Harry Bell, a former tennis coach and tour golfer from Liverpool, would experience excruciating pain from his waist down after barely five minutes on his feet. He dreaded waking up every morning to prospect of braving his way through the day. Standing over six feet tall, the once professional sportsman only managed to retain his mobility through swimming and exercising in the pool for two hours every day, but was able to do little else. Forced to give up his passion for sports, Harry set up a retail outlet but could neither sit nor stand to tend to the business and had become a shadow of his former self.
For four years, Consultants in the UK had ruled out surgery because they felt Harry?s symptoms were not severe enough to risk open surgery. Compelled to look further than the UK to alleviate his pain, Harry went to Spain and was told his open surgery would cost him in excess of twelve thousand Pounds. He shopped around to find a Mumbai hospital that would do it for less than seven thousand Pounds, but Harry was deterred by the prospect of travelling as far for a major operation.?
Lying on his back, a fortnight ago, with his laptop perched on his abdomen, Harry searched on and luckily found a centre in Croatia that offers minimally invasive surgery for the spine. Encouraged, Harry read on to find that this innovative technique was developed by Israeli surgeons who travel every month to the Dubrovnik Hospital to conduct these procedures. Remarkably, the treatment does not require an open operation or pose the risks associated with classical spine surgery, and the recovery time is only a couple of days. Harry was given a price of less than six thousand Pounds and that was enough to convince him that he had found the right place.?
On Tuesday last, Harry was on his way to Dubrovnik with the first glimmer of hope in years. He met the pioneering surgeon, Professor Dr. Reuven Gepstein, the following morning and was told that he was suitable for the procedure. Harry was scheduled for surgery on Thursday morning and two of his vertebrae that were out alignment were secured by four screws and two dynamic rods. Professor Dr. Gepstein was assisted by Dr. Evgenij Pevzner in an operation under general anaesthetic lasting no more than forty minutes. Four incisions were made to place the implant and they required no more than a stitch each.?
On Friday, 12th June 2009, all of Harry?s back problems were a distant memory. That afternoon, he walked pain free in the scenic Old Town of Dubrovnik, enjoying the sights and sounds around him for the first time in years.? Harry had been given a new lease of life!
Speaking to Shlomi Ranot, the man behind the Dubrovnik Spine Centre and, Zahid Hamid of Euromedical Tours, the London based Healthcare facilitators, Harry was optimistic ? ?I want to be on the veterans professional golf tour by the time I am fifty?. Harry returns home next week after enjoying a little more of this paradise on the Adriatic Coast.