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Kyndra Thomas, nurse practitioner, from left, patient Darrell Sammons, and Dr. Jen Heller practice social distancing at Heller Healthcare in Brunswick. Sammons received stem cell injections and has seen an impressive reduction in his pain level.

Darrell Sammons worked for years as a pharmacist and business owner. And while it didn’t seem physically demanding at the time, little movements over the years began to take their toll.

“Holding the phone, between your ear and shoulder while your filling prescriptions over the years impacted my neck and shoulder,” Sammons said.

But he had been dealing with pain for years — in his lower back, right hip and leg. The pain started more than 10 years ago, and as time passed, it only worsened.

“In the last five years, I have not had a pain free day. I had difficulty sleeping because of the shoulder pain,” he added “I could only sleep on one side.”

As a pharmacist, he knew the dangers of taking opioids as pain killers and opted for anti-inflammatories instead, and he managed as best he could.

In 2015, Sammons and his wife moved to Shellman Bluff and began seeing Dr. Jennifer Heller, at Heller Healthcare. There, he got a clear picture — literally — as to the cause of his pain.

“She took x-ray’s that showed my shoulder joints were bone-on-bone, due to osteoarthritis. It also revealed that I have spinal stenosis in the cervical and lumbar part of my spine, as well as scoliosis and spondolosis,” Sammons said.

Dr. Heller discussed the options and answered the questions that he had. As they started exploring treatment.

Heller Healthcare offers various approaches to treating a wide-array of conditions. They offer an anti-arthritis program, degenerative joint care treatment, medical massage, chiropractic care, holistic pain management options, hormone optimization and even nutritional planning.

Sammons was also 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.

Stem cells are the body’s main cells for repairing damaged tissue and reducing inflammation. They can divide and replenish cells damaged by disease, injury or normal wear.

At Heller Healthcare, they use Umbilical Cord Tissue (HUCT) stem cells, which are derived from the consented, donated umbilical cords from healthy mothers who birthed healthy babies. The amount of stem cells from a newborn’s umbilical cord are a million times greater in quantity and are thousands of times more potent than stem cells taken from an aged body. This also makes it a less-invasive treatment with fewer steps, since one’s own stem cells do not have to be harvested from the body.

Decreasing the amount of processes causes HUCT stem cell therapy injections to be vastly more affordable. It is a quick, painless, outpatient procedure performed in Heller’s office. The stem cells are injected into the patient’s problem area(s) and within 28 hours those cells will have attached to the inflamed and degenerated tissue, doubled, and already started the process of regenerative medicine. This doubling process of every 28 hours continues for three to four months to change and regenerate the joints, arthritis, and tissue until new, healthy tissue has formed and replaced the old, degenerated tissue. After the stem cells have been injected, the amount of chiropractic, massage, and/or rehab treatments needed to assist change and enhancement of the results varies by patient’s needs and goals to achieve optimal results.

“Dr. Heller patiently answered all of my questions. After much prayerful consideration and research, I felt led to proceed with the therapy,” Sammons said.

Dr. Heller’s nurse practitioner, Kyndra Thomas, administered 40 injections, along the spine, as well as his shoulders and hip.

“She did a great job,” Sammons noted.

Since the injections just five weeks ago, Sammons has seen impressive results.

“I stopped taking my arthritis medication before the treatment and then anti-inflammatory medication. I have not taken any anti-inflammatory medicine since the injections,” he said.

Overall, his pain is much better — by two-thirds, he estimates. And he’s enjoying an entirely new lease on life.

“Today, is the end of week five and my overall pain level has decreased. I continue to improve each week. It is miraculous,” Sammons stated. “Thank God for answered prayers and for putting Dr. Heller in my path. She and her staff are so kind and show love and concern to all of their patients.”

Heller Healthcare’s office is still open, caring for patients while observing social distancing and strict sanitizing procedures. They continue their role of caring for their existing patients, as well as treating those in our community seeking medical care for issue that are not associate with a fever or virus symptoms such as pain, cuts requiring stitches, old or new injuries, headaches / migraines, dizziness, and more. However, due to compliance with local, state and CDC guidelines, it is important to call their office at 912-264-2244 to schedule a time for your visit.

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