I began seeing Dr. Cunningham in 2013 after I was diagnosed with scoliosis. We monitored my condition for years and I always knew in the back of my head that surgery was a real possibility. Each time I visited HSS for an appointment, I walked in with a nervous pit in my stomach, but Dr. Cunningham would immediately put my nerves at ease. His calm demeanor and ability to plainly explain complicated medical concepts helped me feel so comfortable in his care. He always answered every question I had and never once made me or my family feel rushed. I remember some appointments where we’d spend 2 hours with him just talking and weighing my options. When I finally decided to have a spinal fusion surgery in 2018, Dr. Cunningham fully prepared me with all the information I needed. He explained realistic outcomes and helped set my expectations. And most importantly, he treated me not just as a patient but also as a person. He understood my concerns as a young adult undergoing a major surgery, and he always reassured me that his goal was to help me get back to living my life to the fullest!
Dr. Cunningham’s team made the process of preparing for my surgery so simple. Brenda Chalen was always available to answer all of my questions. Tina Miller and Mickey went above and beyond to schedule my appointment dates, work with insurance, and help my parents prepare for my operation. They provided so much emotional support to my family too, and I am so lucky to have had an amazing support system through the surgery!
Dr. Cunningham is my hero! He gave me my miracle spine. His kindness, patience, and brilliance make him such a special surgeon, and I’m so thankful because he truly gave me my life back. The outcome of my surgery exceeded all of my expectations, and thanks to my spinal fusion, I’ve been able to hike glaciers in Iceland, perform my best at work, and live each day pain-free.