By Sherri Goggin
Funny You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother by Lois Wyse is one of my favorite little gifts for those spunky ladies in my life that have you nodding your head in adoration saying, “I wanna be just like her.” Bobbie Porter is one of those women. This 81-years-young grandmother to 6 and GREAT grandmother to 4 is a beautiful inspiration to all who have the pleasure of knowing her. Bobbie shared that one of her greatest blessings comes from helping others. Volunteering at Prince Avenue Baptist, where she and her husband are members, entertaining neighbors and friends or getting exercise on the tennis courts at Jennings Mill are all a part of what makes this remarkable lady so grand. One of her biggest fans is her husband, Val, of 62 years.
On my first attempt to reach Bobbie it was Val who answered the call. His warm smile could be felt through the phone and he had a contagious laugh that made me laugh too. The reason for my call was to learn from Bobbie about her experience with Athens Orthopedic Clinic and Dr. Tally, the Spine surgeon who performed her surgery in 2011. Renowned for his research in Spinal Surgery and for his Minimally Invasive product development, Dr. Tally joined Athens Orthopedic Clinic as a Spine Specialist in 2010 to launch the Clinic’s Spine and Scoliosis Center. One year later, a second Orthopedic Spine Specialist, Dr. Julian Price was added to the group to serve the growing patient populations in Athens, Greensboro, Loganville and Snellville. Also specializing in Minimally Invasive procedures, Dr. Price’s research has been presented both nationally and internationally. “Minimally Invasive Surgery” refers to surgical advancements focused on performing surgery through smaller incisions with less disruption to surrounding soft-tissues. The idea behind minimally invasive surgery is to provide less trauma for the patient and improve recovery time significantly. Traditional open spine surgery requires a long incision and cutting of the patient’s muscle tissue. Both of which lead to a longer recovery and higher potential for post surgery complications.
Curious about the real life impact of minimally invasive procedures, I wanted to talk to our patients. That curiosity led me to Bobbie.
Val eagerly volunteered his active wife’s weekly itinerary and offered suggestions for crossing paths. “She’s hard to keep up with, always on the go, and constantly doing for other people. She’s a beautiful person…on the inside and out.” Val gave me careful instructions to call back the following day during Bobbie’s afternoon window and promised she’d be happy to talk with me. “She loves Dr. Tally,” he added with certainty, “I know she’ll want to talk to you about it.”
Sure enough, I reached Bobbie the following day, just as Val predicted. Similar to her husband’s warm and engaging personality, Bobbie’s affectionate first sentence had me giggling, “Dr. Tally must fly to work since he’s an angel.” Her voice smiled as she spoke.
Bobbie continued describing the incident that led to her discovery of Dr. Tally and Athens Orthopedic Clinic. After leaving church one Sunday, she slipped and fell on a patch of black ice. Multiple rounds of physical therapy, chiropractic care and even epidural injections were tried for pain relief but nothing was easing the pain. Never having back trouble before, Bobbie was determined to try everything possible in lieu of surgery. It was “almost like a miracle,” Bobbie describes, when a fellow Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) board member recommended she meet Dr. William Tally at Athens Orthopedic Clinic, who had recently been recruited by the group for his expert skills in spine surgery.
The rest is happy history. Now four years removed from her minimally invasive spinal fusion, Bobbie is a “never felt better” 81-year old tennis player who’s back hand is better than ever. This multiple miles a day walker hasn’t missed a step since her surgery and is grateful for the ability to enjoy all the activities she did before her accident. Bobbie concludes our interview with this comment: “I cannot praise Dr. Tally enough. He is my best friend.”
Thank you Bobbie for sharing your experience with me and for being such an inspiration to others. On its way to your mailbox is a copy of my favorite little gift for you to enjoy.
With blessings, Sherri.