Kim Willson spent more than 25 years working in law enforcement. Throughout that time, the career proved professionally fulfilling but also physically difficult.
“I was really hard on my body in my 20s and 30s. Then, I was working by myself a lot, I had to move heavy boxes. I also traveled a lot.” Willson recalled.
Then one day she recalled a moment that she thought would change her independent and active lifestyle forever. “All of a sudden, I was walking across base one day, and I basically blew out a couple of my lower (back) discs,” she said. “It pinched my sciatic nerve and so my sciatica was on fire. I literally fell to my knees.”
It was the beginning of an incredibly difficult period for Willson. She spent months unable to walk, and later only able to walk with the aid of a cane. The situation left her in a state of disbelief.
“I’d been seeing a chiropractor for years but it wasn’t working for what I needed. I couldn’t even walk really. And I was just thinking this can’t go on. This isn’t the way I’m supposed to live,” she said.
“I was like ‘I’m under 50, this shouldn’t be happening,’” she said.
But it was around that time that Willson read a News article that detailed Heller Healthcare’s use of regenerative medicine.
“It was about the couple who used to dance together,” Willson recalled the story in the Brunswick News about Millie and Harry Manges. “They had stem cells and were able to dance again. I started wondering ‘could this be a possibility?’”
That interest led her to attend one of Heller Healthcare’s “Lunch & Learn” events. Prior to the pandemic, Heller’s practice would frequently host informational sessions at the Brunswick Country Club, sharing information about programs offered by their practice, located right here in the Golden Isles.
During the ‘Lunch & Learn’ Willson was introduced to the world of regenerative medicine, namely stem cell therapy. Once a treatment normally reserved for top athletes, has become more mainstreamed and offered at Heller Healthcare, located right here in the Golden Isles.
Heller Healthcare offers an integrative approach to healthcare including comprehensive and cutting edge treatments. From Regenerative to Functional Medicine, including anti-arthritis programs, degenerative joint care treatments, medical massage, chiropractic care, holistic pain management options, bioidentical hormone optimization and even nutritional planning.
“So the lunch and learn was really eye-opening. That was my first exposure to it” Willson stated. She also felt she was a good candidate for one or more of Heller’s programs, so she took Heller Healthcare up on their offer for a complementary one-on-one consultation.
During the consultation Heller’s team reviewed Willson’s specific conditions, discussed options and answered questions that she had.
After gathering the facts, Willson decided to receive the Regenerative Medicine therapy. Within a matter of weeks, she could tell a huge difference in her quality of life.
Willson received her regenerative therapy in November, 2019. “It didn’t take long (to see an improvement). That’s what blew my mind. Initially I still had that fire in my back and there was still a tear in my disc. But, within a few weeks, the pain was subsiding, the sharpness was subsiding. I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Those first three months were a miracle.”
She also discovered that now her body is able to bounce back from activity quickly.
“Recovery is amazing. If I lift something too heavy now, I’m ready to go again the next day,” she said. “Recovery is key.”
In addition to the regenerative therapy, Willson also received bioidentical hormone replacement therapy which Heller also offers.
“The hormone therapy has really helped a lot with things that I didn’t realize were going on,” she said.
The treatments Heller Healthcare provided has given Willson a new lease on life — one she couldn’t have imagined when she was living in so much pain.
“Going from not being able to walk to being able to recover overnight has been a God-send,” Willson said.