"I immediately knew it worked, because the pain, achiness and tingling was gone. I'm completely satisfied and just happy."
This is how local entrepreneur and entertainer Seva May describes her condition after undergoing cervical surgery on October 10, 2012 at Specialists Hospital Shreveport. Her surgeon, Dr. Euby Kerr, III performed an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, or ACDF to correct a host of problems initially caused by an accident seven years ago. "I went to the ER after the accident and was told I had severe whiplash; that the condition would worsen over time."
As predicted, her condition gradually, but steadily got worse as the years progressed. She tried different therapies to remedy the pain; including physical therapy and a regimen of pain medications. Then the pain became chronic. "It was finally just a dull aching non-stop pain. I had arm pain and shoulder pain, and tingling in my hands. It was like my hands would go to sleep. I couldn't pick-up my grandchildren."
At this point, May says she decided to seek help from Dr. Kerr, a spine surgeon at the Spine Institute of Louisiana. "I saw what he had done for my husband Byron, so I had a lot of faith in him." She says Dr. Kerr had performed two surgeries on Byron: one to correct a surgery that had been done years ago by a different physician, and another surgery to remove scar tissue. "I just liked Dr. Kerr's demeanor. He is brutally honest, but I appreciate that." She says Dr. Kerr explained how he would make an incision in the front of her neck – through a natural crease or fold – and then move the vocal cords aside to reach the cervical spine. "I'm a vocalist, so this was terrifying. I was scared to death."
Despite her fear, May says she trusted Dr. Kerr and the staff at the Spine Institute of Louisiana. "I knew I was in good hands and that everything would be fine. I can't say enough about how nice the people up there are. You're not just a number on a chart; you're a person. If you have to have surgery, that's the place to go."
May says no overnight hospital stay was needed, and she was able to go home the same day as her surgery. Within six weeks her voice was back to normal. "I'm singing again and currently rehearing for a show at the Shreveport Little Theatre." May also sings in church and gives voice lessons. "I should have listened to my husband and had the surgery years ago. I wish I had done it a long time ago." May says she now has no neck pain and there is no sign of the incision. "You can't even see it."
May says she is looking forward to celebrating her 36th wedding anniversary with her husband Byron this January, and to continue singing – without pain. "Now, there is no pain."
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