Baylor Health Care System Foundation

Patient Stories


Spine Surgery

Not many things can rattle Mike Holley. He’s a large man, he rides a Harley, he manages a ranch, and he works for the government. But back pain brought him to his knees. He says it got to the point where he couldn’t walk; he couldn’t even put on his socks. Mike was suffering from spinal stenosis and a degenerative disc. Unbearable pain had virtually shut down his life.

Mike’s friend, a neurologist, told him about Dr. Callewart. So, he did some research. He discovered that Dr. Callewart’s reputation as a spine surgeon was, as he puts it, “phenomenal.” He went to the doctor knowing he’d be in good hands. But that alone couldn’t calm his nerves. Lumbar surgery is risky. One tiny slip of the knife can leave a patient paralyzed. Mike was anxious, and he couldn’t help feeling that his worries were a sign of weakness. On top of that, he had an unusual fear of being put to sleep.

Dr. Callewart understood that part of his job was to relieve Mike’s fears. He talked to Mike and his wife extensively. He explained everything. Even the anesthesiologist called Mike the night before surgery to help him relax. To this day, Mike says that his successful recovery is due to the genuine care and attention he received from Dr. Callewart and the Baylor staff.

After coming through his lumbar decompression and discectomy surgery with flying colors, Mike is doing everything his back pain had taken away, and then some. He’s ridden his Harley to Alaska; he’s working on his ranch again; he lifts weights. And something about his face says he’s not afraid to try anything.

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