Patient Stories

Bobby Lane

Severe Vertebral Calcification Patient Story

“I’m a workaholic. I hadn’t been to a doctor in 12 years,” Bobby Lane said. “And I was all set up to go to Cancun and play some golf.”

Bobby Lane had worked through pain every day for 17 years as a salesman for Toyota. He figures he walked 10 miles a day.

“I started having numbing sensations in my right leg. It got so bad sometimes I couldn’t feel it and I’d fall down,” he said. “I also had a burning sensing in my groin. I figured I probably had a hernia. My wife looked up on the Internet to see how long it takes to recover from hernia surgery because I was still focused on playing golf in Cancun.

“The first doctor told me, ‘Bobby it’s not a hernia.’ I told him I wanted to fix whatever it was right away and he said, “It takes a while to get something like this done.”

“He sent me to an orthopedic surgeon, and I got an x-ray and MRI. When he called back and spoke with my wife – I’m hearing impaired so my wife helps me so I don’t miss anything important. He said he found something in the MRI that was extremely urgent and that if I made the wrong move or twisted the wrong way, I could be paralyzed for life.”

“He sent me to Dr. Denning, who is a specialist in back and spine surgery, and he agreed that I had a serious problem that would require major surgery. He did some additional testing so he could make the most informed decision possible. The dye test confirmed that it was a lot more severe than we thought. He put together a game plan, but said, “Bobby, I can’t guarantee the outcome and I’m about to go out of town on vacation.”

“I said, ‘That’s fine, but let’s get this done. I trust you to do your best because God put me with you and I’ll be here when you get back.’

The surgery took 14 hours.

“It was a complicated process. Dr. Denning told me my 10th and 11th vertebrae had calcified to the point that they could have severed my spinal cord. I had played golf in a fundraiser four weeks earlier – I could have been paralized for life and didn’t even know it.”

“So here I am by the grace of God and Dr. Denning,” Bobby said. “I appreciate every person that helped me. I’m so grateful. The whole thing is mind-boggling.”

“I want to tell you about a life-changing moment I had. After the surgery, I remember waking up in a dark room and it felt like my legs had caught on fire. Now let me tell you, I know what heat feels like. And I know what grabbing something hot and having to let go of it feels like. But my legs got warm and then hotter and hotter until my whole body was in flames. I called out to God. I saw a white light and then my wife’s face, and she said to me, ‘I got you Bobby. Come on. I won’t let go of you.’ And in that moment, my life changed – physically and spiritually. I realized that God had another purpose for me. He’d always been there for me, I just never knew it before.”

“When I shook Dr. Denning’s hand for the first time after surgery, I stood up, looked him in the eye and saw he was at peace. He looked me over, gave me a little smile and said, “That’s good, Bobby, that’s good.”

“Dr. Denning and God allowed me to experience something that was very spiritual and gracefully humbling. I can’t thank him enough. He did a wonderful job. I’m 58 years old and I have a new purpose in life.

“I was at the hospital not long ago getting checked out for a followup. I saw someone who looked worried and I told them, “Don’t be nervous. God put you here and these people will take good care of you. You’ll be just fine.”

“Today, I have no tingling in my legs – they work like they’re supposed to. I don’t fall down. My knees don’t hurt. It’s amazing. I’ve always tried to do things for people. Tried to live the Golden Rule and put others first. I’ve been so blessed in life by my wife, my family and my work family. God is good.”

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