Neurosurgery Patient Stories


November 26, 2021

UAMS Testing ‘Big Advance’ in Spinal Cord Stimulation; First Arkansas Participant Now Pain Free

David Robinson

Cornelia Ann Smith of Calico Rock, Ark., here with two of her grandchildren, is pain free thanks to her participation in a UAMS study of an advance in spinal cord stimulation devices.

Cornelia Ann Smith’s severe chronic back pain disappeared almost as soon as the experimental spinal cord stimulator was activated in a procedure at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). “I realized the device was helping me immediately,” the Calico Rock, Ark., resident said. Then, back home, it really began to sink in. “I…


May 28, 2021

Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Removal Gives Morrilton Grandmother ‘a Second Chance’

Katrina Dupins

Analiz Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., and neurosurgical resident Marcus Stephens, M.D. perform surgery.

Mary Harris enjoys traveling with her daughters and granddaughters, and the family looks forward to their trips three times a year. And though the pandemic caused them to postpone for a while, they are ready to resume with a trip to Branson in June. In 2016, Harris began having a continued cough and constant bronchitis….


March 19, 2021

UAMS Neurosurgeon Performs State’s First Deep Brain Stimulation for Epilepsy

Katrina Dupins

Palys shows image

The UAMS Epilepsy Center is the first in Arkansas to perform deep brain stimulation surgery as a treatment for epilepsy. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) for epilepsy is designed to help manage seizures in patients who have not responded to medication. DBS, which is a type of neuromodulation, has been used primarily for patients with movement…


July 27, 2020

San Francisco Woman Finds Help for Complex Surgery

Katrina Dupins

Bressie & Suen

Claudia Bressie’s tumor was non-cancerous, but it was aggressive and dangerous. Months of consultations at top universities and treatments proved ineffective for the San Francisco woman, until her journey brought her to UAMS. It began in 2017 when Bressie started having swelling, popping and clicking around her jaw. The discomfort grew from there to what…


May 13, 2020

Spinal Cord Stimulator Improves Chronic Pain 95%

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Collage of Foote, Petersen, Renard and Wolter

The first thing Michael Foote, 48, can remember is the pain. One second, he was reaching to re-arrange cargo in the back of his truck while stopped under an overpass during a rainstorm, his wife holding onto his beltloop to steady him. The next thing he knew, he was rolling across concrete in incredible pain….


February 11, 2020

Car Crash Leads to Discovery of Brain Tumor, Now in Remission

Katrina Dupins

Matthew Koshinksi

Matthew Koshinski believes the car crash he was in two years ago saved his life. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2018, he wasn’t feeling his best. But the 22-year-old supervisor at UPS went in to work anyway. “I didn’t think much of it. I just thought I’d push through it.” He ended up leaving…


October 7, 2019

UAMS Pain Study Device Gets Amputee off the Couch

David Robinson

Jared Jackson (left), at his final study visit at UAMS, with Davis Fleming, M.D.,a Translational Research Institute research coordinator.

A year ago, Jared Jackson, 40, was spending a lot of time sitting or lying around. But not because he was lazy; his right leg had been amputated below the knee in 2011, and the pain was almost too much to take. In fact, sometimes he passed out. “My pain started about a month after…


April 29, 2019

Woman Relaxed for First Time in Years After Complex Spine Surgery

Katrina Dupins

Denise Frerichs visits Kazemi in his clinic at UAMS.

Last fall, just getting out of a chair and walking from one room to the next was a labored and painful experience for Denise Frerichs. The pain was excruciating and it ran down from her back to her legs. “The pain started about two years ago. At first I thought it would get better. I…


March 18, 2019

Neurostimulator Significantly Reduces Seizures for Missouri Man

Katrina Dupins

Matthew Pinegar visits Viktoras Palys, M.D. in a follow-up appointment after his RNS Surgery.

Matthew Pinegar was 3 months old when he had his first seizure. He was put on medication to keep them at bay, then taken off the medicine in junior high. “It wasn’t until I was 21 when I had my first grand mal,” Pinegar said. “After that happened and I looked back, I’m sure I…


February 15, 2019

Patient Uses FaceTime to Call Family During Brain Surgery

Katrina Dupins

Stephenson and his wife, Brittany, visit UAMS for a checkup.

Before his seizure on May 31, 2018, Chris Stephenson, of Horatio, Ark., had no idea he had a tumor the size of an orange in his brain. He was logging about 4,000 miles a week in his big rig and happened to be driving when the seizure happened. “It took four paramedics to get me…



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