Lou Ann Carmean of Independence loves to play in the pool with her 11 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Antics like handstands and splashing contests are pure joys Carmean has rediscovered since becoming a patient of Frank J. Hux, DO, neurosurgeon.
In fact, 79-year-old Carmean can now walk up and down stairs and safely get into the shower and take a bath—simple daily activities that until recently were mere memories. Carmean has even been able to abandon the wheelchair she was forced to rely on for six years because of her multiple sclerosis.
“About the only things I can’t do today are push a vacuum and pick up my 22 month-old great-great grandson,” laughs Carmean. “Or go down the slide in the pool—the grandkids make sure their granny doesn’t do that.”
Carmean started seeing Dr. Hux two years ago after experiencing profound left shoulder pain. A routine MRI showed a severe problem in her neck as a result of medication Carmean took for bone marrow cancer and Dr. Hux recommended surgery.
After myriad family consultations and discussions and evaluating her quality of life—which, as Carmean describes, was “miserable”—she decided to undergo neck fusion surgery in April 2011.
“Patients like Lou Ann don’t have to live with chronic pain,” says Dr. Hux. “This surgery has helped her recapture a quality of life she thought had disappeared.”
Following a seven-hour surgery, a week’s hospital stay at Centerpoint Medical Center and several weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, Carmean went home just in time to celebrate her 78th birthday.
“What Dr. Hux and the Centerpoint Medical staff did for me was miraculous,” says Carmean. “I’ve had so many things wrong with me during my life it was routine not to feel well. The neck surgery has me feeling better than I’ve ever felt.”
Dr. Hux is with Midwest Brain, Spine and Neurology Associates, part of Midwest Physicians, and Centerpoint Medical Center. A network of experienced, multi-specialty physicians located throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area, Midwest Physicians is part of HCA Midwest. Centerpoint Medical Center is also part of HCA Midwest—Kansas City’s largest healthcare system and private sector employer. Centerpoint Medical Center is ranked among the top 10 hospitals in Missouri for neurosciences.
“Dr. Hux represents the strength of the network of physicians of Midwest Physicians,” says Loren Meyer, MD, Midwest Physicians president. “They provide specialized, compassionate care to patients like Lou Ann Carmean and help them get back to living—instead of living with chronic pain.”
Although Carmean still lives with bone marrow cancer, she is thrilled to have reestablished a fulfilling life—including time with her precious grandchildren, children and friends. She says Dr. Hux’s devotion to finding the source of her neck pain and the subsequent surgery he performed gave her back a life she had missed for decades.
“I forget I’m almost 80 years old,” says Carmean. “My life is a gift.”