David enjoys an active lifestyle. He stays very busy as engineer manager at Western Industries, a metal and plastics manufacturer, as well as co-owner of Tru Position Automatic, a machine fabrication company that designs and builds electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic controls. During the summer he likes to be outdoors gardening, working in the yard, going on hikes, and woodworking in his garage. Plus, he and his wife, Kaye, enjoy cutting firewood together for their home in Winfield.

About four years ago, these activities David once loved started becoming painful and even dangerous.

“I started experiencing pain in my back and a loss of feeling and cramps in my legs,” said David. “I just didn’t have the strength to do the jobs I needed and wanted to do. I started stumbling and becoming unstable, which is a concern when you’re hiking on uneven ground or have a chainsaw in your hand.”

David has never been one to complain, but in 2014 when his mobility issues worsened, he and Kaye knew it was time to do something. “It was hard to watch him not be able to do the things he loves to do outside,” said Kaye. “I was so glad he went to see our primary care physician, who referred us to Dr. Christian Lothes, and I knew we were on the right path.”

After the recommendation from his primary care physician and doing his own extensive research online, David scheduled a consultation with Dr. Lothes at Abay Neuroscience Center, immediately adjacent to the Kansas Spine & Specialty Hospital.

“Kaye and I were very impressed with Dr. Lothes. During the consultation, he gave us all the time in the world to ask the many questions we had, discuss my symptoms, and talk about what exactly he could do to relieve my symptoms.”

In October 2014, David had a decompressive laminectomy to relieve the pressure several of his vertebrae were causing on the nerves in his spine. Within two short days, David was home and quickly recovering. David said the pain and cramping in his back were gone almost immediately after surgery, and just three short weeks later, he and Kaye were able to travel to his mother’s to surprise her for her 85th birthday.

“I’ve come out of this probably even better than before I started having the symptoms,” said David. “We are so impressed with our experience at Kansas Spine & Specialty Hospital.”

Kaye added, “As the quality assurance manager at the Southcentral Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center, I had never been on the patient’s side of the hospital bed. But Dr. Lothes did a wonderful job of putting my fears aside and I felt comfortable from the very beginning. The pager system the hospital uses was a big help in communicating and staying connected with the staff, and put me at ease throughout the surgery.”

David and Kaye both say they can’t thank Dr. Lothes and the staff enough for the care they provided throughout the entire process, and David is now back as a proud participant in an active, pain-free lifestyle.