After seeing two neurosurgeons my primary care physician referred me to Dr. Paul Francel in 2006. After looking at my MRI he told me that with spinal stenosis (a constriction or narrowing) such as I had at that with time, I would eventually not be able to walk. I had severe spinal stenosis of the spinal canal at C6-7. At that time, upon arising I could hardly walk. The condition had gotten progressively worse. I was 80 at the time and in very good health otherwise. I arranged for the surgery in late September of that same year. This was a man that with his credentials so I had no reservations about putting myself in his hands. The surgery was very successful and within 45 days I attended my granddaughter's wedding and reception in November. I was able to shop, cook, and move about with no walker or assistance.
In 2008, I was having severe neck problems. Prior to that time, Dr. Francel had warned me against any rear end collisions. He said it would be devastating. Then I was in one, which was really tragic, and he was right. So I returned to him for help. Again he did surgery by putting a plate in to secure some vertebrae, specifically, a discectomy, anterior, with decompression of spinal cord and/or nerve(s) roots including os.
I can't have anything but praise for him. My family truly loved him as I do now. At the present time I am 83 and still in good health. I am able to drive, grocery shop, cook, and move about with no trouble. I go dancing some. I have a lot of friends and play bridge about once a week, so I stay busy. I am living with my daughter and it is working out well.
May God bless this fine man and wonderful doctor who performed my surgeries for severe spinal stenosis and my neck injury. In my opinion, Dr. Francel is an excellent surgeon and a truly compassionate man. The world needs him and more doctors like him. I'll remember him in my daily prayers.
Pictures above courtesy of David Leon Montgomery.
Left, Cumberland Falls in Kentucky. Right, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina