For years, Gail Hamilton suffered from chronic back pain after a skiing accident years ago, which led to degenerative spondylolisthesis. She could walk but “the pain was fairly intense, all of the time.”

“Normally lying down helps people with the pain, but even when I was lying down, I was in pain,” she recalls.

After her third spine surgery degenerated, Gail was referred by her Vernon surgeon to Dr. John Street who, after a lengthy consultation period, performed fusion surgery on her ailing spine.

“Gail had prior surgery elsewhere and was in bad shape pre-op,” Dr. Street says. “Her prior surgery hadn’t fused and had left her very imbalanced, with very limited mobility.

“I was in pretty rough shape,” adds Gail.

Now, one year later, Gail walks into the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre upright and mostly pain free – and a bit taller.

“I’m doing well these days–I’m walking around and I’m taller!” she says, laughing. “By three quarters of an inch.”

To show their gratitude to Dr. Street and his team at the Spinal Cord Centre, Gail and her husband, Richard, are donating $10,000 to the Vancouver Spine Infection and Complications Research Program.

“Her generous donation will help pay for the research staff working on the numerous projects in this program,” Dr. Street explains. “Her donation will impact at least five different studies all aimed at improving patient outcomes, by avoiding complications after major surgery, just like hers.”