I damaged my spine whilst falling over some steel plates that were partly covering a huge hole and were left by a water company unprotected and unlit at night time.
My trip to the Alphaklinik, a Shooters Story.
I live in the UK have been a target shooter for over 50 years. I have participated in competitions with rifles and pistols at national and international level. I continued to complete in the allowed competitions in the UK even after handguns were banned.
Imagine my despair as being involved in an accident, which took this totally away from me. I damaged my spine whilst falling over some steel plates that were partly covering a huge hole and were left by a water company unprotected and unlit at night time. At the time I was aged 59. I was unable to walk more than a few yards and had to use a wheelchair and 2 sticks to get about. I started to do a fine arts degree.
Living in UK we are very poor at spines and we have only one spine surgeon for every million of the population. It’s not the fault of doctors; it’s the way that our health service is constructed. I live in a city which has a population of nearly a million people in Yorkshire — — — but no spine surgeon! Yorkshire is the largest county in Great Britain and even though searching throughout the county and nationwide there was no one who could give me any possible solution to the damage which had occurred to my spine except for the usual laminectomy and fusion, some who might have helped refused to even see me, because of my age.
Being a person with medical knowledge, I have many contacts within the medical profession where I myself worked for almost 35 years, I knew that this treatment was incorrect and started to search on the Internet for alternative treatments, in different countries. Not only had I to ensure that the treatment was available, but that it was available for me, should I travel across to that country.
This was far from easy and I certainly tried to get people’s personal details of the treatments I found quite hard. Ultimately I came across the Alphaklinik whilst researching Europe, I found that there were people in the UK who could not be identified for legal reasons, but I discovered the hospitals which they were having physiotherapy. Further to this many many e-mails between Dr Zeegers and myself established in my mind that I was able to go and have treatments at the Alphaklinik, and the treatments given to me would be as far as I could tell the finest in the world.
I then discovered I was overweight and had to lose 25 pounds in bodyweight to come within the 20-25 BMI required by the Alphaklinik. I swam for my county when young and decided to swim a mile 3 times a week plus dieting. It took 12 months to lose this weight.
It was with great trepidation that I left the UK on the 24th of July 2002 to travel to Munich. My wife and I arrived at the Hotel in the middle of huge thunder and hailstorms. We telephoned the alphaklinik and told them that we had arrived. We were asked to attend the following day for premedical checkups etc. These took place and Dr Zeegers established that I was a suitable candidate for Artificial Disk Replacement at L5/S1. He said he would do a discogram immediately prior to surgery to check that there were no other disks that were degenerated.
The following day we attended the alphaklinik yet again and after the discogram Dr Zeegers replaced just a single level L5/S1 with a Charitee Artificial Disc Replacement. I was more than a little surprised to wake up in the recovery room and to be asked to walk 10 to 15 yards to my Hospital bed! Despite many excuses that I made, I was assured that everything would be all right and this was the first time that I had walked pain free for many years. Prior to going to the alphaklinik I had had to use two sticks or a wheelchair to get about. These were a first few steps that would signify my freedom from being a cripple for life.
Suddenly I found that my freedom was re-established. Three days later I left the alphaklinik and return to my hotel. I have worked round Hospitals most of my life but have never found the high standard of care and hygiene which was practiced at the Alphaklinik The weather was so appalling I started walking the length of the corridors in the Hotel which were approximately 100 yards long to start in get my muscles and legs moving again.
Returning to the UK, one of my first objects was to get back shooting as I had previously, at my old favorite club. I started to become really mobile and now free of pain, started gradually to start my shooting again. This was hard as my stance had to be changed slightly.
Many people are unaware that the muscular, body and mental co- ordination to release a single shot from either a pistol or a rifle is the equivalent to an Olympic sprinter coming off the blocks in the hundred yard race every time.
Summer competitions 2003 saw me back winning a Gold Medal in a local competition. Not a great International achievement but a good move in the right direction.
I continue to make good steady progress, out of pain and approaching the age of 68 I can only say that I owe Dr Zeegers and the Alphaklinik a debt of gratitude I can never repay.
Thank you Dr Zeegers!