Stone Soup: Surgery for Rebecca

There is no secret, but this is certain, it is only by sharing that we may make a feast
— Stone Soup (Author Unknown)

When unpredictable medical emergencies arise, it truly takes a community of heroes to care for a patient. We are grateful to partner with so many philanthropic physicians and companies who value every single life, and offer up their skills and time to see that all patients have access to the care they need.

Rebecca had been riding her bike, helmet strapped on, when she was struck by motor vehicle. The car drove off, leaving Rebecca on the ground. She had avoided direct head injury from the impact and did not lose consciousness. The paramedics were called, but Rebecca had managed to stand up and declined the transfer to the hospital.

However, within a few days, she began to experience chronic neck pain as well as severe injury to her right shoulder and knee. When the ibuprofen was insufficient to stave the pain, she arrived to the ED to seek help.

Dr. Vokshoor met with Rebecca, and after reviewing the MRI, CT, and Xray of her neck assessed that she was experiencing symptomatic cervical instability. In her case, she needed an Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion and Fixation- that is surgery that fuses the loose vertebrae in her neck that press against her spinal cord.

In reviewing the patient history documentation, it was revealed that Rebecca did not have a current stable housing situation, or the means to pay for her a surgery.

Dr. Vokshoor recruited his INI staff to execute a mission: get Rebecca the surgery she needs. Dr. Vokshoor set the precent of how this could be accomplished – he would donate his time and perform the surgery pro-bono. Johny, INI's Director of Research and Operations took point. Through a series of emails and phone calls to various colleagues, hospital coordinators, and companies, a team was quickly assembled. Altogether, the mission was equipped with a neurosurgeon, PA, operating room, radiologist, anesthesiologist, neuromonitoring techs, and donated devices and implants.

Surgery was performed by Dr. Vokshoor without any complications.

Dr. Vokshoor and Johny meeting with Rebecca before her operation.

Dr. Vokshoor and Johny meeting with Rebecca before her operation.

Rebecca 5 month after her operation at Clinic.

Rebecca 5 month after her operation at Clinic.

“The last year of my life has been a whirlwind, but I truly believe that you guys were brought into my life and for a bigger purpose.”

We have been following up with Rebecca regularly at her post-op visits to see how she is doing. While she still occasionally experiences some pain and spasms in her neck, she is greatly improved with no plans of slowing down. The surgery was only the beginning. The process of healing is a longer journey but one that requires just as much support and strength. We hope to continue supporting Rebecca and following her recovery.

Many thanks to the follow individuals who supported our philanthropic mission by donating their time and efforts to help Rebecca get the surgery she needed.

  • Amir Vokshoor MD

  • Dean Wilson PA

  • James Burrows MD (pre-op clearance)

  • Kenneth Sacks MD (anesthesiologist)

  • Saint John's Health Center

  • Adrienne Schimmel (Bioventus)

  • Julia Kirsch (Renovis)

“Thanks again for everything and your continued support. I truly cannot begin to describe the amount of gratitude I have for you and the entire team!”