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Thread: meeting with Carl C. Kao

  1. #71

    from Ecuador

    Greg, a 26 year old man from Cincinnati had surgery Monday by Dr. Kao.
    Tonight, he moved one of his feet, the first time in several
    years...(just TWO days after surgery!!!).

    Much talk among the other patients' families. We are learning a LOT and convinced MORE THAN EVER that this surgery,
    the ONLY one of it's kind (other than the doctors in China), is the answer not only for Ed, but for a great deal
    many others.

    VERY tired, still. Tests and check-ups by many doctors. ALL of home are
    VERY warm, kind and caring and ALL with a smile and a BIG welcome for
    BOTH of us.

    I took more pictures today but am too tired to get them posted. I
    promise in a day or so I will.
    Teddy Lancaster

  2. #72

    Thursday, August 16, 2001 ***Ecuador Report***

    The moment of truth, so to speak, is almost here. Dr. Kao reviewed all
    Ed's x-rays and MRI's yesterday. Today, he had a consultation with us
    which included Dr. Alarcon, the general surgeon, the assistant neuro
    surgeon Dr. Guapa(sp). The news is very good.

    Ed has complained of weakness on his right side, including his jaw, his
    arms, and inability to move his neck from left to right. Dr. Kao had
    asked that Ed have an MRI of his brain with in WV. Ed's brain has
    absolutely no sign of ANY injury. So far the PT people and the
    physiatrist only attempted ultra-sound on Ed's muscles. Dr. Kao has, to
    his and our satisfaction, explained this weakness and loss of mobility.
    He attributes it to the fact that the spinal cord itself is being "held"
    by the compression of the bones from the spine. This kept the spinal
    cord to not have its natural "flexion", hence, the immobility of his
    neck. So, ultra-sound therapy was not going to do any good. Freeing up
    the compression on his spinal cord will. Although Dr. Kao limited his
    "agreement" with Ed to sensation to the knees as well as his regaining
    bowel and bladder function, Dr. Kao is very pleased with the prospects
    for Ed's future possibilities. (I.E. He feels his estimate is very

    We feel very fortunate in having found Dr. Kao, Barbara Devine and this
    facility. I would never see a neurosurgeon anywhere in our experience
    voluntarily wheel a patient from the cafeteria to his room, to assist in
    his transfers, to coordinate his meals, to attend to every detail that
    is normally left to nurses. These people hold their patients hands, ask
    us to express our every concern, go over every step of the procedures in
    detail from the readings of the x-rays and MRIs, to the actual surgery
    and finally through not only the recovery, but to be right at your side
    throughout the therapy during your 2 week stay.

    Ed's spine may or may not need to have pins. The judgment will be made
    after the area is opened up and assessed in detail. I will be allowed
    to film and record the voices of the decisions during this period. His
    spine indeed has a 30 degree bend. Up to 35 degree is considerate
    acceptable and not to hinder him in any way, provided that fusion is
    complete. He was x-rayed in various positions to determine if the spine
    had movement by the break, it did not. This indicates that there is
    probably no need for the pins, but Dr. Kao will reserve judgment upon
    closer inspection during surgery. The addition of the pins will add
    about 2 hours to the surgery, already planned for ten hours.

    Two other patients have already had surgery since our arrival. John,
    the younger one (in his 20's) was a quadriplegic. His had surgery
    Wednesday (yesterday). He s already moving his fingers. Greg, the man
    from Cincinnati who had a gunshot injury to his spinal cord years ago
    (but had no disturbance to his spine), had surgery Monday, he is able to
    voluntarily move each of his legs. He is sitting up in bed and eating
    normally. Both spend 2.5 hours each day in the hyberbaric chamber, as
    will Ed.

    It must be the elevation. Neither Ed nor I feel bad, but we are both
    constantly tired even though we feel we are getting plenty of sleep. We
    were driven to the Equator today. There is a large monument and a small
    village of shops and restaurants surrounding it. I took pictures of the
    avenue of busts of the mostly Spanish and French explorers who, 300
    years ago, marked this spot as the "center of the earth". Of course we
    had pictures taken which I will post later.

    It was a long (1 hour) bumpy drive through Quito which is 30 miles south
    of the Equator from Cumbaya where the clinic is 10 miles east of Quito.
    The mountains remind one of California and the western USA. They are
    Mostly bare, very steep and it is surprisingly VERY windy. I bought a
    great many textile souvenirs at very good prices. ALL hand-made by the
    local "indians". I want to go back next week to buy paintings. The
    regional art is almost impressionistic, much of it very colorful and I
    found it all very pleasing to the eye. Again, all done locally. No
    where did anyone sell anything "made in China". The only influence I
    see of the "outside world" are the additions of modern conveniences
    which have been introduced by American "big business". Shell, Mobil,
    Texaco, Goodyear, Pizza Hut, Ace Hardware, McDonalds, Pfizer.

    As soon as I have some more time (others want to e-mail home) I will put
    photos on the website. PROMISE!!! I have dozens and will send you the
    best. Teddy Lancaster

  3. #73

    Ed's operation in Ecuador

    Ed went into surgery at 7 AM this morning. I watched (and taped and
    photographed) from 10:30 to 12:30 and then from 1:30 TO 4:30 when he was
    closed up.

    I cannot imagine ANY US hospital allowing family in the operating room,
    much less allowing them to peer through the microscope, stand at the
    patients head and watch as well as ask questions. I was indeed
    privileged to be able to do so. Dr. Kao is obviously VERY experienced
    at what he does and does it with ease, but perfectionism. His
    assistants have all been with him for some time so the entire procedure
    was coordinated very well and I feel went very smoothly.

    I saw Ed is recovery 1/2 hour ago. He is obviously traumatized. It was
    a very deep and invasive procedure which included removal of not only
    bone fragments, but of part of the "spine of the spine"...(sorry I am
    not more medically versed) in order to access the spinal cord.

    The spinal cord is thicker than I realized and very well protected
    against just about anything except major accidents like Eds. I first
    saw the actual compressed bone (which is well fused). Dr. Kao opted NOT
    to add pins since this area is already very stable and to insert pins
    and screws would involve further and unwarranted trauma as well as more
    extended recovery.

    I have never seen an actual surgery before, so I have nothing to compare
    with. But I did faint when I had my ears pierced, so I was not
    surprised when I got very dizzy. I left for maybe 15 minutes to lie
    down and decided I had to talk my way into observing as much as I
    could. I was fine from then on, except that standing for so many hours
    did kill my back. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    For those of you who are squeamish, do not look at the photos on the
    website as they show the opened up back and spine, all the way down to
    the spinal cord. Yes, it does look like ribs being readied for

    I have also posted many of the photos of Quito and the Clinic itself.

    Ed will be fine, but his body will be sore for quite awhile. He is on
    pain medication and will be as long as necessary. He will have his
    first 2.5 hours in the hyberbaric chamber at 1 PM tomorrow (Saturday).

    Feel free to e-mail me back with questions. Pass this on to anyone you
    feel is interested. This is indeed an experience to share.

    P.S. Ed's spirits are very good.....he definitely retains his keen wit
    and sense of humor in spite of the surgery.
    Teddy Lancaster

  4. #74
    WSAZ-TV (NBC affiliate, Huntington, WV) is doing an in depth follow-up
    story on Ed. I am gaining TONS of knowledge here to share with others who
    find themselves in Ed's predicament.

    Discovery Channel has already contacted Dr. Kao (while we were in
    surgery today) and said they wanted to do a story, promising Dr. Kao
    more publicity. It was quite a laugh in the OR as that is NOT one of
    Dr. Kao's goals...

    Teddy Lancaster

  5. #75
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Birde, Thank you for your story every day.
    I am very excited in watching your story and Ed's recovery. I belive the God is watching him too.
    Really hope his excellent recovery.
    Thanks again.

  6. #76 ****pictures of Ed's operation at the end of the page click on the next button and the 2cnd set of pictures will pop up. ***pictures of the inside of the clinic

  7. #77
    if dr.kao is going to get so much attention,i wonder if he is planning teaching and showing other docters his procedure?it seems like he is swamped

  8. #78
    overtheline3- I think because of the technology today it would seem that Dr. Kao is busier than ever. Search engines are better, the internet, and now the digital cameras make it possible to spread the word quicker. Dr. Kao taught for several years and has done this for quite some time. The media is getting word thanks to the technology as I said before. We will have to see if Dr. Kao allows them to come to Ecuador.

  9. #79

    Picture of Ed the day after the procedure...hyperbaric chamber too

  10. #80


    are you still going to undergo the procedure? I thought I remember you saying the 24th, but I was not sure? I will not mind at all if you come walking back and say " told you so ". You have definitely done your homework and the updates are appreciated.

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