The Ochsner Neuroscience Institute offers the latest in care for patients with diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves or muscles through the dedication and teamwork that provides patients with tailor made treatment options. The Ochsner Neuroscience Institute currently offers advanced treatments through programs for brain and spinal tumors, epilepsy, functional and pediatric neurosurgery, radiosurgery, cerebrovascular/stoke, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, neuromuscular and memory disorders. Within these programs are some of the most innovative and cutting edge procedures offered in the Gulf South region, including in utero repair of myelomeningocele for babies diagnosed with spina bifida, tumor eradication utilizing noninvasive radiosurgery, intraoperative navigation systems and brain mapping.
Jeffery Bennett: Multiple Sclerosis Donor, Patient and Advocate
Every day, we are inspired by the strength of our donors and their dedication to raising awareness and funds for our patients. For Jeffery Bennett, his support is helping to brighten the future for others as well as his own. His thoughtful gift of $250 to the Multiple Sclerosis Development Fund will help assist patients who are also facing the difficulties of living life with MS.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body, often disabling those who suffer from it. There is currently no cure, but there are medications that can help speed the recovery of attacks for patients. Unfortunately, at least for Jeffery, a life with MS is simply not the same.
Jeffery came to Ochsner after having a health scare that started with numbness in his toes that progressed until the majority of his body, up to his chest, was numb. He wasn’t yet 60 years old, and he realized that something serious was going on and that he needed to take back control. He started by going to a spine specialist and was referred to a neurologist.
Dr. Bridget Bagert diagnosed him with relapsing MS and set up a treatment plan for him consisting of physical therapy and a new drug called Tecfidera. The medication has helped him with much of the pain he was feeling, but he still faces an intolerability to heat and extreme exhaustion.
Of dealing with his new reality, he says, “It was a little depressing at first, but I’m learning to deal with it.” “I was always an outdoor, active person. Loved the outdoors. Fished, hunted, played golf, rode a Harley and about the only thing I can do now is fish a little. A year ago I was a perfectly healthy person doing all these things. Today I do stuff, I last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes at a time and then I’ve got to rest an hour and a half or two hours, it just wears me out,” he said. “It just sucks everything out of you.”
He decided that the best thing that he can do for himself and for others was to get involved with the MS community by making a donation to Ochsner’s Multiple Sclerosis Development Fund. “Being an MS patient, I figured I need to help with research…. For myself, you know, as well as other people.” For him, those other people include his daughter-in-law who also suffers from MS.
His advice to others like him, “It’s hard to keep a positive attitude when later on things aren’t going to be pretty for you, but it’s not a death sentence.” For Jeffery, moving forward has meant finding hobbies that he enjoys, including tending to his beautiful garden.
Jeffery is truly an inspiration for his dedication to MS patients.
A Word from Doctors Wale Sulaiman and Richard Zweifler, Co-Medical Directors of Neuroscience
The Ochsner Neuroscience Institute earns national and regional recognition as a leader in providing referring physicians and patients with quality neuroscience services. Our multidisciplinary team offers the latest diagnostic and therapeutic options for adults and children in a variety of care settings and locations.
Ochsner integrates experienced and expert providers from a variety of specialties through centers and programs collaborating to provide patients with comprehensive, coordinated services throughout the continuum of care in locations throughout the greater New Orleans, North Shore and Baton Rouge regions and in a broad range of subspecialties. Our multidisciplinary approach results in more effective and efficient care leading to better patient outcomes.
The quality of the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute has been independently verified as being among the nation's best. U.S. News & World Report ranked Ochsner as #24 in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery. Healthgrades® honored us as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care. Healthgrades also recognized us with its Excellence Awards for Neurosciences, Neurosurgery and Stroke Care. We also earned their Five-Star Awards for Neurosurgery and Treatment of Stroke. Finally, CareChex, a division of CAMPARION®, ranks Ochsner as #11 in the nation for neurological care and #22 in the nation for Neurological Surgery.
We are finding new and innovative ways to bring this level of care to physicians and patients. Our fleet of medically equipped helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and ground vehicles are available for emergency and critical care needs. We offer a flight team of physicians, critical care nurses and other specially trained neuroscience staff on call 24/7. Our unique telestroke program uses telemedicine to deliver nationally ranked care to patients in 30 hospitals across Louisiana and Mississippi and recently cared for its 4,000th patient.
Ochsner is committed to excellence in patient care and service to our referring providers. We look forward to working with you.
Wale Sulaiman, MD, PhD and Richard Zweifler, MD
For more information, please contact:
Director of Development, Ochsner Neuroscience Institute