Posts Tagged ‘patient stories’

Joshua Jamison’s Hospital Choice Made the Difference…THREE Times

Joshua Jamison

Joshua Jamison, Emory Healthcare Patient

When he begins to share his story, Joshua (Josh) Jamison will tell you that it starts much like it does for many of us. “I decided to start college at 18,” he says. “I had just bought a house on a lake and the boy-to-girl ratio was 3-to-1, those seemed like good odds,” he chuckles. It’s not until later in the story that his jovial attitude and carefree spirit might begin to surprise you. Josh has been through more physically in the last 12 years than most people have to endure in a lifetime, and yet, he continues to smile.

In 2001, Josh was in Snellville, Georgia, heading home on I-24 when he was struck by an 18-wheeler. The physical damage was severe. His head was split open and he was unconscious. Thankfully, he had a friend with him, who called 9-1-1. Josh was lifeflighted from the scene and it wasn’t until weeks later that Josh came-to from his coma. “All I remember is that I woke up at Emory,” he recalls. “After a month, I started to remember things. I was paralyzed on my right side for some time. A lot of it is still very fuzzy.”

Josh didn’t return to school after the accident, but he did return to work. Having worked much of his life in hands-on jobs, Josh got back into the swing of things working as an arborist. At 26 years old, he was on the job hanging a tree, or taking it down vertically (as opposed to horizontally, which is typical). Somewhere in the process, the tree fell as planned, but not in the place where Josh expected it to. The tree came down on Josh’s foot, which was shattered, cut open, and badly damaged. He was initially sent to a local area hospital that told Josh the outlook wasn’t good– they were going to have to amputate his leg from the knee down. Being an active and young man at the time with a mom who he describes as “great at researching medical caregivers,” Josh wouldn’t accept amputation and immobility as his future.

He was again transferred to Emory, where Dr. Culbertson told Josh that they would be able to save not only his foot, but his leg as well. “He used my back muscle to repair my foot. They amputated my big toe instead of my whole leg, and grafted the muscle to preserve its function. I still have my balance and I don’t have to use a prosthetic limb.” After two major accidents in a 4 year window of time, Josh vowed to return to school, this time, not because of the promising 3-to-1 male-to-female ratio, but that didn’t stop fate from intervening, “That’s when I met my wife,” he recalls with a sigh of relief.

You’d think for Josh, it was “happily ever after” from there, right? Not so fast. Only a few months ago, in late 2012, when using a backpack blower while atop of a flat roof, Josh slipped. He landed on his elbow in the concrete driveway below. The impact shattered Josh’s elbow and was yet another blow to the healthy outlook on life he had regained after the previous two accidents. Once again, Josh chose and was treated at Emory, this time, by Dr. Claudius D. Jarrett, who would go on to repair Josh’s elbow. “I’m still in rehab for that one,” he adds.

After 12 years and three accidents, Josh opted to steer clear of jobs that required manual labor. “I’ve actually retired now and I’m happy. I have my wife, my life and my health thanks to the doctors at Emory.”

Putting Patients First – Advancing Brain Treatment Possibilities

Brain cancer injury informationFor those of us who watched the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, we were touched by a number of stories, conflicts, and hardships faced by Americans from all walks of life. Health care rhetoric aside, one story, that of James Howard from Katy, TX, was especially touching and relevant. Howard, who is only 28 years old, was diagnosed with brain cancer in March of 2010 and as we listened, we learned of his touching story and the barriers he faced in acquiring treatment. James Howard is not alone. There are many people out there like James Howard, who, without access to the latest medical treatments, wouldn’t be here.

While the debate regarding health care reform continues, what we at Emory can do is to provide access to the latest treatments to save lives like that of James Howard. And through our research and medical advances, that’s exactly what we’ve done for patients like Jennifer Giliberto, Gary Gelb, Neil Cullinan, and Donna Yancey, all of whom underwent brain surgery at Emory Healthcare.

Our neurosciences team of researchers, physicians, surgeons, and staff are dedicated to leading research and development in the world of brain injuries and cancers.

For example, Emory is one of the few places in the country offering minimally invasive neuro-endoscopic procedures for resection of deep-seated brain tumors and 3D endoscopic pituitary tumor removal. We’re also conducting groundbreaking research investigating solutions such as the use of magnetic nanoparticles for targeted imaging and therapy of brain cancer. This dedication advancing the medical possibilities is what drives everything we do, and our efforts aren’t going without recognition.

Recently, Dr. Costas Hadjipanayis, chief of neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory, was named president of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation. With a mission to “improve the quality of life for brain tumor patients and their families” through research, awareness, and support, the efforts of our team members such as Dr. Hadjipanayis and those of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation allow us to continue to advance the possibilities in the treatment of brain tumors and injuries.

We honor the dedication shown by our neurosciences team and its members such as Dr. Costas Hadjipanayis, who are making strides in improving the lives of patients and families affected by brain injuries and cancers each and every day.