2016 had started out like any other year. My family and I were lucky to be happy and healthy. And then I was in a car accident in May 2016. I knew immediately something was wrong with my neck. I checked out OK at the emergency room and was told to see my primary care doctor and that was that. I started to see a chiropractor and do some PT and 6 months later, I was feeling a little better. And then one day, six months post accident, I woke up with this pain shooting down my left arm that was unlike anything I had ever felt before. Two days into it, I cried in my husband's arms and predicted I would need surgery. I didn't know what it was, but I knew my body wasn't right. Turns out I had a severe herniated disc in my neck and at 36 years old, with 2 boys under the age of 5, I was told I needed spinal fusion. I was scared, devastated and angry. And since I wasn't functioning, I couldn't care for my boys, didn't have a social life, couldn't sleep, and relied on my husband for everything. I knew I had to find a better solution. I did a little research and was intrigued by artificial disc replacement but didn't know where to go. A friend just had ankle fusion surgery at HSS and an old colleague had told me her mom had successful artificial disc replacement by Dr. Russel C. Huang at HSS and boom, that was it. This was the place I needed to be. I sent my scans and information to his office, and thankfully, I was accepted as a patient. I knew I was in the best hands with Dr. Huang - just look at his CV! As a doctor he is no nonsense and extremely knowledgeable. I knew if I needed a scar on the front of my neck, this was the surgeon to give me one. His office staff, especially his office manager, Jenn, helped me so much in scheduling my surgery as fast as possible. The day had finally arrived and I was scared - what if it didn't work? Well, I'm thrilled to say I woke up from surgery and that extreme pain radiating down my arm that was a 10 out of 10 was completely gone! My life is forever changed because of this experience, my empathy for people living with chronic pain was non-existent before this, but pain is real and nerve pain is horrible! I'm happy to say that a little less than a year after surgery, I trained for and successfully ran a half marathon in 2:19 and I'm training for my 6th marathon. I am forever grateful to Dr. Huang and his entire staff for everything they did for me. Because of them, I got back to living life!