Esther R's Story


In 1985 I was directing a children's production of Bye Bye Birdie. I was in the attic working the stage lights since we didn't have a special lighting person This was a summer camp for children that I was director of the theater and music department. After the show, the people forgot I was in the attic and it became pitch black. This was in the Pocono Mts.


So total darkness and no one to hear me to let me down. I tried to find the ladder and as I went to step on a stair I fell to the ground flat on my back. I wasn't found till next morning when I was rushed to the Mercy Hospital in Port Jervis New York (Catskill Mts.)


After all the tests they told me and that I would never walk again. I immediately arranged to have me removed from this hospital and with great difficulty after 6 weeks at a friends home, I was able to board a plane back home to Florida. Needless to say I suffered with back problems the rest of my life but was able to walk and continue my life until 2010 it became very difficult to take a few steps. I ignored it. No time for this and tried to continue with life even in great pain.


Until 2015 I awoke in the middle of the night . Screaming in pain. I was rushed by ambulance to hospital where they admitted me and after all the tests told me my spine had collapsed into pieces and that I was being transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital by ambulance to see Dr. Barth Green. While they administered extreme pain killers so I could I function a little I was notified that my entire spine had to be rebuilt from the til of the brain stem till the end of the hip and torso bone. In June 2015 the first part of the surgery was performed. the cervical area was rebuilt. I did not have an easy recuperation. I aspirated and almost died.


I decided not to go ahead with the rest of the surgery. I would live with the pain. Then June 2016 I could no longer walk even a few steps and in the middle of the night I was again rushed to the nearest hospital. They again sent me back to Dr. Barth Green at Jackson Memorial Hospital where he pasted together my spine which was in pieces. After 9 and 1/2 hours I was put back together again. Recuperating was difficult because I had to learn to walk correctly again. But I worked hard at physical therapy and today I am upright again, walking and teaching piano and performing. I never allowed the word paralyzed to be used again. Yes it is difficult but I have my life back. Dr. Barth Greene is a genius in my opinion. I was a jigsaw puzzle that he put together. Thank you. Never give up.


#backinjury #spineinjury #spinalreconstruction

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