I had two different surgeries. Surgery #1, I was rear-ended at a dead stop by a driver going 40 mph. Immediately afterwards, my hands felt as though they were being dragged over hot gravel asphalt 24 hours a day. I interviewed neurosurgeons in Seattle, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, then the East Coast, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Out of all those surgeons, only Dr. Jenkins, when asked how long this would take replied “…it will take as long as it takes until I am satisfied I did the very best I could for you…”. It required a fusion of C5-6. Every other surgeon quoted units of surgical room usage. Although he planned on one and a half hours, it took over five because he had to tease nerves off vertebrae and re-attach.
AMAZINGLY….when I came out of recovery, my hands were normal…I was pain-free for the first time in a year. I was at work in 10 days, I resumed Golf in six months, and over five years later, I still have an amazing range of motion, no limitations, and no pain.
Surgery #2. In 2008 due to lower back disc degeneration from prior ski racing accidents, I was losing strength in my legs. I could only go downstairs by leaning on the banister and holding on to the wall. Again I talked to surgeons in the Pacific Northwest, then I consulted Dr. Jenkins. Again, I had just an outstanding outcome. I followed instructions, did physical therapy, bike riding, and swimming. Last year I even went back to my youthful pastime of golf. My other friends with back ailments at the golf club went to the local neurosurgeon, and they, unfortunately, did not have as great an outcome.
Today, as long as I follow instructions I am completely pain-free, have good freedom of movement, can play golf at a very competitive level, walk 36 holes per day and enjoy life, my wife, daughters, and grandkids.
Yes, Seattle has some great doctors. However, after meeting with Dr. Jenkins, it was clear he had something special. It was well worth the flight, the hotel, some extra expenses to have these procedures done right. Generally, you only have one good shot at getting the surgery right. And for certain that was the rule with the ACF procedure on my neck.
My search criteria were:
1.) surgeon had to have impeccable credentials- Jenkins-Check;
2.) Old enough to have performed the operation many times, but not so old so as to treat it as a routine procedure- Jenkins-Check
3.) Steady hands- Jenkins-Check;
4.) Recognized by colleagues/or papers written -Jenkins-Check.
At 10:30 pm (SEA) on an October Saturday night in 2006, I sent Dr. Jenkins an email, as listed on the Mt Sinai website. I briefly described my conditions and asked if he would see me. Ten minutes later, I had his reply, and to call Kim first thing Monday morning. I was on a plane Monday, and in his office on Wed. and surgery eight days later.
Dr. Jenkins has the gift of being able to communicate to people on multiple levels simultaneously. By this, I mean my wife was able to understand the explanation, yet the explanations were detailed enough to satisfy my need to know at a much deeper level.
I can’t say enough about his staff, Sarah and Kim, each of whom contributed greatly to answering my wife’s questions about New York, making hotel arrangements for recovery locally, and coordinating all the insurance coverage. I hate to leave anyone out as they were all great.
Equally outstanding was Dr. Jenkin’s cadre of residents, whom I welcomed. At times, I felt I was the only patient on the floor, someone was always checking on me.
Unfortunately, I was rear-ended again in September 2010 and have been back to see Dr. Jenkins and his colleagues. Through conservative treatment, I am pain-free, biking and playing golf. I just returned from Normandy, France, where I walked six miles a day tracing the footsteps of a 1st Lt who landed on Omaha Beach, fought in the hedgerows, and the battle of the Bulge, my father George Ebert. Being able to walk the beaches, climb hills, crawl through hedgerows, and over fences where my father fought has been the most transformative event in my life. If my surgeries had not been successful, I would not have been able to experience the profoundness of my father’s gallantry. That’s something I haven’t even told Dr. Jenkins, he’ll know soon enough.
In conclusion, I am a CPA, CFP, and run an investment advisory firm with clients all over the USA and in London. I have been able to maintain my 12-16 hour per day schedule without limitation. I am 56 years old and have no intentions of slowing down. I work out every day (that is a must!!), I play golf 1-2 times per week, my handicap is down to 16, and I’m on an airplane at least every other week.
There are few decisions I have made in my life where I have not looked back in the rearview mirror and thought I could have done it a little better. Choosing Dr. Jenkins is one of those decisions I have never felt a need to review.
I would be pleased to talk with anyone that would like to ask me questions about my treatment at Mt Sinai, Dr. Jenkins, or his staff. They were all head and shoulders above anything I had previously experienced.”
Pat Ebert, Bainbridge Island, WA