Steve has a passion for nature photography and had enjoyed capturing “mother nature’s artwork” for most of his life. He then began experiencing back pain in 2000, which gradually started taking its toll on his passion.

By the spring of 2015, Steve’s pain symptoms had dramatically increased and was interfering with his quality of life. He was no longer able to pursue his love of photography.

“In nature photography, you’ve got to be able to move around a lot. Some of the best stuff you’ve gotta hike to,” Steve explained. “Because I couldn’t carry my equipment around, I had to give up photography for a long time. After five or 10 minutes of walking, I would have to sit down because the pain got that bad.”

Seeking relief, Steve scheduled a consultation with Dr. John Dickerson. During the first appointment, Dr. Dickerson reviewed Steve’s medical history and diagnostics. Due to the severity of his condition, Steve was scheduled for surgery just 11 days after the consultation.

“I’d never had surgery before,” said Steve. “Dr. Dickerson was very reassuring, very calming. He talked me through the entire procedure. I was immediately put at ease in one of the most nervous and stressful periods in my life.”

In April 2015, Dr. Dickerson performed an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with fusion to treat Steve’s degenerative disc disorder and relieve pressure on Steve’s spine.

“Coming out of surgery was a very unique experience. Dr. Dickerson had told me that a lot of the pain, if not all of it, was going to be gone right after the surgery,” added Steve. “After I came out of the anesthesia, that was the first thing I noticed, that the pain was gone. It was a very emotional moment.”

Steve was also very impressed by the Kansas Spine & Specialty Hospital staff and the overall experience. “I was more than well cared for, I was pampered! All of the staff checking in on me, and seeing to my well-being, it felt like I had this whole big team.”

Steve was released from the hospital the day of his surgery, and was back to work within two weeks.

Today, Steve is also back in action, fulfilling his love of nature photography.

“Since my surgery, I’ve covered almost every square inch in this city with my camera. It’s like they gave me my life back.”