Jeanine Morelli, an active 41-year-old mother of two, had sudden, severe back pain. When she started to experience excruciating pain down her left leg, she knew something wasn’t right. After multiple trips to her doctor and then a visit to Mather Hospital’s Emergency Room, she was referred to the Hospital’s Back & Neck Pain Center. Jeanine made an appointment for the next day. She drove to the Center in severe pain and was seen immediately by Cindy Price, NP-C, the Center’s Nurse Navigator.
Cindy was able to get Jeanine an MRI within an hour. Once Cindy got the results, she rushed Jeanine to Dr. Ira Chernoff’s office that evening, asking them to stay open until Jeanine got there. “I was in so much pain, I couldn’t even think straight,” said Jeanine. “Cindy saved me the hassle of making calls and coordinating my care, she saved me time and energy.” The surgeon planned to operate the following week, but Jeanine’s pain intensified. Cindy explained to Jeanine that if she started to suffer from loss of bodily functions, she needed to get to the ER immediately. Jeanine was in surgery two days later. Dr. Chernoff removed the disc herniation, the nerve root was decompressed, and the vertebral bone was removed to relieve pressure on the nerve root. “I had no time to research the surgeons, I trusted Cindy’s advice emphatically,” said Jeanine. Cindy was in touch with the doctors after surgery and followed up with Jeanine the following week. Jeanine is now back to work as a teacher at Longwood Junior High School and can keep up with her two children. “I’m going for physical therapy and have to watch what I lift for now,” Jeanine said, “Meeting Cindy was a godsend. She took care of me. She was amazing. She saved me.”