On June 18, Rosemary Pagano fell in her home around 2:30 in the afternoon. She found herself unable to get up, so like many people who live alone, she had to wait until someone came over to find her. Luckily, she had scheduled a grocery delivery later that day, and didn't have to wait long.
"It was very scary, because even though I didn't hit my head, somehow I wasn't able to stand," Rosemary remembers. She was eventually admitted to an area hospital and then transferred to a skilled nursing facility. She had numerous tests and treatments from doctors, and was still unable to stand. "I cried my eyes out for a month there."
"When I was finally able to open my hand enough to dial the phone, I called the neurosurgeon who had previously operated on my back, but he had apparently moved away. So I was referred to Dr. Main. He literally saved my life." When Ocala Health neurosurgeon Dr. John Main saw the images from Rosemary's latest MRI, he was stunned that doctors hadn't taken action yet. "He told me that I needed to have emergency surgery on my neck or I may never get out of bed again." Apparently the spacing between vertebrae in Rosemary's neck had been virtually eliminated by the fall, and bone was rubbing against bone. Rosemary was moved immediately to Ocala Regional Medical Center and the next morning, Dr. Main fused vertebrae #3-7 on Rosemary's neck. "If it wasn't for Dr. Main I wouldn't be where I am. He's a really good guy and has such a great bedside manner. He really made me feel good," Rosemary says.
After her surgery, Rosemary was transferred to Avante at Ocala rehab facility where she participated in physical and occupational therapy. "The first step I took we all cried for joy. I walked 80 feet, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it felt like miles." Rosemary was able to go home after two months in rehab, and is now back to doing most things on her own. She still walks with a walker, but can manage the steps up to her front door and inside her home. "I know recovery takes a while and I'm just trying to go slow and take care of myself while I get stronger," she says. "I'm so grateful to Dr. Main for giving me my life back."