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    From Wheelchair Bound to 1st Runner Up Miss Rodeo Texas Happily Married

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    Follow up story on Rachel Odem who was told by her doctor to Change her lifestyle because she would probably be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life after a tragic accident of falling off a 25-foot-high cliff. Rachel has since undergone spine surgery performed by Houston Spine Surgeon Dr. Richard Francis and has gone on to become 1st Runner up Miss Texas and just recently got married to the man of her dreams.

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    In May of 2009 a mother of a lovely daughter named Rachel received one of those horrible phone calls that no parent ever wants to receive. Donna Odem’s phone rang and was informed that her daughter had fallen 25 feet down a cliff while trying to rope swing into a river. Young Rachel Odem was Life Flighted to a hospital in Waco Texas. After arriving at the hospital and being diagnosed with a fractured L1 lumbar vertebra and a spinal cord that was compressed over 60%, young Rachel was told to change her lifestyle because she would likely be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

    Rachel was unable to move from the waist down and the doctors informed her that surgery would not be an option because they did not believe it would help. Although the Odem Family’s life went into a chaotic downward spiral, Mrs. Odem simply refused to accept the doctor’s diagnosis.  She kept searching for any reasonable options or alternatives to what she was told to be the reality of the situation. Finally, with information from another family member, Mrs. Odem was told about Dr. Richard Francis, a Spine Surgeon in Houston Texas. After doing some research on Dr. Francis she was determined that he must be the one doctor that could help and give her family hope for their daughter Rachel.

    By the time they found who they thought would be the right doctor for Rachel’s injury, a full eight days had already gone by. Rachel was transported to Houston to see Dr. Francis and rushed into surgery where Dr. Francis was able to repair her injuries. In spite of the severity of the injury and the time elapsed since Rachel’s fall, Dr. Francis informed the family that Rachel would definitely walk again! Rachel made a full recovery in less than one year and has since gone on to win 1st Runner Up Miss Rodeo Texas. It has been almost eight years since Rachel’s unfortunate fall and she recently got married, with Dr. Francis happy to be present at her wedding.

    To this day the Odem Family is extremely thankful for Dr. Francis and refers to him kindly as their Hero. The family gives all the credit for Rachel’s surgery and quick recovery to Dr. Francis and the staff at Spine Associates The dedicated professionals remained by their side every step of the way and will never be forgotten.  Rachel is just one of hundreds of spine surgery patients that have been helped by Dr. Francis’ skills and expertise over the years, some after suffering for literally decades with chronic pain. To see a small sample of other patient testimonials CLICK HERE.

    Dr. Richard Francis takes great pride in being one of the first surgeons in the nation asked to perform the artificial disc replacement using robotic assistance as part of the surgical procedure. Dr. Francis is also one of the few spine surgeons who performs surgery on children as well as adults. Since founding Spine Associates in 2003, he has built a considerable reputation by maintaining a conservative approach to treating all spine conditions. He has made it his goal to stay at the forefront of technology, yet maintains a personal connection with patients and their families.

    Dr. Francis is a Fellowship Trained Spine Surgeon with a niche expertise in revision and reconstructive surgery. Spine Associates provides interventional pain management and has a complete physical therapy center on site. Spine Associates also works with many patients in their Patient Ambassador Program where new patients are matched with former patients to provide understanding, encouragement and support through the surgery process.

    All patients are offered an appointment to see Dr. Francis within three days of calling, and on the same day if needed. At every visit, patients are seen directly by Dr. Francis. The referring provider receives a letter or call regarding the patients’ consults within 24 hours. Spine Associates has built close relationships with teams of neurologists, physiatrists and pain specialists to assure timely delivery of care. Spine Associates has two locations, Beaumont and Houston Texas.

    For further information or to Contact Spine Associates, Call 888-977-4625 or visit the website at www.myspineassociates.com.

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    “We found our hero, Richard Francis, MD”.
    - Donna Odem
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    Keith Robinson



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