You may wonder how we collect our patient stories, and the answer is quite simple. We receive a great many thank-you letters. Read them and you’ll note that more often than not, patients obtained initial diagnoses elsewhere. After consulting with friends and neighbors, they called us.
We’re glad about that. And judging by their letters, so are they.
Claire Papp, Freehold, NJ — spine surgery
I researched the hospital and physician for 9 months prior to my spinal surgery. I spoke with others who had been patients there. As a nurse, I knew too much, and you know how that can be a stress builder. Through prayer and discernment and an uncanny trust in Dr. O' Leary who I hardly knew, I went through with it. I describe the whole experience, including pre admission testing, as a well-oiled system.
Jeff Dereki, New York, NY — spine surgery
I went to HSS for the second time in seven years to treat a lumbar disc condition.
Laurel Chehayl, Middletown, NJ — spine surgery
When I came to HSS, Dr. Andrew Sama was the third surgeon I had consulted in this geographic area. I am relatively young - just turning 40 next week - but have already had two spinal surgeries. My previous procedures were completed at very competitive Cleveland, Ohio, area hospitals. I always believed that to have an excellent surgeon, one must accept cursory or second-rate hospital care. HSS has absolutely taught me that this is not the case. From the moment I became Dr. Sama's patient, my life took a turn for the better. I became a patient of an entire body of caregivers, educators, and professionals. I felt heard, supported, and informed before, during, and after my spinal fusion surgery in April 2010. The people working in pain management, physical therapy, and nursing gave me the highest quality of care I could have imagined. Even the nutritionist took the time to listen to my (many!) questions and helped me best move forward after the surgery. I am forever grateful to Dr. Sama and everyone who continues to work with me at HSS.
Howard Viuker, Guttenberg, NJ — spine surgery
After several consultations with specialty surgeons it was determined that the only solution to relieve my excruciating lower back pain was surgery. I spoke with fellow Ceramic Artists who had suffered from similar back problems and the unanimous, overwhelming recommendation was Hospital for Special Surgery. I researched their facilities and Dr. Matthew Cunningham's qualifications, which I was impressed with, and it seemed to be right for me. I spoke with Tina Miller, the assistant to Dr. Cunningham, to introduce myself and the reason for my call. Tina was GREAT! She was very knowledgeable, professional and sympathetic to my problem. Tina handled everything efficiently and gave me a wonderful sense of security. I met with Dr. Cunningham, 24 hours later. He reviewed the MRI's with me and discussed my options in a way that I was able to understand. I was confident to make an informed decision. It became clear to me that I made the right choices in both hospital and doctor. In short, my experience at HSS was exceptional. The staff was great and very attentive to my needs. Thanks to Tina Miller, who made it easy to navigate the system, the professional skills of Dr. Cunningham and everyone I came in contact with at the hospital, they made my experience during a very traumatic time very memorable in the most positive way. My recovery went better than I expected and I am back to throwing pots. No pain!
William Hickey, Elmhurst, NY — spine surgery
I had spine surgery on Feb. 3 of this year. My doctor was Patrick O'Leary.
Nancy Silberman, Farmingdale, NJ — spinal fusion
I had a two level spinal fusion on L4L5 and L5S1 in September of 2010. While I am still on the mend, I am glad I selected Dr. Frank P. Cammisa out of the five doctors I saw elsewhere.
Marielaina Gless, Massapequa, NY — spinal fusion
On 9/16/10 I arrived to have a discectomy and 2 level fusion in my cervical spine with Dr. Charles B. Goodwin. The entire process from the time I arrived was quite impressive. HSS is run like a well-oiled machine and you almost feel like you are checking into a hotel. The atmosphere that is also offered to your family members is quite comfortable and accommodating. The pre-op was incredible. One person specifically dedicated to the IV, another person for dressing, and so forth. The anesthesiologist came in and was quite thorough and addressed the pre- and post-op pain meds quite well. Then Dr. Goodwin came in and we went down to the OR. After the surgery, I stayed in the PACU till 3pm the next day. Anytime I rang the bell, 3 nurses came running.