Painfree & Grateful

Surgery Gives Retiree His Life Back


Valiollah Eslami Amirabadi, visiting from Iran, right, gratefully thanks Dr.Jeffrey Dembner for restoring his health, while daughter Sedigheh Ghods watches.

After Iranian doctors told Valiollah Eslami Amirabadi that he’d have to live with intense back pain, he felt hopeless. But during a visit with his daughter and her family in Solano County, the 71-year-old retired construction worker was inspired to meet with neurosurgeon Jeffrey Dembner, M.D., and his life changed.

“My father was hoping Dr. Dembner would give him physical therapy or exercises to make him feel better, because of what he had been told,” explained Sedigheh Ghods. “But Dr. Dembner gave him a very thorough exam and said ‘I can fix this.’ My father was so excited he couldn’t believe it.”

Before the surgery, he was almost immobile. “It was getting worse,” she recalled. “He couldn’t walk or do the things he wanted to do. He even had pain in his sleep.”

Dr. Dembner strives to offer patients the most conservative, minimally invasive procedure possible.

Sedigheh’s husband, Ehsan Ghods, D.O., primary care physician at NorthBay Healthcare’s Center for Primary Care in Green Valley, had been referring patients to Dr. Dembner and was getting great feedback from them, she notes.

Dr. Dembner, the medical director for NorthBay’s Center for Neuroscience, typically strives to offer patients the most conservative, minimally invasive procedure.

“Valiollah was quite debilitated and had a combination of issues,” he recalls, “including widespread spinal degeneration and a fracture. I knew that it was essential to identify the source of his pain in order to offer him the most conservative treatment option. We focused our approach on the degeneration as the fracture was not quite as serious. We saved him any need for screws, rods or other such hardware.”

And so Dr. Dembner did fix Valiollah’s back. Immediately following the surgery, “he said it was like night and day,” Sedigheh reports.

“Except for the incision, my father was pain-free right after the surgery. Compared to what he had been feeling, that was like nothing,” she says, “He was so grateful he kissed the doctor’s hands. Now he can do the things he wants to do. He can walk, play with my children, and work in the garden.

“My father says he wishes he could speak the language so he could tell Dr. Dembner his appreciation. He tells me to tell him, ‘I owe you my life.’ He gave him hope for a better life for the rest of his life. Even though there is the language barrier, my father still feels as if Dr. Dembner treats him like one of his own family. We are blessed to have him in our community.”

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