Connie’s not taking this sitting down…

Connie will not be Defeated

The last eight years have been a struggle for Connie. But she defines the word “survivor.” She’s battled breast cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer…and won. But, effects of chemo and treatment had compromised some of the vessels in her legs. Walking became a horrible chore.

Independence is something Connie values. This pain in her legs made it difficult to even get through the grocery story. “I’d map out my trip to the grocery store. My legs would allow for four to five minutes to get in and get what I needed, before I had to sit. I’m only 61 and I refuse to use one of those scooters!”

Connie’s constant leg pain was due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD is a blood-flow issue to the legs or peripherals. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to amputation. People with diabetes or heart disease are especially at risk.

To fix the problem, her first and second approach was a surgical procedure at Paducah, but with blood-clotting difficulty, the attempts were a failure.

Time for a New Solution

Prairie Vascular Services in Carbondale is a specialized area of Prairie Heart Institute dealing with vessels outside the heart. Dr. Raed Al-Dallow had a complex, yet minimally invasive way to increase blood flow to Connie’s legs. “She had severe blockage in her lower aorta leading to the arteries in her legs. And because of previous health issues, the procedure was quite difficult,” remarked Al-Dallow.

But for Connie the minimally invasive approach was surprising, “I couldn’t believe it. It was so easy. I was awake through the entire thing!”

Connie Jumps for Joy

Now she feels better than she did at 51. “I asked Dr. Al-Dallow, ‘Can I jump on a trampoline? Can I play basketball with my grandkids?’ He said ‘Yes!’”

She has no intention of staying down. She’ll be visiting her daughter in Tennessee and intends to walk all through Dollywood. If that wasn’t enough, Connie is determined to challenge her children and grandchildren to a basketball match.

“I’m not taking this sitting down,” she says. “I’m afraid if I were to allow people to help me do the normal everyday things, it would mean that I’m giving up. I don’t give up.”