Susie was an international flight attendant for United Airlines for 35 years. Five years prior to retiring, she purchased a floral nursery (Sweet Lane Wholesale Nursery), along with her husband.  For five years she had two jobs and when she retired from the airlines, the nursery became her full-time retirement job that she loves – with a passion.

In April, 2017, Susie’s primary care physician in Novato, referred her to Dr. Athanassious due to back pain and sciatica.  At the time of her appointment, she could barely walk into the Santa Rosa Orthopaedics office. She was seeking a local expert to treat her debilitating pain. After office visits and imaging, Dr. Athanassious found she had a serious degeneration of discs. He recommended surgical treatment with L3-L4 L4-L5 anterior spinal fusion through direct lateral approach and posterior spinal fusion with direct decompression at the L4-L5 level.

“The surgery was flawless and the healing process went better than expected. Between the rehabilitation center and the ongoing care from Dr. Athanassious, it was challenging, but I rehabilitated really quickly. Prior to the surgery, I could barely walk without pain. I am now doing things that I never thought I could do again. I am walking around, working in my garden and the quality of my life has increased immensely. For example, in my Nursey business with on-site weddings, I’ve always had to be the ‘back office person’ due to my chronic pain. I could never join the celebrations and be part of my customers’ weddings. Now, I am able to be a part of them, walking around and meeting people from all over the world that come to use my business backyard for ceremonies.

“I had my first wedding this year where the bride was from Japan and groom was from China. Being able to walk around and meet everyone and talk to everyone at the weddings brings me incredible joy. All I can say is that Dr. Athanassious is a wonderful man, a skilled surgeon, has a wonderful sense of humor and works with an incredible staff. Thank you Santa Rosa Orthopaedics. My life has changed 100 percent.”