Phrenic Nerve Surgery Patient Pens Book About Her Procedure
“We are extremely excited about Julia’s successful results, as the procedure has proven to be life-changing for people with diaphragm paralysis who were previously told nothing can be done.” Dr. Kaufman
One year ago, we featured a story on Julia Cooke, who successfully underwent phrenic nerve surgery with Dr. Matthew Kaufman. It was the fifth such surgery for Dr. Kaufman, who has performed approximately 40 in total. And Julia? She has been so impacted by this life-saving procedure, she has written a book about it.
The Kentucky resident, now 58, suffered a paralyzed diaphragm. Following chronic pneumonia and extreme shortness of breath resulting from her condition, she was told there was no treatment and she should get her affairs in order. “I was given just six to 12 months to live,” remembers Julia, who had seen a host of doctors.
Through Internet research, she learned about Dr. Kaufman and the microsurgical phrenic nerve decompression that would ultimately save her life. In May 2010, she had the procedure and today feels great, breathes better and leads a normal, active life. “Before it was hard for me to function. My oxygen level at the time of my surgery was only 37%,” Julia says. ”Now it’s 98%. All my doctors are amazed and my family is very relieved. It’s remarkable.”
A retired high-school teacher and author, Julia has penned a book about her miraculous experience with diaphragm paralysis entitled Till Breath Do Us Part. It specifically mentions Dr. Kaufman and the integral role he played in saving her life. Julia currently is editing the copy and looking for a publisher. Her wish is to find one soon so that her future readers, some of whom may be facing serious health problems of their own, can draw hope and faith from her story.
“I’ve had my difficulties, but I still have a life and a lot of hope,” offers Julia. Of Dr. Kaufman, she says, “I have the utmost respect for him. I’ve never met anyone as encouraging, calm and patient. It’s a real gift that he has. And his staff is the same way.”
“We are extremely excited about Julia’s successful results, as the procedure has proven to be life-changing for people with diaphragm paralysis who were previously told nothing can be done,” says Dr. Kaufman, who presently is the only known surgeon in the United States to perform this innovative surgical procedure. “Additionally, this represents a significant opportunity for patients with breathing difficulties due to diaphragm paralysis, an uncommon condition most often caused by surgical or anesthetic complications, chiropractic manipulation, spinal cord injury, or trauma.”