Jessica’s journey to recovery

Jessica Carlson, a Humanitarian Manager working in the Ukraine, was struggling with a bulging disk that was putting pressure on her spine and causing a lot of pain and discomfort. For nine months, it prevented her from effectively carrying out her job and doing normal everyday activities. As a Humanitarian Manager, Jessica had to manage a large team of remote workers and was required to travel often. Distance working soon also posed a problem, as both walking and sitting down became excruciating.

At this point, Jessica feared she would lose her job if she could not work to her full extent. She became anxious around colleagues and community leaders, worrying they would feel she couldn’t do her job to the best of her ability. This, amongst struggling through the language barrier with various Ukrainian doctors, became extremely stressful for her. While experiencing a severe flu-like sickness, she woke up one morning to find that she was unable to get out of bed – and knew she had to take action.

Jessica booked an appointment to see Mr Bob Chatterjee in London in December of 2018, after becoming frustrated with the care she had received previously. Mr Chatterjee immediately requested an MRI scan to swiftly investigate her condition and recommend the best treatment for her. Jessica was still required to travel for work and Bob understood the demands of her job, so they were able to hold follow-up consultations over the phone. Based on her scan results, symptoms and history, Mr Chatterjee recommended discectomy and decompression surgery. To accommodate work requirements and family support, Jessica booked her operation in December 2018.

Spinal surgery can be very worrisome for the patient and family, so throughout her time as a patient at St John and St Elizabeth’s hospital, Mr Chatterjee ensured Jessica’s family was informed and comforted. Jessica’s parents flew to London from Oregon to help support her during recovery. The staff at the hospital took great care of Jessica – and she was especially grateful to Vicki in the physiotherapy department. In order to ensure she made a full recovery once she was back in the Ukraine, Vicki set up physio-by-Skype sessions to help her stay on track.

Jessica was amazed at the results following surgery, as she immediately felt less pain than she had in the last 9 months. Within a week she could stand upright, go for walks and could even sleep comfortably once again. Even on a gruelling business trip to Georgia, she managed to complete 10,000 steps every day, without fail. Jessica is so thankful to Mr Chatterjee and the hospital team, as she is now back to living – and enjoying her life pain free – once again.

Mr Bob Chatterjee is a Consultant Spinal Surgeon at Total Orthopaedics. He qualified from Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in 1995 and completed research on Biomechanics and Skeletal Tissue Degeneration at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in 2003, gaining a distinction for his thesis. Mr Chatterjee takes a holistic approach to all of his patients, exploring all treatment options prior to surgery.

If you are concerned about back pain, don’t wait until it is affecting your everyday life. Contact us for more information or to book an appointment.

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