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Caring Nurse Has Health Restored By A Former Student

Caring Nurse Has Health Restored By A Former Student

Caring Nurse Has Health Restored By A Former Student
Van Kort's herniated disc causing debilitating pain.

Patient: Jennifer Doty    
Surgeon: Dr. Tyler Jenkins
Surgery: Lumbar Stenosis
Surgery Location: Boone Health

Jennifer Doty's passion for helping people led her to a profession in healthcare. Recently Doty found herself in the patient's shoes when looking for an orthopaedic surgeon for herself.

 "We are blessed to have good healthcare in Columbia," said Doty

"It's always surreal when you find yourself, on the other hand, as a patient, receiving care and help," said Doty, a clinical coordinator at the University of Missouri who has been a nurse for more than 25 years.

Teaching the next generation of medical professionals
As part of her position, she directs and assists third-year medical students as they rotate through an eight-week observational program.

"I get to know my students personally and professionally."

Aging gracefully
"At 60, I wanted to grow old gracefully. I went from 100% good, having zero health issues, to suddenly experiencing all these pains. One day I bent over and felt the most excruciating pain in my lower back (L2 and L3), to be specific. The pain was a complete 10 out of 10". Doty lived with the pain for a few weeks and finally ended up in the ER. Having a personal relationship with her students, she texted Columbia Orthopaedic Group physician Dr. Matt Thornburg, who immediately recommended a consultation and imaging.

Caring Nurse Has Health Restored By A Former Student

Doty wanted to try the conservative method first. She had an epidural steroid injection (ESI), which provided a little pain relief.

"I knew something needed to be done after seeing the X-rays and that the next step was surgery."

When you don't settle for less than the best
She already knew many of the orthopaedic surgeons at The Columbia Orthopaedic Group.

"I had 100% trust and respect for spine surgeon Dr. Tyler Jenkins."

Dr. Jenkins was a student of Doty. She knew he was well-trained with a residency at Northwestern University and his spine fellowship at Emory University.

After deciding to have surgery, Doty scheduled her procedure at Boone Hospital Center. Being a university employee, she wanted to access healthcare on her terms.

"I wanted to put together my healthcare team, and I knew she was in good hands with Dr. Jenkins. He took the time to pray right before surgery, which was comforting."

"I wanted to do 100% of what I did before surgery, plus some," said Doty. Having a full range of motion and a full recovery was paramount. Only three days after surgery, she was already walking in her cul-de-sac using an assisted walker.

Living her best life in retirement
With Doty's retirement approaching in May, it was important that her health and future stayed in her hands.

"I needed to invest in myself."

Caring Nurse Has Health Restored By A Former Student

Photo: Jen Doty and Darley Mirts (Daughter)

Doty took that into action and started training at Evolved Personal Training.

"I'm now one whole year post-surgery. I have a few plates and screws in my back, but I'm lifting weights, cutting trees, doing yard work, and doing it all pain-free."

This outcome gave Doty the life she wanted; one with quality, where she could do everything she loved after retirement.  

"I respected Tyler Jenkins from the first time I met him, and I would choose to have him do the surgery again."

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