From the top of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States, Crystal Gail Welcome looked down and considered what it took for her to get there. She thought, “Here’s a reminder of all the crap I’ve been through, and here I am at the summit.” Using her difficult climb to represent her health care journey, she remarked, “I look at all these switchbacks, look at all these surgeries. And here I am now.”
Crystal has counted more than 15 cranial surgeries in her lifetime, managing a rare condition called pseudotumor cerebri that causes her body to respond as if she has a brain tumor. Crystal struggled with chronic pain and sickness until she arrived at Emory Healthcare, where she met Nick Boulis, MD, and had the procedure that helped her find her way back to an active, happy life.
Boulis has pioneered neuromodulation for cranio-facial pain, developing an off-label use for existing spinal cord stimulation devices. So, when Crystal arrived looking for a new solution to her continued symptoms – and having already tried a variety of unsuccessful alternative and medical therapies, ranging from medication and acupuncture to surgery – he suggested testing her reaction to a neuromodulator.
Read more about Crystal’s journey, the surgery that changed her life, and her inspirational climb to the summit of Mt. Whitney.
About the Emory Healthcare Brain Health Center
The Emory Brain Health Center uniquely integrates neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, rehabilitation medicine and sleep medicine and transforms patient-centered care for brain and spinal cord conditions through research and discovery.
Bringing these specialties together allows more than 400 researchers and clinicians from different areas to collaborate to predict, prevent, treat or cure devastating diseases and disorders of the brain more rapidly. These collaborations are demonstrated in numerous centers and programs across the Brain Health Center, including the Epilepsy Center, Pituitary Center, Stroke Center, Treatment-Resistant Depression Program and Veterans Program.
Emory’s multidisciplinary approach is transforming the world’s understanding of the vast frontiers of the brain, harnessing imagination and discovery to address 21st century challenges.
Learn more about comprehensive, diagnostic and innovative treatment options at the Emory Brain Health Center.