Doylestown woman credits her ‘angel’ for easing her back spasms.

‘I Felt So Relieved’

Doylestown woman credits her ‘angel’ for easing her back spasms

A fine artist and landscape painter, Jan Button finds beauty in almost everything she does. But when back spasms started to interrupt her daily routine last winter, she started to lose some of her zest for life.

“I went from doing everything a happy person does — volunteering, visiting with my children and grandchildren—to needing help getting out of a chair,” says Button, 82, of Doylestown. She describes her spasms as scary. “It got to the point where if I moved, I could feel one coming on,” she says. “I hated them.”

After four months of living in extreme pain, Button found relief from the person she calls her angel, Ami Raval, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with Grand View Health Neurosurgery.

Button was an inpatient at Doylestown Hospital when Dr. Raval stopped by to see her. “Jan had significant back pain,” Dr. Raval says. “An MRI showed that she had a very severe fracture of her lumbar vertebrae, which was creating pressure on the nerves in her lower back.”

The second Button met Dr. Raval, she says she felt relieved. “She’s an absolutely lovely person,” Button says. “She always made eye contact, explained absolutely everything to me, and had a wonderful bedside manner. Her being a neurosurgeon is a gift to her patients.”

A short trip north

Thanks to a collaborative agreement, experts from Grand View Health Neurosurgery now consult with patients at Doylestown Hospital who need spine or brain surgery. Due to the seriousness of
Button’s fracture, Dr. Raval quickly arranged for her to receive transport from Doylestown to Grand View, where she could get the surgery she needed.

The day after Button’s arrival at Grand View, she underwent a spinal decompression and fusion procedure from Dr. Raval. “I fused her spine above and below the level of the fracture, which relieved the pressure on her spinal canal and the nerve,” Dr. Raval says. During the procedure, Dr. Raval used a navigation system that allowed her to position the screws in her spine with a high degree of accuracy.

“Right after Dr. Raval operated on me”, Button says, “my spasms were all gone.”

The royal treatment

Today, Button is back to painting landscapes, exercising three times a week at her gym and visiting her grandchildren. When people in the community ask her if she went to a big-city hospital for her back surgery, they’re often surprised by the answer. “I tell them I went to Grand View,” she says.

She’s glad she did. “From Day One, they were friendly, caring and professional,” she says. “I always felt like I was being treated as someone’s mother, sister or grandmother. They took such good care of me that I felt like royalty.”

Button’s story, Dr. Raval says, demonstrates the value of partnerships like those between Doylestown Health and Grand View Health for patients in the area.

“Neurosurgical consultative services at Doylestown Health allow people like Jan to get the surgical care they need without leaving Central or Upper Bucks Counties,” she says. “It’s proof that you don’t need to travel further away from home to get excellent subspecialty care.”

Learn more about the spine program at Grand View Health. Visit GVH.org/Spine.