We spoke with National news anchor, Heather Childers, about her recent neck surgery, after suffering an injury that may have left her paralyzed had she not taken action.
Last year, Childers’ began noticing a stiff neck, pains in her head and had trouble walking. When she finally went to a surgeon to diagnose the problem, she was told she would need surgery — and fast. National Spine Health Foundation’s Ericka Andersen spoke with Childers about her experience and addressed some of the stigma associated with spinal surgery.
“[Surgery] is definitely worth it. I was headed quickly down the road to certainly being paralyzed –100% is the quote I was given. I definitely needed it to improve my life,” said Childers.
Childers said she took about 8 weeks off of work after surgery and has slowly rehabilitated back to normal life. She’s back to exercising and able to work and function, despite a few lingering issues that she hopes will be solved in time.
It was access to information that helped Childers understand what was wrong and what she needed to do next. She admits she knew very little about spinal health prior to her problems and encouraged folks to seek out resources and information on their own.
“It’s very necessary to be educated on what the symptoms are and what they can be related to — and spinal health in general,” she said.
Childers said she discovered information from the Spinal Health Foundation when she was researching her own spinal health issues.
“A lot of people have reached out to me online…and one of the biggest issues is that people are afraid to get the surgery, so they were very interested in my recovery and what I went through,” said Childers. “I found a lot of people out there that experience similar symptoms and don’t know they need to get their spine checked out.”