It’s about time for you all to recognise and honour the most remarkable talented man, who I can call “my hero”:  Dr. Fraser Henderson. If it wasn’t for Dr. Henderson’s extraordinary and exceptional neurosurgery skills, I would have not made it alive through the neurosurgery due to the complexity of my EDS and complicated combinations of traumas to my cervical spine and brain stem (read my recent blog post for more details on my Lifesaving Neurosurgery Success!)

Dr. Henderson is one of the world’s only Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Chiari Malformation Syndrome neurosurgeons who has focused and developed the understanding and treatment of craniocervical and atlantoxial instabitlity, brain stem and spinal cord induced trauma injuries and deformities.

He is based in Maryland, U.S.A., so I had no other choice but to travel across to the other side of the world to receive this critical lifesaving neurosurgery.

Dr Henderson after surgery
Day after first lifesaving neurosurgery with Dr Fraser Henderson – 14th January 2016

Dr Henderson is the most humble, down-to-earth, intelligent, humorous, inspirational person I have ever met. He has such a bright aura full of positivity, even when he was faced with a patient (like myself) who was most challenging for him medically. His compassion shone through when he gave me the reassurance and comfort in knowing that I was in the best of hands and that he would do everything he could to ensure the best possible outcome so that I could return living life as a normal 23-year-old following my life aspirations.

He is the type of doctor who doesn’t see you as a medical problem that needs fixing; he sees you as a person who needs caring for.

The timing of my neurosurgery was definitely on my side. In the recovery room I was told, “you must have had a guardian angel by your side throughout this whole time Laura Lee. The amount of compression on your brain stem was at a fatal level, I am amazed you even made it here alive for the surgery.”

This has been a long nine month battle being in a neck brace, struggling with the pain, and having to deal with the “unknown” of what was actually going on with my neck.

Even though it took till late November to figure out the diagnosis, this whole experience feels like the stars were aligned perfectly and everything fell into place at the right time. You can say it was fate, serendipity, destiny, coincidence, or just life as it is.

But to me, this has been a miracle. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Henderson saving my life.