Spring 2018
Gratefully Yours

Standing straight again

Jerry and Maureen Daniels

Dear Dr. Polly,

It has been one year now since my surgery, and I could not be happier. I want to thank everyone who was in the operating room that day. 

People who have seen me after the surgery are in awe—and so am I, when I look in the mirror. It is wonderful to be straight again.

My scoliosis was so exhausting. I went from being an active person doing exercise classes, taking walks with my friends, and even dancing with my husband to a bent-over and pain-filled person. I became someone I did not know.

I have always been a petite woman, and as my scoliosis progressed, the only relief I got was wearing a large back brace made of very hard plastic—for 17 years. Wearing it in the summer was the worst. I had to buy extra-large shirts to cover up the brace. I became very self-conscious as time went on. By the end of a day, I could hardly hold myself up.

When my friend in Florida told me about you, I couldn't believe you were right here in Minnesota. You cannot imagine my joy shopping this year for clothes that really fit. I feel like I’m in a different body.

My husband has always been a very caring and loving man, and to see the stress that my scoliosis put him under added to my sadness. Today Jerry is the first to speak up about the miracle of this surgery and how happy he is to have his wife back.

God bless you, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

— Maureen Daniels, in a letter to University of Minnesota Health orthopaedic surgeon David W. Polly Jr., M.D., who recently received the University of Minnesota Medical Center’s Clinical Innovation and Research Award for implementing programs that have led to better patient outcomes