THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A south Georgia hospital hits a medical milestone. Archbold's Oncology Center in Thomasville recently treated its 600th patient using Gamma Knife, a precise instrument that uses radiation to treat brain abnormalities.
It all started when he was seven. Blake Woodward, now 21, was diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma, a benign prolactin tumor. "I would just be sitting at home or at school and I would have very bad headaches. I don't know why it happened, I just got headaches. So I would always have to go to Atlanta. Have a lot of MRIs," said Woodward.
For the next 14 years Woodward continued to have the painful headaches. Woodward looked to neurosurgeon Dr. Gerald Kadis to cure these symptoms related to his pituitary abnormality. "And then he decided he was going to go through with the Gamma Knife treatment which I think for him was a walk in the park. He came in, got his treatment, listened to his Frank Sinatra while the thing was going on, and than he was home for lunch. I think he was pretty happy about that," said Kadis.
Woodward is no stranger to surgery. When he was 16 he was in a major car accident, resulting in severe brain injury. Woodward endured more than 16 surgical procedures.
He says the Gamma Knife procedure was so painless, he went to work the same day. "Cause I got the surgery around during lunch time. I had to be there around 10:30. Got done around 1:30 and after that I came back here and packed up some shoes and sent them off to the UPS man."
Dr. Kadis says this procedure opened the door for thousands of patients. "And I lot of them are poor surgical candidates anyway. Heart troubles make them an anesthetic risk, on anti-coagulants, renal failure. All of these patients can be treated with Gamma Knife that formally we wouldn't be able to treat."
Woodward says he's been feeling great since his procedure. He says he doesn't get headaches anymore and prays that he never will again.
Nearly seven years after implementing the program, Archbold's Gamma Knife Center remains the only one of its kind in south Georgia.
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