Photo of Dr. Stefan Eberspaecher with a patient 2 months post-surgery performed by Dr. Jose Valdez (right)

Changing Lives in Botswana: A Patient Story

It’s the individual patient experiences that tell the story of why World Spine Care’s work in the field is so important. Here is a short story from past Clinical Coordinator in Botswana, Dr. Stefan Eberspaecher.

Past Clinical Coordinator, Dr. Stefan Eberspaecher (left) with surgeon Dr. José Valdez (right). Their patient (middle) presented to the World Spine Care clinic in a wheelchair. He is now able to walk after receiving care from both doctors.

The patient pictured (above middle), came into the clinic in a wheelchair. He was paraplegic at the time and could not support himself in the seated position. He had progressively worsening pain over a period of two years.

Dr. Stefan Eberspaecher diagnosed him with upper thoracic myelopathy, though at the time the cause was unclear. Dr. Eberspaecher immediately referred the patient to Dr. Jose Valdez, a neurosurgeon (pictured far right). Dr. Valdez found an upper thoracic schwannoma, which he removed surgically. 

This picture was taken two months after the surgery. Our patient was walking with the assistance of crutches. In about a year will most likely make a complete recovery and be walking without any assistance.  

The patient was extremely grateful to both Dr. Valdez and Dr. Eberspaecher. To show his appreciation, he brought hand-written cards for both of them.

This is why the work we do is so important. This is how we are changing lives in Botswana – and everywhere that the World Spine Care program is operating.  

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