MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Grand Strand Medical Center was approved to open a neuro-ICU in October.
It will be the first of its kind in the region with specialized care. The ICU will specifically treat aneurisms, special hemorrhages, and brain tumors.
"One of the greatest things about neurosurgery is that we oftentimes can find a solution to problems that no one else can," says Dr. Joseph Cheatle, a neurosurgeon at Grand Strand Medical Center.
The GSMC neurosurgery program has been up and running for the past 15 years. Dr. Cheatle is one of the leading neurosurgeons in the region. He joined the GSMC team July 2014. And in the past year, Cheatle and his partner have worked to expand the program, use cutting-edge technology, develop new therapies, and start research programs. The goal is always to advance the care you can get right here in Myrtle Beach.
"The physical and emotional and financial toll on patients to travel to other cities is enormous," says Cheatle."And to have care here localized is huge! We know that patients who have family support do better. Period."
One of Cheatle's patients is Paulette Green. She was referred to Cheatle after trying to recover from falling on the ice in the winter ice storms two years ago.
She endured two rounds of pain management, injections, physical therapy, and chiropractic services. But the pain continued to get worse. Dr. Cheatle discovered a cyst between the two lower vertebrae of her spine that developed from the impact of her fall. He says her pain was growing because the cyst was growing and filling with fluid.
In surgery, Cheatle cut a flap in the cyst to let the fluids drain. It was spinal fluid and absorbed naturally back into her body. Greene was in the hospital four days for the surgery and recovery time. She did not have to go through any rehabilitation and says everything is back to normal without any pain now.
"There's so many of us older people coming to the Strand," says Greene. "The older you get, the more problems you have, unfortunately. And to know we've got a wonderful facility here with Grand Strand and surgeons like Dr. Cheatle, who are so competent. It's wonderful to not feel like you've got to go to a bigger city or drive a couple hours away and make all the arrangements. Because my husband and my children are here. And that's where I wanted to be."