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Patient Stories

Donna McMillan

Spine Surgery

Donna McMillan isn’t willing to slow down. An avid exerciser—and a former competitive ballroom dancer—Donna made motion part of her life every day until the winter of 2016, when pain and burning in her hip and leg stopped her in her tracks.

Her primary care doctor suspected an issue with her spine and, although she lived in Pennsylvania at the time, Donna turned to NEBH for help. She had had surgery at the Baptist in 2015—after that experience, she knew NEBH was the best place for orthopedic care. Donna met with Dr. James Rainville, Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“Dr. Rainville doesn’t push you into surgery; it’s the last option for him, and I appreciated that,” says Donna. “He’s a phenomenal teacher. He spends time examining, explaining, so you feel like you’re his only patient all day.”

After attempting to relieve her pain with noninvasive treatments, Dr. Rainville informed Donna that her nerve compression was severe and she would indeed need surgery. He referred her for spine surgery with Dr. Nicholas Marcotte in January 2017.

“I woke up from surgery and the burning in my leg was gone,” says Donna. “I didn’t want another surgery—but when I had to have it done, I’m glad it was at the Baptist.”

Now, Donna follows Dr. Marcotte’s orders, is undergoing a physical therapy regimen with NEBH’s Cynthia Benea, DPT, and says she has no limitations. She and her husband have built a new home in Massachusetts, and she is back to yoga, exercising at the gym, and dancing.

“It’s been so good to have a team of experts that communicates with each other and makes sure I know what to expect,” says Donna. “Orthopedic issues are part of my genetic makeup, so it’s reassuring to know that NEBH is there for me.”

Donna is a loyal donor to the Spine Program in honor of her caregivers. Through the generosity of patients like Donna, NEBH is able to personalize approaches to spine care with an expert clinical team.

“It is important to us to support the Baptist,” says Donna. “It feels like I have a new shot at life, and I’m so grateful.”

Learn more about Physical Therapy at NEBH or make a gift today to support and advance our innovative physical therapy programs.


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