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Jun 8, 2021

Triple Laminectomy Gets Patient Back on her Feet

This Mississippi wife and mother is getting stronger every day.

Keitha Thomas, only 42, was quickly losing her independence. In December of 2020, she could no longer stand and walk comfortably. By January 2021 she had to stop driving and needed a wheelchair. By February, she was bedridden and in constant pain. Her spinal cord was severely compressed, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

Keitha, who lives in Pascagoula, MS, visited 12 different doctors all over the mid-south for help before finding Dr. Kevin Foley at Semmes Murphey Clinic.

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“He said the quicker we stopped the progression, the better. He sat down with us, explained that I had spinal compression at three levels and that he could treat it all in one surgery. I remember asking him how long the surgery would take and he said, ‘however long it takes to do it right.’” says Keitha. “We went over all the risks but he told me how we would address them. I like to have all the details when I make a decision.”

On March 8, 2021, Keitha had triple thoracic spinal laminectomy surgery to remove the pressure on her spinal cord. Soon after surgery, she was able to sit in a chair and when she arrived home, she was able to walk from the car to the house using a walker. “I still have stiffness from the knees down, but as I continue to heal I hope it will improve,” she says. “I’m much better mentally, and I’m looking forward to starting aqua therapy and from there, physical therapy.”

Keitha is a wife and mother to three children, ages 28, 12, and 7. She is happy to be able to help with household chores such as washing dishes and cooking.