Published by ICSEB at 19 April, 2011
Date of surgery: May 2010
Andorra 10th of April 2011
Hi, my name is Paula Gonçalves Fernández, I am 36 years old. After many years of consulting, thousands of tests of all kinas and without any result, in the month of July 2009, Dr. Miralles from Andorra, after seeing all the tests I was told to have done, he noticed that they hadn´t done any MRI of the brain and column, so he sent me to have one done and I was finally diagnosed with Arnold Chiari.
The doctor sent me straight away to a Hospital in Barcelona where they attended me very nicely and communicated to me that I had to go through a craniotomy, and this is what was done, in the month of August 2009, I went through this surgery and everything went well.
The headaches always remained the same and there was no way of calming the pain. I learned to go swimming on my back because I was told by the Neurosurgeon that this was good to relax the muscles in the neck and back, but still, there were no changes.
In the month of January 2010, my Neurosurgeon told me that he had to block my head with my neck with a titanium plate. This was quite upsetting for my family; and me since this would leave me with a disability for the rest of my life, meaning without being able to move my head upwards, downwards or being able to turn my neck to either sides.
God gave me strength to keep on going and as I looked on the Internet, I found the “Institut Chiari de Barcelona”, therefore, I called right away. They treated me very nicely and so I asked for an appointment and they gave me one a few days later.
The first time I saw Dr. Miguel Royo I felt a sensation of knowing it was him who was going to help. I was feeling this bad since I was 30 years old, meaning 6 years of my life suffering non stop until I even got to weigh 42kg. After the first examination, the doctor guaranteed me that my life could get better, so without doubting it after so much suffering I said yes to him and on the 5th of May 2010, almost a year ago, I went through the surgery of the filum terminale by Dr. Miguel Royo in the Cima clinic of Barcelona.
My case is really difficult to be explained with words, because I am even surprise with myself. I was really bad, I felt so bad that I did not know what was happening to me and no one gave me a solution, I could not walk on my own, I had to hold on my husband and my two children: a 13 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. I had to lean on them because I had a lot of vertigo, I had moments where I felt very cold, my feet became numb as well as my hands, my eyes looked like butterflies that couldn´t stay still, I could not drive, however I had my driver´s license since 14 years ago.
Now thanks to God, to Dr. Royo and his team I can walk on my own, I can cross the street without having problems looking to the sides like I had before the surgery, I can drive my car and drive to work. For me it was like being born again, when I´d lay on my bed or on the couch to rest, I could not watch TV, however, now I can. I actually weigh 55 kg, which is my normal weight. I am different, I´m prettier, with more strength to carry on living, happier, before, I was always lifeless, sad, I didn´t even have strength in helping bathe my young son…
I bless the day in which I went to Dr. Royo´s consultation and when I went through the surgery. I entered the clinic Cima on a Monday and on Wednesday afternoon I was already home in Andorra. By the way, the Cima clinic is incredible, they treat you very well. After 4 months I already started to notice a change. I noticed that something was getting better in my life, the first change I noticed was that I could walk straight on the street, I had less vertigo everyday, the Nystagmus kept disappearing every day, I could watch the television better and etc. I thank Dr. Royo for all of this and to his professional team, which apart from being doctors, they are also persons who know how to listen to the patients and try to help them the best west professionally and humanly. A thousand thank you´s to all.
From here I want to encourage all the people who suffer from this disease to go and visit Dr. Royo, to have faith in his hands, that he will help you, not to loose hope that from one day to the other everything can change. I wish strength for all and a lot of luck.
Paula Gonçalves Fernades
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