Danville Man Discovers Horizon Health for Neck Pain Relief

Danville Man Discovers Horizon Health for Neck Pain Relief

‘I found the golden ticket’

Nathan Miller has so much to say about his neck surgery at Horizon Health that he is often left speechless.

“There’s no words to describe what [Horizon Health] did for me,” said Miller, age 58, of Danville, Illinois. “I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals. This is the first place that really made me feel like family. That is what it should be like – not treating someone like a number.”

Miller, a former auto mechanic and factory worker, suffers from degenerative disc disease, a progressive wearing of spinal discs due to natural aging, overuse, or injury. Over the years he visited countless doctors and hospitals seeking a solution to his neck and back pain with no success.

“I’ve suffered neck and back issues since 2012 and was told by doctors there was nothing they could do. Injections weren’t working. I really thought there was no hope,” he explained.

With hope dwindling, Miller’s Danville physician referred him to Dr. Harish Kempegowda, orthopedic surgeon at Horizon Health who specializes in spine and neck surgery. It was Miller’s first experience at Horizon Health.

“I was very skeptical because I figured it was going to be the same routine as always. You’re going to look at me and say there’s nothing we can do. When he told me ‘I can fix it,’ I literally wanted to cry,” Miller explained.

To correct Miller’s neck problem, Dr. Kempegowda, who prefers to be called Dr. Harish, performed an anterior (neck) cervical discectomy and fusion in January 2024. Three degenerated discs that were causing compression of the spinal cord and nerves were removed. Spacers filled with bone graft were used to allow the vertebrae to heal.

“The patient had advanced spinal stenosis with kyphotic deformity [abnormal curvature] of the neck,” said Dr. Harish. “So, it was important to correct the deformity and take pressure off the spinal cord and nerves for better outcomes.”

Prior to surgery, Miller said his neck “literally looked like a snake curled up” but is now “straight and narrow” like it should be.

Though early in the recovery process, Miller said the surgery has significantly reduced the pain, weakness, and numbness he was feeling.

“I feel like a new person,” he said. “Dr. Harish performed a miracle that no other doctors could do.”

Miller said he plans to return to Horizon Health for his back problem.

“I will gladly come back. I found the golden ticket at Horizon Health with Dr. Harish and this staff. It was an experience I will never forget,” he said.