Bradley Shepard

First post: Feb 21, 2017 Latest post: Mar 6, 2017
Thanks for visiting my Caring Bridge site! I decided to start this site as a means of communicating across many miles / states with various family and friends who are asking for updates and prayer requests. I'll try to post on this journal weekly to keep you updated on my progress and to share some blessings that have come as a result.

I'll start by saying that every trial happens for a reason. And whether I know the reason or not, I refuse to go through this difficulty without being grateful for the little things & big things God does through me and in me as a result. God promises to never leave me, nor forsake me. I take Him at His Word.

Here's my story . . . in November 2015, we detected I had some back issues that I could no longer ignore.

After an MRI in December 2015, they discovered I have a bi-lateral fracture in my lumbar spine and some disc problems.

I completed my last round of physical therapy in the Spring of 2016. My back seemed to be alright. It still bothered me once in a while, but largely things were manageable.

I went back to Bob Jones University for my Sophomore year this past Fall and that's when things began to take a turn. I noticed increasing back pain that got significantly worse. I took Aleve consistently for the pain and gradually I noticed that it was losing its effect.

After a trip to Urgent Care for the pain, I was referred to another specialist and a new set of X-Rays and a MRI showed things had changed over the course of a year.  In 10-months time my vertebrae became misaligned, my disc was slipping and had degenerated significantly. The new x -rays and MRI also confirmed that I had a broken set of bones (known as pars fracture).

The University allowed me to leave school early for Thanksgiving Break so that I would be able seek second opinions from doctors in CT. We met with both orthopedic surgeons &  neurosurgeons to determine the best approach and timing for surgery.

The issue: 

⦁ Bi-lateral Pars Defects which causes L5-S1 instability, L4-L5 degenerative disc disease, Stenonis, Spondylolisthesis

The plan: Hybrid lumber spine disc replacement and spinal fusion  on Tuesday, 2/21/17- surgery details:

⦁ Phase one:
Vascular Surgeon "clears the field" for Spine team to perform spine surgery
⦁ Phase two:
Spine Surgeons insert a titanium cage between my L5-S1 vertebrae (fusion utilizes bone taken from the hip)
⦁ Phase three:
Replacement of L4-L5 disc with an artificial disc
⦁ Phase four:
Use screws to fix the Bi-Lateral Pars Defect (requires flipping me over mid-surgery)

Date/time/location/hospital stay:

⦁ February 21, 2017 (Tuesday)
⦁ 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM (surgery time)
⦁ Yale - St. Raphael Campus
⦁ Hoping to be home by February 25, 2017 (Saturday) or maybe even Friday


St. Raphael Campus
1450 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Home address:

20 Atwood Lane
East Hartford, CT 06108

Prayer Requests:

⦁ That somehow something good would come of all of this and that God would be glorified
⦁ Good health/no illness for myself, my family and caregivers before, during or immedialtley following the surgery
⦁ No complications in surgery or recovery: Including infections or nerve related issues (three surgical sites: front/back and hip)
⦁ Wisdom for team of surgeons and caregivers
⦁ That I would be able to return to college next semester and resume my activities without pain

Please note that updates will be posted on this site by my mom (Karin) periodically to keep you updated as you pray. We love you and thank you for your support!

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