Grateful Patient: I had the best neurosurgeon on the planet
When Fernando “Fernie” Hernandez retired, he pictured himself riding the backroads of New Mexico on his bicycle, but debilitating back pain derailed his retirement plans.
The pain in his lower back traveled down his legs, all the way to his toes. He wasn’t able to move without pain. An MRI revealed that the vertebrae in his lower back were rubbing against one another. Fernie had spine surgery in Albuquerque, but relief was short-lived.
“I would have tried anything,” says Fernie. “My primary care doctor mentioned another patient had a great experience at Barrow Neurological Institute.”
Hernandez made an appointment with Barrow neurosurgeon Laura Snyder, MD. She described in great detail what the surgery would entail: inserting spacers between four vertebrae and then fusing them together to create stability.
“Dr. Snyder told me she would do everything in her power to get me back on my bicycle,” Fernie says. It helped knowing that Dr. Snyder was a triathlete herself and understood how important cycling was to him.
The surgery took eight hours, requiring an extended hospital stay. Within six weeks of his return to Albuquerque, Fernie was pain free for the first time in years. He was once again able ride his bike, walk his dog and get a good night sleep.
“Barrow needs to clone Dr. Snyder,” says Fernie. “I can’t thank her enough for all she’s done for me and my family.”
Doctors’ Day is March 30, when we celebrate our doctors’ hard work in helping and healing us. In honor of this special day and the world-class doctors at Barrow, please send a personal message of gratitude to your doctor to thank them for the care they gave to you or a loved one. You can share your message here and Barrow Neurological Foundation will personally deliver your message to your care team. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation in honor of a Barrow doctor and Doctors’ Day.