital I was informed I had broken (damaged/crushed) L2 vertebrae in my back. The immediate treatment was to wear a rigid brace around my torso and use crutches to get around, all the while being on a daily dose of painkillers including dihydrocodeine and morphine. The pain was simply horrendous. However my mental state was also suffering as a result of the painkiller cocktail. I was aware that a consequence of coeliac disease is porous/brittle bones better known as Osteoporosis which had a direct bearing as to whether the damaged vertebrae would naturally heal. If it didn’t was I to be in the brace and on crutches for the rest of my life? I have medical insurance why not use it? My husband and I contacted Mr Pal at the Spire hospital Leeds and he immediately explained the reality of my situation in a practical, realistic and most of all encouraging way.
He was most concerned about the amount of pain I was in, how I could manage the pain and what, in medical terms, my options were. His words were, ”one should always use conservative measures first before considering surgery“. He stressed it would be better to give nature a couple more weeks after which if it hadn’t started to heal the reality was it never would naturally heal. However his manner was that he made me feel any decision would most definitely be my decision. Unfortunately the spine showed no sign of naturally healing and I decided to go ahead with surgery, I did not want to be in pain for the rest of my life, wearing a brace and on crutches if I could avoid it. Mr Pal explained how he had discussed my case with his colleagues and how he had chosen his own particular option of fixation considering the problems of fixing into bone with osteoporosis. My operation was performed at the Spire Hospital in Leeds by Mr Pal and his team on 2 October 2017 and took approximately 51/2 hours.
However prior to this operation Mr Pal did explain that this particular operation may not be 100% successful and that a further 4 hour operation may be necessary to give further support to the damaged spine. His view was however, rather than do more work to the spine than may be required and submit me to an 8/9 hour operation in one go we should take one step at a time. We would know very quickly if the further operation was required and he would carry this out some 4/5 weeks later. The operation performed was basically fixing 2 steel rods between T12 and L4 vertebrae fixed with screws cemented into each vertebrae. Two weeks after the operation what can I say? All of the sharp pain that was present before has gone and had actually gone when I came round from the anaesthetic. The immediate pain after the operation was, to quote Mr Pal, ”the double decker bus going over me” or normal operation pains after having incisions made and muscles cut etc.
Now even this pain has gone and I now only feel dull intermittent aching etc. I am fully mobile and walking unaided and the straightness of my spine is amazing. Subject to myself being sensible and careful it appears my operation has been a complete success and should remain so. What can I say about Mr Pal? What are my feelings towards him? Both my husband and I thought we were heading for a dark place and a poor future; however he and his team have enabled us to look on life as before my accident. His skill and expertise is beyond words, a genius is a small word which goes some way to describe him and my friends’ favourite phase when I show them photographs of his structural steelwork in my back is: “WOW that’s amazing you can’t believe the skill needed to do that, he’s done an excellent job on you!” I personally do not know how I could thank him for his work, but from my view point I have no hesitation in recommending him unreservedly. Thank you so much Mr Pal and well done.