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Gaude Hughes is Back At It After Spine Surgery at Tanner

There’s something special about being treated with quality care that can make a daunting trip to the hospital a more comfortable, less worrisome experience.

That was the case for Gaude Hughes when she recently had spine surgery at Tanner Ortho and Spine Center in Carrollton.

A few years ago, Hughes, 57, fell and broke a bone in her foot. She learned that she would need to see an orthopedic specialist for treatment and was referred to the Tanner Ortho and Spine Center in Carrollton.

“That was my first experience with Tanner,” said Hughes, who is originally from Indiana and now lives in Douglasville. “I went to a hospital in Austell and they said that I would need to see a specialist for my foot and they referred me to Tanner. When I went in for my appointment, I also asked them about some pain I had been having in my back. They said that they had a specialist who could help me with that, too. At the time, I had to put it off because o f my foot and other things I had going on.”

Two years later, Hughes’ back still ached with nearly unbearable pain. Nervous about what the pain could mean, she decided to return to Tanner to consult with an orthopedic specialist. Hughes was referred to Ki-Hon Lin, MD, a board-certified spine surgeon with Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic and a member of the patient care team at Tanner Ortho and Spine Center, which recently received a Gold Seal of Approval for Spinal Surgery from The Joint Commission.

“Our goal is to raise the level of quality orthopedic care in our community, and that includes offering state-of-the-art care close to home for our patients,” said Dr. Lin. “We’re genuinely committed to our patients and focused on getting them back to doing the things that they love.”

And that means the most for patients like Hughes, who was nearing unbearable pain that was inhibiting her in more ways than one.

“The pain was so bad that I couldn’t sit or walk,” said Hughes. “It hurt when I slept. It was terrible. It got to the point that I had to see someone about it. When I went into Dr. Lin’s office for an exam, he notified me that I had two cracked disks in my back and another one that was almost gone.”

She and Dr. Lin discussed the possible treatment options in his office at the Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic in Carrollton.Gaude Hughes

“I didn’t want to deal with the pain anymore because I had already been dealing with it for two years,” said Hughes. “So I opted to have a surgical procedure to treat it.”

Hughes has had surgery before at other hospitals and knew a little of what she should expect this time around, but she was still nervous, mostly because she’d never had a spinal surgery before and this would be her first surgical experience at a new hospital.

But her mind — and body — were put at ease as soon as she walked through the hospital’s front doors.

“At first, I was very nervous because this procedure was dealing with my spine, but how well I was treated when I was at Dr. Lin’s office and when I came in the day of my procedure made me feel comfortable,” said Hughes. “Everyone was so caring. I’ve had other surgeries in my lifetime, but I’ve never had people who were so kind, professional and knowledgeable. That helped me feel at ease about everything. Even the class that I went to before my surgery — where they explained what was happening — was informative. Of course, this surgery was more intense than any surgery I’ve ever had, but I went into it feeling comfortable and confident.”

Hughes said her entire experience at Tanner was like that, and even after the surgery was done, she continued to receive outstanding care.

“After the surgery, I woke up and was pain free and it felt like the Lord had just been blessing me the whole time,” said Hughes. “Everyone there was just so kind and caring and concerned with my care. My doctors and nurses made sure that I knew what I needed to know for my aftercare. Home health was wonderful. I was even glad about the anesthesiologist I had because I had always experienced pain and sickness from anesthesia; I explained that was one of my concerns. I didn’t have any nausea or any sickness this time. All that helped so much with my healing.”

That attention and level of care, she explained, is what made her experience at Tanner superior.

“The whole experience was great,” said Hughes. “From the time I walked through the door to the time I left, I was treated with care and respect. I had never experienced that at a hospital, even the way they took care of my family members and spoke with them to keep them informed and asked if there was anything that they needed. I pray that I don’t have to have any other surgery, but if I did I would definitely go through Tanner again.”

Her experience wasn’t unique, either: Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton recently received Healthgrades’ Patient Experience Award for 2018 for achieving superior reviews from patients treated at the facility.

The care Hughes received at Tanner made all the difference to her, and it definitely made a lasting impression.

“I just want to say thank you to each and every person who cared for me.” said Hughes. “I know that every person is going to be different and have different needs, but everyone just went above and beyond for me. I believe that if you’re treated badly you’re going to feel bad, but I felt good and was treated well and that really gave me inspiration to feel good. It helped my process to heal, and it helped me mentally and physically as well. I felt confident with my health in their hands and that they were looking out for me.”

Learn more about the award-winning orthopedic care patients experience at Tanner Ortho and Spine Center.