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Patti: A defender on the other team came in from behind. Her feet flew out from underneath her.
Courtney: I’ve fallen like that plenty of times, and I guess this time was just the last straw.
Patti: I keep waiting to wake up, that this didn’t really happen.
Announcer: These are stories of real people.
Colleen Murphy, RN: We participate in people’s lives when they’re at their most vulnerable, when they’re most frightened. We share those moments with them and we ease them through that time.
Dr. Wight: He looked great but then he started to get sicker and sicker and working harder to breathe.
Karyn: I was looking at his little outfit I have in the bag that he was supposed to wear home and, just, you know, hoping that he gets to.
Jamie: At 15, I was doing every drug I could get my hands on.
Joan: I was in complete denial. I had no idea.
Jamie: And they said, "You know if you don’t get you daughter help, she’s only 17, she’s gonna die."
Announcer: These are stories of The Sharp Experience.
Lester: [Singing and playing “Stand by Me” on piano.]
I played with some of the greatest blues’ players in the world: Muddy Waters, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Howlin’ Wolf. No one ever told me that playing drums would eventually wear things out. I played hard.
A lot of guys play flat-footed like that, like that. I play way up on the pedals like that so my feet were like that, man, banging those pedals like.… So now we know what wears these out, don’t we?
This is the gold and platinum for the work I did with the Doobie Brothers. You just try and learn to live with it, but, man.
Regina, Lester's Wife: He always had some knee soreness and issues. You’d just hear him wince when he goes up and down the stairs kind of like eesch, shoo, ooh, or some little swift turns he’ll just really just ack, yeah.
X-Ray Technician: C’mon over here. Move that way just a little bit. So you had a lot of pain today, huh?
Lester: Well, yeah. My knees give me enough pain to where it gets really bitter.
Regina: He came home and I watched him get out of the car and stand there for at least a minute. And I thought oh, gosh!
Dr. Joseph Jankiewicz, Orthopedic Surgeon: The problem with pain it’s a slow grind and it just beats you down really slow.
Physician Assistant: Are you getting any clicking, catching, buckling, things like that?
Lester: Oh, yeah, yeah if you, oh, yeah.
Physician Assistant: Has your walking distance decreased?
Lester: Yeah, sometimes going from the house to the car is an issue.
Physician Assistant: Any discomfort that way?
Physician Assistant: OK, and now I’m going to have to push here but…
Physician Assistant: Sorry.
Lester: That’s OK.
Physician Assistant: I’m sorry. I know.
Lester: That’s all right, that’s, ah!
Physician Assistant: I’m sorry.
Lester: That’s okay. I’m used to it hurting.
Physician Assistant: You’ve lost all the cartilage. So that’s all bone on bone now.
Basically what we do is go in and just shave off that bad bone.
Dr. Jankiewicz: We’re going to use MAKOplasty®. It’s a resurfacing of the knee versus a total knee replacement.
Physician Assistant: So that gives that nice smooth surface.
Dr. Jankiewicz: And the incision is gonna be about this big and right about there. OK. We’ll take good care of this guy.
Regina: Can’t wait 'til we’re on the other side, just can’t wait.
Lester: Here we are.
Dr. Jankiewicz: In San Diego, Sharp Coronado is the first hospital to utilize MAKOplasty.
Lester: Nice outfit.
Dr. Jankiewicz: Thank you. You look good, too. Let me sign your name okay. Make sure you get the right one. I’ll talk to you later.
Regina: You’ll be just fine. I love you.
Dr. Jankiewicz: I’m going to be using robotic arm technology with 3-D modeling. You put two trackers here, two trackers here so the computer is reading the position of the knee. If I turn the leg one direction or another that robot knows where it’s at based on the trackers.
MAKO Technician: That’s really good high registration there, point 29.
Dr. Jankiewicz: The computer’s going to tell us how to balance the knee, make the knee stable and how much bone to take. I can’t go over to this part of the knee. The computer won’t let me do that. If you go outside the line it shuts itself off. All this is burred out to make a bed for this prosthesis.
MAKO Technician: OK, posterior post.
Dr. Jankiewicz: The future of orthopedics is robotics.
Regina: I can’t believe they’re going to get you up walking. That’s like unbelievable.
Dr. Jankiewicz: We’ll see what kind of man he is. (Laugh)
Almost every knee replacement takes the anterior cruciate ligaments. And so what we do for a partial knee is we keep the ligaments. The ACL’s retained. The posterior cruciate is retained.
Physical Therapist: Feel good to be off your back?
Lester: Well, I was pretty comfortable.
Physical Therapist: [Laugh] Stand up. All right, you’re up, you want to go for a walk?
Good. People have the surgery to get moving again, to get them down on the floor playing with their grandchildren or going on fantastic vacations and hikes with their families. That’s why I’m a physical therapist, to help people return to the things that they want to do most.
You are looking great. We don’t often see people up and walking on their first day. And we’ve seen more of that with the MAKOplasty.
Dr. Jankiewicz: How you doing, you doing all right?
Lester: Pretty good.
Dr. Jankiewicz: Feel better?
Lester: I can already tell the difference. I put my foot down, the bite wasn’t there.
[fade to black...drums]
Lester: I haven’t done this in a long time. I can’t imagine my knee as being any better. If somebody would let me play in their band I’d be there, man.
Courtney: Number 10, that was me. I got All-American. It’s definitely hard to get used to just because I have defined myself as a soccer player.
There’s like mornings where I wake up where I’m really disappointed about my injury. But then I’ll give myself like five minutes to breathe and have pity on myself. But then after that, “You got to do things today. Gotta get going.”
Patti: She was taking her cut to go in to score.
Courtney: I beat one of the players and then she was behind me.
Patti: A defender on the other team came in from behind…
Courtney: And tried to slide tackle me.
Patti: Her feet flew out from underneath her.
Courtney: And I like flew in the air and I was parallel to the ground.
Patti: And I can still see her hitting the ground and bouncing.
Courtney: Just landed right on my back and that’s pretty much all I remember.
Patti: I keep waiting to wake up that this didn’t really happen.
Patti: She was growing up. I was letting go. And now boom, all of a sudden I want to be mom again.
You know I worried about her before but now I really worry about her. It’s just the little things like getting into the car; she can’t feel if she’s sitting on the ledge so a few times she’s missed and ended up on the floor. I just want to surround her with protection so that she’s never hurt again. I ask her if she wants help and she says no.
Courtney: I get mad if they try to do things for me that I know I can do. I say I got it. I can do it.
Patti: She was born with an opinion.
Courtney: And there it is. Whew!
When I came back here, I learned about the hand controls and all the equipment that they use at Sharp for people with disabilities.
Patti: I need hand controls. I want to drive.
Penny Anders: She’s got to get back to school you know, pack up her car, pack up her dog and get on the road back to Denver.
Can you feel your legs at all? OK. I’m going to put this chest belt on you.
Courtney: My first day I punched the gas too much, pushed the brake too hard, everybody’s head was going back and forth.
Penny: But I always want you to steer first, brake second, and signal last.
Mo: I’m the president and owner of Better Life Mobility. This is where we do a lot of our adaptations for anybody who requires some mobility equipment.
As I push down it’s, it’s pushing down on the accelerator. As I push in, it’s pushing the brake lever.
I am a Sharp Rehab graduate. I was a football player, took a wrong hit. Going from a jock to a wheelchair user was difficult.
Penny: I have a brake and a gas over here. I’m gonna just have you steer around the parking lot.
Mo: I can’t tell you the smile on their faces the first time they grab that steering wheel and they turn on that engine.
Penny: Feel safe?
Mo: That is the moment when you feel like, OK, it’s my life again.
Penny: Anybody behind you?
Penny: Where’s your mom?
Courtney: Right over there.
Penny: Honk if you love her.
It’s been a hard seven months for them. And the longer you’re doing training the more you know about them and the more you hear about what’s going on in their life.
Release the brake. I’m going to go forward. You can still hold onto it. I trust you. And once we get out onto the street, I’ll let you have the accelerator and the brake.
With a new spinal cord injury, I’m very concerned that they know their physiological limitations. You don’t sit for five hours without doing a pressure relief.
Give it a little gas. Good job, Courtney. You got the gas, the brake and the steering.
Courtney: I’m getting my independence back. It’s definitely making me feel like I’m completely normal and independent again.
Penny: Now usually we get a few oops and you haven’t made any mistakes today.
Courtney: It’s not much different.
Penny treats you like completely normal. She doesn’t see the chair. She sees you.
Penny: We did a high-five and I felt like I was part of her soccer team, you know.
Patti: The biggest thing that she struggles with is feeling that people only see the chair. She told me that I’ve kind of been like that, too. And, and so I’m working on it.
Courtney: We’re going to drive like the border of Utah and then make it to Denver tomorrow. Monday morning I’m back to school.
Patti: You got everything out of your room? She’s determined to do the things she wants to do and go to the places she wants to go.
Courtney: I’m moving into a house with four other girls on my team.
I want to be like an assistant coach this coming year, going to all the games, all the practices. I still want to feel like I’m part of the team.
Nurse: Do you have any numbness or tingling?
Lee: Absolutely, they stuck needles in it. I couldn’t feel a thing.
Dr. Ghosh: He has severe spinal stenosis or compression of the nerves. He also has some major structural abnormalities in his spine. You can see there’s actually a fracture through the bone.
Lee: There’s a psychological component to pain. It changes people’s personalities. And I don’t want to be one of those angry old men.
Dr. Sanjay Ghosh, Neurosurgeon: This is the conduit through which the nerves travel. And the conduit is pinched down to nothing.
Lee: I’ve had back pain for 35 years.
Nurse: And how would you describe your pain?
Lee: It’s like someone stuck a light socket at the end of your toe. It’s that jolting.
Colleen: We’ll have people come and say I’ve had this pain for years. I’m done. I need help. I’m ready. And they reach out to us.
They want change. They want their life back. They want to recover.
Sheri, Lee's Wife: We can’t play golf together. We can’t travel together. We actually like each other. We really do. He makes me laugh.
Nurse: For how many years have you been married?
Sheri: Almost 37.
Nurse: Thirty-seven, congratulations.
Lee: I didn’t say, I was gonna say 37 just, just I was gonna say that.
Sheri: I should have let him answer.
Lee: He’s going to put this medieval-looking device along my spinal cord and then screw that into the vertebrae. It’s, it’s like an erector set going up.
Dr. Ghosh: We carry with us a deep respect for our patients. Really that, that comes to getting to know what kind of things are important to them.
Sheri: We’ll be waiting for you. Looking forward to it so that Lee can get back to his life and we can enjoy each other; got a lot of living to do.
Dr. Ghosh: I will be using a minimally invasive retractor system.
Physician Assistant: Minimally invasive retractors are great because we’re able to make two small incisions on either side of the spine.
Scrub Tech: Ready to rock and roll.
Dr. Gosh: That technique has really revolutionized the field because we’re able to remove the compression while leaving the paraspinus muscles untouched. Because we’re preserving the muscle it generally enables us to mobilize the patients much earlier.
This is the corridor through which we’ll place the screws. A pedicle screw will give bone time to heal and link the vertebrae together naturally. We place pedicle screws at L-4, L-5 and S-1.
Volunteer: Phone call for you from the OR.
Sheri: Thank you. OK and when can I expect that to happen? When you know nothing about medicine, you sit here and wonder what’s going on. They’ve been great about calling.
Dr. Ghosh: OK. At this point we are going to remove the retractors and close the incision.
Physician Assistant: You can have the best surgeon. But if you don’t have the underlying kindness and caring for your patient then the patients aren’t going to have a good outcome.
Dr. Ghosh: How are you?
Sheri: I’m fine. How are you?
Dr. Ghosh: I found several reasons for why he was in so much pain. He had a fracture through and through with complete collapse of the disc and that little bone spur. One of those problems alone would cause a tremendous amount of pain. So I was able to fix all of it.
Sheri: So you’re happy.
Dr. Ghosh: The surgery couldn’t have gone any better.
Sheri: Thank you.
Aw, look. Dr. Ghosh is thrilled. He is so excited.
Sheri: This will make you happy, too.
Lee: Oh, that makes me very happy.
Lee: How’s my posture?
Physical Therapist: Actually, very straight, up and down.
Lee: There is no pain. Well, I take that back. There is a little pain.
Physical Therapist: Whatever you can do is good.
Lee: This is pretty cool.
Lee: [Whistling] Where is my little suitcase? Do you have one, babe?
Lee: We’re leaving tomorrow, a little surprise trip for our anniversary.
Sheri: He’s always been full of surprises, a little celebration trip.
Lee: There is no pain, nothing, absolutely nothing. We’ll pack this up.
And I guess, I guess I was in, I was in so much pain that it was in my face. And my son said you look different because the pain is now gone from your face.
And we’re going to be able to head on out of here in the morning. We have also planned Thanksgiving and...
Sheri: ...a Christmas cruise.
Lee: And we hope to spend the next 20 or 30 years doing exactly the same thing.
Joan: My husband would talk to me and say, "You know, Joan, our daughter’s on drugs." And I would say, "No, not Jamie."
You know she may drink a little bit. I heard her being sick upstairs a lot, and my first instinct was she’s got an eating disorder. And he said, "OK, just wait. We’re either going to get a call from the coroner or a call from the police department."
Jamie: The issue about going to an upper middle class high school is there’s a lot of money, there’s a lot of drugs.
Joan: I’ve always been a heavy drinker. I started out when I was about 15.
Jamie: We have the same tolerance. I thought I was so cool, I could drink any guy under the table. When I was 14, I started smoking weed every single day. I was going to college parties.
At 15, I was doing every drug I could get my hands on. I mean I was stealing bottles, handles of vodka after school my freshman year of high school and would drink every day after high school and blow lines and then started dating the big drug dealer of our town thinking that, you know, I was on top of the world. Like I got this under control, I can get all the free drugs I want. He started to deal heroin. I started just smoking it. And then I was injecting it.
Penny Rothschild: The face of addiction now, it’s, it’s not the person you think. These are the children that are growing up in our suburbs…parents are professionals in the community.
Joan: When the cops brought her home and made her take off her jacket and show me her track marks I just about fainted.
Jamie: You know if you don’t get your daughter help, she’s only 17, she’s going to die.
Group Member: I have seven days.
Group Member: And I’m on my eighth day.
Group Member: Seven days.
Penny: The detoxification period varies depending on the substance used, length of time the patient’s been using.
Group Member: This is my 17th day clean.
Jamie: I have a week clean today and my drug of choice was heroin.
Penny: Joan came here first. And in her coming was very instrumental in her daughter coming to our program.
Joan: I was slightly inebriated all of the time. When my kids would come and show me their report cards, you know, verbally I’d say great, good job and inside I’m just thinking how many beers do I have in the refrigerator.
Penny: You’re not your disease and you’re not the young lady that walked in here all scared. Jamie stayed here eight days. Completed her detoxification. She’s off to her 30-day residential treatment program. I’m so proud of her.
Jamie: I like this one.
Penny: This is the rock. Jamie and all our patients will leave with this stone, a reminder of the work that she’s completed here. And we’ll pass this around. Put some love and encouragement in it.
Jamie, this is for you. Put your wings on and, and go see the world. What happens here is they find people that are like them, that understand them.
Group Member: You and I, we’re both young and we both got into the same bad stuff for the same bad reasons and I’m just happy that we’re both right on our steps to get out.
Penny: The biggest thing is to find somebody that believes in you. That’s the biggest hope that an addict can grab onto.
Group Member: It’s been my pleasure to have you here. We are like at step zero like getting the stuff out of our body. But I really hope that you can do this.
Jamie: I know I can.
Group Member: When I first saw you, you were gray and putrid-looking. Now look at you. Your laughter, your smile…
Penny: It’s about changing what I say to myself, what I hear in the quiet of my mind and then how I process that into my beliefs.
Jamie: This is the longest I’ve been sober and been, have clear thoughts since thirteen, fourteen years old. With my mom as well, she came here and I saw her so happy here and just thriving and I wanted that so badly.
We’re both sober at the same time, it’s neat, it’s never really been like this so it’s going to be a new experience for us and I think it’s going to be a good one.
Joan: Don’t be afraid to be a parent. Don’t be their friend. They have plenty of friends.
Penny: It is this cherished stone, this rock, I render in my hand to remind me I no longer live. Fill them up with hope, empowerment and peace so they can start to hear the quietness in their soul. I will remember when I turn, and turn again, this most precious stone.
Jamie: Oh, thank you.
Penny: The old theory used to be tough love. It sounds good, you know, let them hit rock bottom. An addict, in their disease, bottom is death. This is better than tough love.
Bree's Dad: With three brothers and me, we don’t give up a lot of sympathy.
Bree: I was screaming. I just can’t even explain the pain.
Friend: She texted me and said that “I’m going into the hospital right now.”
Bree: They did a whole bunch of X-rays and all sorts of stuff and it ended up being a kidney failing.
Bree's Dad: Then when she was in the emergency room I had worked all day and I came up and then that’s when Shane said, “Dad, her kidney’s messed up.”
Dr. Julian Anthony, Urologist: This has been a problem that Bree has had her entire life. Bree’s problem is right here where the ureter joins into the kidney and it’s been getting progressively worse to the point where her kidney function on the affected side is twenty percent. One of the options that she was originally given was to just remove the kidney.
Bree's Dad: And when we went and met with Dr. Anthony he’s the one who said it would be better just to go ahead and try to repair it.
Friend: I love you. Yeah, me too, I’ll be there tonight.
Friend: I love you.
Bree: I love you, too.
Dr. Anthony: Bree is coming to us today so that we can robotically repair her kidney.
Bree: I’m always in pain. Hopefully the surgery will make it go away.
Bree: Says: “Surgery day … I’m super nervous and freaking myself out. Hopefully today goes by fast.”
Nurse: And they’re going to do a right robotic-assisted laparoscopic dismembered pyloplasty.
Dr. Anthony: We’re going to go in and we’re gonna disconnect your kidney where it’s blocked and reconnect it and put everything back together OK.
Bree: I just want to have it done and just trust the people that are doing it and then come out and be better.
Nurse: She’ll be okay. We’ll take good care of you. OK?
Colleen: We’re more than just a lab coat with a name, or scrubs with a badge. We’re people, too, who understand that you’re afraid, who understand that this is a unique moment in your life and that we’re going to get through this together.
Smitty: We’re gonna take really good care of you. Try to relax, nice pleasant thoughts.
Dr. Anthony: We have the, we have the kidney here. So when I look in I have a 3-D picture. The wrist movements move the entire instrument. The finger movements open and close the instruments.
This is the ureter here. And then this crossing vessel is what’s caused her obstruction. So we’re going to disconnect the ureter and reattach it. Without the robot, the incision she would have had would probably be about here as opposed to the eight millimeter port site scars. So we’re spatulating it now. We’re opening up the ureter to sew it back.
Robotically her post-operative advantages are she’s gonna have less pain. My expectation would be that she’s gonna be leaving the hospital probably on day one, day two, feeling back to normal somewhere around the two week mark.
So everything’s put back together. She’s no longer obstructed. She’s no longer blocked. Thank you everyone.
Dr. Anthony: Bree recently came in, she’s doing great. She has no pain. She was texting. [laugh]
Karyn: I was looking at his little outfit I have in the bag that he was supposed to wear home and I’m just, you know, hoping that he gets to.
He was still breeched. And they ordered the C-section. I was really scared.
Dr. Sean Daneshmand, OBGYN: A C-section is hard on a body. A woman bleeds a liter of blood.
And she’s being wheeled to the recovery room. The only thing on her mind is “How is my baby doing?” They’re not concerned about themselves. They really aren’t. “How quickly can I get to see my baby? How quickly can I breastfeed?” That’s all that is on their mind.
Nurse: [off camera] Hi.
Mia, Karyn's Daughter: I found out she was going to have a C-section. The baby’s going to be born, yada, yada, yada.
Karyn: And the minute he came out he was, he was mine. I got to feel him and kiss him and you could already kind of see little bits of his personality.
Mia: Sadly, from what I hear his lungs were not as developed as my parents would want them to be.
Dr. Wight: Immaturity of the lungs, respiratory distress syndrome, when you and I breathe our chest goes out. With premature babies their chest caves in because their lungs are stiffer than their chest wall.
Karyn: And then they came and said that they were going to have to take him to NICU.
Karyn: I didn’t sleep last night ‘cause I kept kind of waking up panicky like I felt I should know where he was, or feel him or something and he wasn’t there.
Karyn: Can I touch him?
NICU Nurse: When mom is touching baby their heart rates will slow, their blood pressures will lower, all of their vital signs will improve.
Karyn: I just kind of talk to him like I would any of my other kids. I just tell him that he’s doing a great job and trying to encourage him and tell him to slow down his breathing and that I love him and that we’re here. I want to bring him home.
NICU Nurse: He’s got things attached to him everywhere an umbilical arterial catheter, pulsoximeter, C-PAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure to help keep the lungs inflated.
Mia: The names they’re gonna pick out, Bailey, a dog name, Archer and Donovan. I like Donovan.
Karyn: We just now decided that it’s Archer Donovan. It’s texted out. It’s on Facebook. It’s official.
Mia: Why’d you name him Archer?
Karyn: Because that’s what we liked.
Dr. Wight: We truly are an intensive care unit for the very small, the very sick babies.
Nurse: Shall we wrap you up?
Dr. Wight: Archer had to have a breathing tube placed and get two doses of surfactin, the chemical which helps keep your lungs open. He did need the support of a ventilator.
He needed good nutrition through IV fluids. He needed someone to help mom make sure that her milk supply came in. He needed medications to help prevent infection. If there wasn't a NICU, he wouldn’t have survived.
Karyn: Say “Hi, Daddy.” Say “We’re going home.”
And he’s healthy and his color’s great and his lungs are all clear. He’s just, he’s wonderful. Coming home first time. I couldn’t be happier having him home and I just I feel blessed to have my family back together.
Karyn: Oh, he’s smiling again. He loves being on daddy.
Colleen: This is life. This is changing people’s lives. Every baby, every healing, every surgery, we take pride in every single one.
Lester: [singing] When the night has come...
Sheri: Santa Catalina. What’re you doing, babe?
Lee: Enjoying the sights, and thinking about our next trip.
Courtney: Switch it, ladies, Aubrey’s open. C’mon, Haley. Good ball.
Lester: [singing] No, I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid....
Sports Announcer: Metro State Roadrunners, one. Winona State, zero.
Lester: [singing] Just as long as you stand by me.
Colleen: And really there’s one overwhelming word in all of it. And that is love. Not only loving what you do, but loving who you’re doing it for, who you’re doing it with. There’s just a spirit of caring and kindness and that’s really what we’re all about.
Karyn: I want to know what he’s dreaming about.
Announcer: The Sharp Experience begins when you choose a physician affiliated with Sharp Health Care.