3-level ProDisc
Bogen, Germany - October 2005



My name is Helen Evangelista. At the time of my surgery, I was 41 with 3 children, self employed but was struggling and was barely able to work. I remember not being able to stand in line to buy a cup of coffee. In my past, I was very active... working out 5 days/week and always on the go. In the years leading up to my surgery, I was in 'survival mode'. The demands of being a wife, mother and trying to keep my business running were too much for me. Mentally, I was exhausted from coping with the daily pain, meds and managing my life. I was done.... life had become more than I could handle.

Fortunately, in early 2003, my local doctor was advising against fusing and had told me to wait for disk replacements - they were coming soon. He had been to Germany and had good things to say about the technology available there. For the next two and a half years, I did everything... PT, traction, meds, swimming, etc...

In early 2005 another doctor told me that I had to slow down and stop smoking. After 28 years as a smoker, I quit smoking and went off all pain meds. Being off pain meds made it clear how bad things really were and I was ready to do anything. I had started researching online and found a clinic in Northern Germany. They reviewed my MRI and scheduled surgery. Fortunately, I discovered GPN and posted on the guestbook. Mark got back to me right away and I told him my story. When he asked me, "how can they schedule surgery based on a 3 year-old MRI", I knew that Mark's input was going to be valuable. By now, we are in the summer of 2005. I got a new MRI and GPN presented my case to multiple

I did not want to live anymore, like I was living. Pain meds, doctor's appointments, physical therapy, filling out paperwork had become my life. I got a new MRI and sent it to Mark. Using GPN was the best decision. He presented my case to multiple surgeons, both in the US and overseas. For

Years of chronic pain.... finally had to do something. Started investigating ADR, but 3-levels were not possible in the US. How did I find mark??? Calling GPN was a very important step. H


I think that the way I did the trip, using only Mark for the first week, then having a friend come for the second week of recovery was perfect. Mark's expert guidance and support was exactly what I needed to get me through the stressful ordeal of approaching surgery and the very difficult first few days post-op.

Now, at 21 months post-op, I'm doing better than ever. While I'm not 100%, I am 90 to 95%. The memory of constant pain and how my life was... I don't even think about it any more. I'm freeer. I don't ever stop to think about what I can and can't do. All of the worries about how I would manage an activity are completely gone.



Arriving in Bogen