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College of Medicine

Patient Stories

Carolyn Pry

Carolyn Pry says members of her church congregation were surprised to see her in Sunday worship just days after she’d had brain surgery. The 69-year-old retired school teacher from Emerson no longer has headaches or feels dizzy after two UAMS surgeons removed a tumor using a multidisciplinary, non-invasive approach. Pry’s problems began when her local primary care physician discovered the pituitary macroadenoma following a minor stroke in April. After a referral to a specialist, Pry ultimately called UAMS for another opinion. Neurosurgeon Analiz Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D, who specializes in primary and secondary brain tumors and endoscopy, was able to schedule her for the following week. Alissa Kanaan, M.D., director of the Rhinology Division in the Department of Otolaryngology worked alongside Rodriguez in the surgery. Kanaan began the surgery by cutting through the nasal cavity to create an opening through the sinuses to reach the skull base where the tumor is located. She prepared a wide enough passage to remove the growth. Once she cleared the way, Rodriguez retrieved the tumor in small pieces.

Carolyn Pry with doctors

Pry says Kanaan, Rodriguez and their staffs are very compassionate and accommodating. On the day of her operation, each came by regularly to make sure her family was comfortable as they waited. And since Pry lives more than three hours away from UAMS, the physicians coordinated scheduling to make it more convenient for Pry.

“They made me feel like I’m the only patient they have,” she said. “I could not have asked for better doctors or facilities. I highly recommend UAMS to anyone.” – Carolyn Pry, Emerson

Les Marlow

Les Marlow with X-ray

After routine surgery for a pinched nerve, Les Marlow’s spine developed kyphosis, and his neck started to fall forward. The condition was so severe that he could no longer take daily walks, play golf or do many other routine tasks. The x-ray of his neck shows just how bad it was. He was told he needed to see a specialist and found one just a few miles from home at UAMS. Dr. Noojan Kazemi of the Department of Neurosurgery performed a complex surgery to repair his spine last September, and the improvement was immediate. After a three-week recovery at home, he returned to his normal routine with a new outlook on life.

“I had not been to UAMS before I went to Dr. Kazemi, and everything was better than expected. There is no reason for anyone to go anywhere other than UAMS.” – Les Marlow, Little Rock


Roland Pennington

Roland Pennington lifting a weight in a gymRoland Pennington went from an active life of golfing, playing softball, working out several days a week and performing with a local band to barely being able to walk because of excruciating back pain. After a frustrating series of visits to several doctors and MRI scans that showed no disk damage, he was at the end of his rope. A visit to the UAMS emergency room and a three-day hospital stay brought only temporary relief. The cure came during a follow-up visit with Dr. J.D. Day, a UAMS neurosurgeon, who found a previously unnoticed tiny bright white spot on an MRI. Within a week, the benign cyst was removed, and he was home – pain free.

“Dr. Day listened to my story. His willingness to listen helped diagnose the cause of my pain. His exceptional skill and sincere concern gave me my life back.”
– Roland Pennington, Senior Vice President, Crews & Associates, Inc.