Shawn grew up living an active lifestyle. He was involved in sports, loved basketball and after high school worked in physically demanding jobs like construction and as a journeyman electrician.
But already at a young age, Shawn began experiencing some back pain and an MRI at 18 revealed degenerative disk disease. His doctor at the time told him it wasn’t very serious, and he did not have to worry. Over the years, however, Shawn’s back pain increased and his health decreased. Eventually it became so debilitating that Shawn “couldn’t think or see clearly. There was nothing to my life except pain.”
One day Shawn, who rarely watches TV, turned on the news and heard that Exalta Health offers services for people without insurance. He started coming and seeing staff physician Dr. Chris Shoemaker who not only diagnosed him with epilepsy but also was able to help him get on the right medications for his epilepsy and refer him to both the Spectrum Health Spine & Pain Management and Good Life Physical Therapy.
As a result, he lost almost 100 pounds, can again drive a car, can sit without pain and is even able to exercise, none of which was possible just two years ago.
Shawn is clear about the difference Exalta Health made. “Dr. Shoemaker changed my life,” he said. “He saved it. I don’t know where I’d be. Even when I wanted to give up, he pumped me up and told me to keep going.”
He is also thankful for Kristen Meyer, Exalta Health’s chaplain, and for the atmosphere of prayer that is present at the clinic. Shawn’s goal this year is to be pain free. Because of his team of care givers surrounding him, Shawn knows his lifestyle is going to continue improving and for the first time in ten years, he is hopeful for his future. “I would not be here today,” he said, “if not for Exalta Health.”