Getting Back on His Feet - An HSNT Patient Story

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On the morning of March 12, 2016, Kevin Craven woke up and couldn’t move. From the waist down, he was paralyzed with no feeling, no control, and – seemingly – for no reason. At the time, Kevin was just 42 years old, a regular North Texan from Greenwood with two daughters, a wife, and in good health. When he went to bed the night before March 11th, as far as he was concerned, everything was fine.

Kevin went to an Emergency Room in Decatur and was told that the problem was just lower back strain. He was sent home with some painkillers but returned again later because he still couldn’t move. Again, he was told the same thing. Finally, he went to the ER at Texas Health Presbyterian in Denton and finally received an answer: he had a spinal infection.

“They ran an MRI and found out that I had an infection in my L4 and L5 vertebrae,” Kevin says. “They hospitalized me and put me on antibiotics, and then I was on home healthcare for almost 8 weeks after that, going back and forth with Dr. Akrom [my infectious disease doctor], because I don’t have insurance. But that’s how I found out about HSNT.”

At the time that Kevin first came to HSNT, he saw the now-retired provider Dr. Moore. He appreciated that Dr. Moore took all the time Kevin needed to fully explain the situation.

The very first time I came to HSNT was so helpful. Dr. Moore said, ‘here’s what we can do, here’s what we can’t do, here’s what we’re going to do, you probably won’t be able to do this, you might be able to do this….’ We were probably in that room for 30, 45 minutes.

Now, several years later, Kevin is still a patient with HSNT and still appreciates the culture of compassion that has carried HSNT forward since the beginning. Currently, he sees Ann Ellison, FNP.

“I like that Ann doesn’t beat around the bush about whatever’s wrong with you,” Kevin says. “She’ll go straight to the point and tell you, ‘this is what we need to do.’ I also rodeoed a long time ago,” Kevin says with a laugh, “and she knows all about rodeo and stuff, so I can kind of relate to her with that, too!”

Since his initial infection, Kevin has developed osteoporosis of the spine, osteomyelitis of the vertebrae, and a degenerative nerve disorder. Sometimes he’ll be walking and just lose all feeling in one of his legs at random. As a result, it’s been hard for him to find a job that works for him, but in the meantime HSNT has been working with him to make sure he can still get the care he needs even without insurance. 

“Everybody that I’ve dealt with [at HSNT] has always been very helpful, always able to answer my questions. I’m very blessed that y’all have helped us. [At the beginning] we still weren’t sure if I was going to be paralyzed or not. It’s still not taken care of completely – I don’t think it’ll ever be – but HSNT went way further than most would have,” Kevin says. 

“If it wasn’t for y’all, I’d probably not be able to do anything.”

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