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  • Retinal Detachment

    Edition: East Volusia County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Early diagnosis key to avoiding vision loss.

    Heather (left) had a great experience withDr. Kumar and the staff at Florida Retina Institute. Heather Thompson is a busy, stay-at-home mom to three daughters, ages 14, 13 and 9. She volunteers at their schools and enjoys being active with them, whether it’s paddle boarding, bicycling, swimming or just hanging out at the beach. “We decided that when we had kids that I was going to stay home and take care of them and focus on them,” the 43-year-old Port Orange native says. “I also love to work out. Any kind of physical activity is fun for me. But I get my downtime, too.” Heather’s busy schedule gives her a lot to keep up with. It also gives her a lot to keep an eye on. U...

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  • New-Age Treatment Option

    Edition: East Volusia County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Medical marijuana erases pain, anxiety and depression.

    The combat action badge that Maria* earned while serving a six-month stint as a US Marine Corps combat medic in Iraq in 2013 is stashed away inside a small cedar box that rests on the top shelf of a guest room closet in her parents’ home. “That badge is something I’m very proud of, something I’ll show my children one day, but it’s best kept out of the way for now,” Maria explains. “As you can probably guess, it brings back a lot of memories that I’ve been trying hard to forget.” Among the memories Maria has struggled to shake is the one she has of a vehicle accident during which she suffered a disabling back injury. For years, the pain stemming from the inj...

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  • The Future Is Now

    Edition: East Volusia County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Stem cell therapy repairs damaged, arthritic joints.

    JoAnne is looking forward to hernext vacation. Internet dating sites weren’t in vogue yet when JoAnne Gee and her husband first found each other while surfing the World Wide Web some 25 years ago. That initial connection led to a first date in Chicago, and love blossomed soon thereafter. “I was living in Wisconsin at the time, and he was a sportscaster working for a radio station in Atlanta,” JoAnne remembers. “He had to fly to Chicago for a Cubs game one weekend, and that’s where we first met up.” After marrying and moving to Florida, JoAnne’s husband took a job with another radio station while JoAnne worked for a few years herself before devoting her time to ca...

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  • Sleep Tight

    Edition: East Volusia County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Mouth appliance brings sweet dreams to those with sleep apnea.

    For Tom*, life was an endless latte. He drank coffee after he woke up each morning; he drank coffee while he worked; and he drank coffee while he dabbled in his art. Tom drank coffee so much that he even had a fancy coffee machine to make sure the caffeine never stopped flowing. “I used to drink coffee all day long to keep going,” says Tom, an IT specialist and artist. “I had a very expensive coffee machine like the ones that do espresso.” A busy husband and father of two daughters, Tom had good reason to always keep a cup of joe within reach. He had headaches every morning and felt sluggish much of the day, symptoms that eventually led to him being ...

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  • Nothing Lost, Plenty Gained

    Edition: East Volusia County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Technological benefits retained through instrument power upgrade.

    Bruce has devoted most of his life to serving his country. To this day, 80-year-old Bruce Card still worries that he may not have done enough to serve his country. This despite the fact that he did stints in the US Air Force, the US Army Reserve and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. “I really wish I could have done more, especially when I was in the Air Force,” says Bruce, who served four years in that branch, from 1958-62, as a member of its security force. “I sometimes feel a little guilty that maybe I didn’t do enough.” Bruce has no reason to feel guilty. He immediately followed up his four years in the Air Force with a brief, two-year tour of duty in...

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  • Hope for a Healthier Life

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Treatment helps restaurant owner manage chronic neck issues.

    Physical therapy is helping Nathaniel manage his restaurant, D.B. Pickles. Nathaniel James was living the dream. Literally. One minute, he lay dreaming in bed, playing the hero and diving to save his wife, Clora, from peril. The next, he lay face down on the floor, unable to move. “I was having a dream that I was saving my wife, and I dived out of bed and came down on the hardwood floor and broke my neck,” says the retired New Jersey banker and co-owner of D.B. Pickles restaurant in Ormond Beach. Life for Nathaniel became a nightmare after that incident in 2010. He was left 90 percent paralyzed by the fall from bed and for years was confined to a wheelchai...

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  • A Deeper Dive

    Edition: West Volusia County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Biomedical adhesive safely corrects varicose vein.

    A large, white-framed photo of a school of canary-yellow butterfly fish swimming past a kaleidoscope of royal-blue, rhubarb-red and lilac-colored coral decorates one of the walls in the small den of Matthew’s* Longwood home. The photo is one of Matthew’s prize possessions, and well it should be. He took it himself, after all, during what he considers to be the greatest adventure of his life – a dive three years back into the Coral Sea, the site of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. “The trip was a gift I got from my wife and kids for my sixtieth birthday,” says Matthew, a longtime scuba diving enthusiast who had a visit to the Great Barrier Reef on his bucket list for more tha...

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  • Periodontal Do-Over

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Minimally invasive laser treatment resolves periodontal disease.

    Of all the positions she filled during her long career in the health care industry, the one that 69-year-old Pam Bicking found to be the most rewarding was the position she held while working for a nonprofit organization called Healthy Start. Pam Bicking “Healthy Start is a program that helps women with their pregnancies,” Pam explains. “It especially helps women who are on Medicaid, and what we try to do is improve pregnancy outcomes. I was what they call a Mom Care Advisor. “I loved the job because it made me feel like a mom myself. A lot of the women I dealt with were younger, had never been through a pregnancy and didn’t know which way was up. I helped the...

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  • Burning Bridges

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Sealing leaky connector veins resolves leg ulcers.

    An article in a sailboat magazine describing Punta Gorda as a thriving community and a great place to live prompted George Jackson, 71, to make a life-changing, spur-of-the-moment decision. The semi-retired real estate broker packed up his belongings, shipped his boat south and relocated from his Westchester, Pennsylvania home to Florida. Friends have noticed the vast improvement in George’s left leg. “The weekend after Thanksgiving in 1986, we pulled the boat from the Chesapeake, where we kept it, and hired a trucking company to haul it to Punta Gorda,” George recalls. “Then I thought, If I move the boat down there, I better go down and buy a house. I flew to Florida, bo...

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  • Armed for Relief

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Winter 2020 2020

    Nonsurgical therapy relieves back and neck pain, restores flexibility.

    Alabama native William Kennedy has dedicated his life to his country through service to the United States Army, first as a soldier from 1969-70, then as an engineer at Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Alabama. In all, William put in 34 years as an Army civil servant, but is retired now. William Kennedy “I maintain a residence in Alabama, but I’m currently living in Florida while I take care of my mother, who is seriously ill. I’ll stay down here for as long as my mom needs me, then I’ll return to Alabama.” Earlier this year, while tending to his mother, William began experiencing intense pain in his lower back that ran down into his legs. William doesn’t...

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