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  • Inflation Elation

    Edition: East Volusia County, Lake Mary/Sanford, St. Augustine, Published: Winter 2022

    Balloon procedure alleviates agony of spinal compression fracture.

    Since undergoing balloon kyphoplasty for a vertebral compression fracture, Leslie can stand and walk without pain. Leslie Bakkila prepared for her teaching career by earning dual master’s degrees in reading and curriculum development. Using her education as a foundation, she went on to teach mostly second and fourth grade for 40 enjoyable years. “I absolutely loved the children. I connected with them and understood what they needed,” states Leslie, 71. “I recognized when the students were tired of listening and manipulated the curriculum a little to better meet their needs. “It’s important to catch any difficulties the children may have while they’re in se...

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  • Eye Floaters Following Cataract Surgery?

    Edition: Lee County, West Pasco County, Published: Winter 2022

    Visit the experts who have performed 20,000 laser sessions …

    and counting. With cataract surgery being performed at the earliest stages of vision impairment in people over the age of 55, the appearance of a huge eye floater that blocks a person’s vision, even intermittently, can be a big step backward. “About 50 percent of the patients we see come to us complaining of disabling eye floaters following successful cataract surgery,” says board-certified ophthalmologist Scott L. Geller, MD, founder of the South Florida Eye Clinic and a pioneer in the field of treating these pesky floaters. “Eye floaters can range from being merely annoying to being severely disabling. They can be especially hazardous to someone who is drivi...

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  • Wait And See

    Edition: East Volusia County, Published: Spring 2022

    Eye injections halt progression of macular degeneration, prevent vision loss.

    The city of Meadville is nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful French Creek Valley, about 90 miles north of Pittsburgh. As a longtime journalist for the daily Meadville Tribune, Connie* knows the community well.  “Meadville is a small city of about 13,000 residents,” Connie reports. “It was founded in 1788 as the first permanent settlement in northwestern Pennsylvania, and it serves as the county seat for Crawford County. It has an excellent public school system and is home to Allegheny College, one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.  “Meadville has many parks, trails and gardens to explore. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy nat...

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  • Stick It To Arthritis

    Edition: East Volusia County, Published: Spring 2022

    Alleviate the agony without surgery through stem cell injections.

    Between her two stints as a nurse – first as an LPN and later as an RN – Betty Calcagno devoted so much time to raising her children that there was seldom time left for herself. Betty Calcagno Of course, she has no regrets. “When you’re raising four kids, your kids are your hobby,” Betty explains. “I remember heading off to bed early one night and one of them asking me, Why? I said, Because I have to get up early and feed all of you.” Even Betty’s decision to become a registered nurse was made largely with her children in mind. “We wanted our kids to have the best education possible, so we sent them to Catholic school,” she says. “Then we decided t...

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  • Building Bridge Support

    Edition: East Volusia County, Lake Mary/Sanford, Published: Winter 2022

    “I always liked my smile, and now I’ll have it forever.” – Noah

    A dental splint secures shifting front teeth and saves a smile.

    Noah Bigman sought an occupation that would facilitate giving back to his community. He considered several professions and ultimately settled on a career in the medical field. “I served as a registered nurse, primarily in the hospital setting, for 10 years,” shares Noah, 40. “I recently decided to further my career, so I went back to school to become a nurse practitioner. To do that, you need to get a master’s degree in nursing. While going to school, I worked at a home health agency in Volusia.” Once Noah received his advanced degree and completed the required clinical experience, he b...

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  • A Muscle-Sparing Approach

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Winter 2022

    Anterior hip replacement procedure results in rapid recovery.

    After a relatively mild Michigan December in which high temperatures hovered in the upper 30s, the mercury dipped and snow fell the first week of 2022. That’s not out of the ordinary for Lansing, which is why Carol Bird and her husband recently tossed their cold-weather gear and made the permanent move from Michigan’s state capital to Florida. Following hip replacement surgery, Carol is walking pain-free and enjoying the Florida lifestyle. “We vacationed down here for 30-plus years, then did the snowbird thing for a couple of years before finding a permanent place in August,” Carol details. “We downsized quite a bit in making the move, which was pr...

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  • Weep No More

    Edition: Charlotte County, Published: Spring 2022

    Laser techniques seal leaking leg veins and heal venous ulcers.

    Raymond Lydale Campbell served in the Army from 1968 to 1970. Instead of deployment to Vietnam, however, he was pegged for a special project. “I was on order for Vietnam, but the general pulled me off for what he called a critical MOS (military occupation specialty), a crucial job assignment,” elaborates Raymond, 73. “I was sent to a missile silo, where I worked on anti-ballistic missiles and similar projects. The work was very interesting. I got a chance to see many things.” The weeping ulcers on Raymond’s right leg are now healed.   After Raymond was discharged, he became an engineer with AT&T in Fort Myers. He retired in 2002 after 30 ye...

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  • Hip To Be Spared

    Edition: South Tampa, Published: Spring 2022

    Protocol limits muscle cuts, shortens postop stay after joint replacement.

    When rapid advancements in television technology turned those old, bulky vacuum tube sets into museum pieces a decade or so ago, Myron Johnson was forced into a challenge that dates to the stone age. Evolve or get left behind. “I wish I could have had the procedure done 10 years ago because it’s given me a whole new outlook on life.” – Myron “For 20 years, I was a TV repairman,” Myron explains. “I had my own little shop where I repaired TVs and VCRs. Then flat screens came out, and pretty soon people didn’t have much use for those old tube TVs anymore, so my business dried up. “It was right about then, though, that I met a guy who had a...

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  • To Have, To Hold And To Hear

    Edition: West Pasco County, Published: Spring 2022

    Devoted couple’s impairment corrected with state-of-the-art digital hearing aids.

    At ages 89 and 95, respectively, Eileen and Louis Garavente are preparing to celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary this spring. Mutual respect, appreciation and tolerance are their keys to a lengthy union, Eileen reveals. “The secret to a good, long marriage is three phrases: please, thank you and I’m sorry,” Eileen elaborates. “Those phrases absolutely apply in our marriage. Louis is also my best friend. He always has been.”  While the best friends hail from the same general area of Brooklyn, New York, they didn’t find each other until they were older and attended the same college.  “We didn’t know it at the time, but we lived ...

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  • Tackled for a Loss

    Edition: North/Central Pinellas County, Published: Spring 2022

    Decompression therapy sacks football official’s agonizing back pain.

    Troy Riley is a natural athlete. At age 8, he began playing, and succeeding, at multiple sports, including football, basketball and baseball. When he got older, he concentrated his energies on football. Ultimately, he excelled on the field for his high school and the University of Alabama-Birmingham.  Spinal decompression enabled Troy to officiate the 2021 college football season virtually pain free. “In high school, I was a quarterback and wide receiver,” Troy says. “In college, I played a little quarterback but mostly tight end. I’m still involved with college football. I’m an official for the Atlantic Coast Conference. I just finished my nin...

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