I am a patient of Dr. Paul Francel's. It was a long, difficult journey like climbing a mountain to get there though. I learned along the way, however, there is nothing too hard to accomplish with God's help.
Luckily, my problem was not life threatening, but still very painful. For three years I had terrible pain in my lower back and left hip and, burning in my feet, as well and tingling in my toes and feet.
I had been to many doctors--good doctors--just no doctors that would listen or who were capable of helping.
Finally, I begged God for help to ease my pain. I prayed for him to lead me where I needed to go for help. In December 2005 he lead me to a pain management specialist. After many injections and tests for a year, he said I needed to have both my hip and back repaired surgically.
I had hip surgery that was very painful. But sadly, my back still wasn't better. The doctor thought it would be, but it wasn't. It did help my hip though. My insurance was running out in two months for my back problem. I had to find help soon.
While I was on my way to receive physical therapy for my hip, I saw Dr. Francel's old office. Something drew me to his name. I went on the computer to see if he was in my insurance network as he had changed locations. By the grace of God, he was. I wrote down all the neurosurgeons that were and I knew none of them or anything about them. I ran his name by my other doctors and they didn't know him. But but my eyes kept going to his name on the paper. I told my husband, God was telling me to go see Dr. Francel--now! But I had to get a referral to see him. I thought my own doctor in town would never do it, but finally he did. Thank you Jesus!
The day before my birthday on November 7, 2006 I met with Dr. Francel. He had just returned from Texas to be one of the first 100 doctors in the nation to place the ProDisc-L in patients that fit the criteria. I did. It had just been approved for him to use 2 days before my appointment. What a birthday present! The first thing he said to me was, "This is no brainer. Look at this discogram. You need surgery."
I went to his office thinking one of two things would happen. He would help me or laugh me out the door, which pretty much had happened before (the laughing part). Thank goodness he was there to help, just in the nick of time.
My L5S1 disc was gone and he replaced it with a new disc called the ProDisc-L. He was able to do my surgery on November 29 before my insurance ran out. Now I feel so much better.
I know God led me to Dr. Francel. I thank him every day for Dr. Francel's gift of helping people. He is my hero! He seems wonderful. I ask myself, how can one person be that talented? I believe it is by the grace of God, very hard work, and a brave and caring heart.
I will pray for Dr. Francel and doctors like him every day of my life, because I know it is only because of God that they can do what they do.
Elizabeth Woodard, February 1, 2007