Cass Regional Medical Center | Wellness Matters | Summer 2019
wellness matters Getting her life back In October 2015, Andrea Walters began to experience severe pain and numbness in her back, causing her to fall frequently. Walters lived in Oklahoma at the time; a doctor there ordered a CT scan and attributed the pain to kidney stones. Eventually, the pain became so unbearable that Walters began using a wheelchair. She then visited a larger hospital in Tulsa, hoping to receive better news. An MRI revealed that she had spinal stenosis, a condition which causes strain on the nerves of the spine due to constriction of the spinal canal. “I can still remember the surgeon coming in and saying, ‘There is no hope for you. Surgery is not an option. You can ask for a second opinion, but that would be a waste of time. You will be in wheelchair permanently in five to ten years,’” Walters said. After leaving the hospital, Walters started to lose hope. She began to battle depression at the thought of having to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Though Walters wanted to give up, her close friend and now husband, Steve, helped her to keep fighting. A life-changing choice Wishing to be closer to friends during this difficult time, Walters moved to Butler, Missouri, in 2017. One of her friends recommended Cass Regional Medical Center for medical care, so Walters thought she would try her luck. Little did she know that this seemingly routine decision would change her life. The first person Walters encountered at Cass Regional was front desk receptionist Brenda Ford. “Brenda took away any nervousness I had,” Walters said. “She made me feel like I was in good hands.” The next person she came in contact with was admitting clerk Michelle Tryon- Gray. Walters said that Michelle is like family to her; she was kind, courteous, and exemplified what customer service should look like. For primary care, Walters selected Harrisonville Family Medicine, and the first provider she saw there was family nurse practitioner Deana Moore, NP-C. “Kind, loving, and caring,” were the words Walters used to describe Moore. A second opinion Shortly after starting her care in Harrisonville, Walters slipped and landed on her shoulder, resulting in a small tear. Moore referred Walters to Kenneth Petersen, DO, at Cass Regional Orthopedics. When Walters saw Dr. Petersen for her shoulder, he questioned the issues related to her back. Walters explained her circumstances and how much pain she was in. He asked if she had gotten a second opinion, to which she responded “no.” Dr. Petersen clarified that while he was not a back specialist, he thought it would be in her best interest to explore her options. From there, Dr. Petersen consulted Christopher Maxwell, MD, her primary Andrea Walters found hope and healing at Cass Regional. —Continued on page 5 Summer 2019 for your HERE health.