Thursday, February 9, 2012, after eleven weeks of being confined to a halo, the Warrior Princess emerged free of all titanium adornment! Witnesses reported watching her glowing visage float through the hospital corridor following the procedure. This chain of events was set in motion the proceeding day at a routine doctor’s appointment.
Becky AKA Warrior Princess arrived at Austin Brain and Spine unsure what to expect. The doctor’s excitement upon viewing Becky’s x-rays was contagious; the bone growth over a four week period was phenomenal, best scans since the accident. The doctor unabashedly declared the halo would come off the following week. Becky tried to hide her disappointment, she’d hoped for sooner. Sensing Becky’s reservation, the doctor questioned her, checked the front pin sites and reversed her ruling; the halo would come off the next day!
The eager patient checked in at the hospital day surgery unit 1.5 hours ahead of the scheduled procedure time. She waited patiently to hear her name called. Finally a halo technician arrived to escort her to radiology. Before beginning, he graciously explained each step of the removal technique. One of his statements, “if the x-rays don’t look good, we will have to put the support brackets back on” scared her. This was worst case scenario, and she didn’t even want to consider the possibility. As he momentarily stepped away, tears pricked her eyes as she fought for composure.
Breathing deeply, she focused on neck muscles underutilized for the past three months. Concentrating on those muscles as each bracket came off, she held her neck steady. With the supports gone but the halo still attached to her forehead, the neck quivered subtly. Two x-rays later, the doctor granted approval for the removal to continue. Here was the tricky part, surgical steel taps were secured to Becky’s skull in four places. Becky felt each turn as the pins were unscrewed. Tears streamed down her face, but she endured quietly. With the head piece disconnected, the chest and back pieces were easily dislodged and discarded.
Becky’s chest easily and fully expanded for the first time in three months. She had not realized the true weight of what she carried. Fitted with a light c-collar for additional neck support Becky left the hospital marveling at God’s divine intervention and rejoicing at her miraculous recovery.