Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 11

Angela Duvall follows up with her
neurologist Lien Diep, M.D., after
successful treatment for a rare
disorder that left her disabled for close
to a decade.
Inset: Angela Fitzwater walks
with the use of a walker after
being unable to move on her own
for close to eight months.

blood components are separated with
a machine and a patient's plasma is
discarded and replaced with donor
plasma. This removes the antibodies in
the blood that are attacking a patient's
nervous system and returns the
other blood components and healthy
plasma. Medications are used with
the treatment to suppress the autoimmune disorder.
"Plasma exchange removes the toxins
from the body, or bad things that are
attacking the nerves, and allows the body
to heal and start working right again,"
Diep says. "Sometimes it takes several
treatments and sometimes just one treatment will work."
Both patients experienced amazing
results with a plasma exchange. Duvall's
muscles began to relax soon after her
first treatment, and within three days
she was able to stand up, take steps and
walk for the first time in years. Fitzwater
was able to move her legs on her own
soon after her second plasma exchange

treatment. Since her
muscles had lost all tone
from being unable to move
on her own, it took nearly
a month before she was
strong enough to stand and walk.
Diep also has successfully used the treatment for patients with steroid responsive
autoimmune thyroiditis, Guillain-Barre
and other neurologic disorders.

New Freedom
After being disabled for years, Duvall
started to gain a new outlook on life.
"I feel like God puts things in your
life for a reason and God put Dr. Diep
in my life," Duvall says. "After having to
use a walker and then a wheelchair for
everything, I'm now walking and driving
and I have my life back."
Fitzwater's recovery was slower
because her loss of muscle function
caused her to become extremely weak.
"For eight months I couldn't move
at all on my own," Fitzwater says.

"Now, I'm walking with a lot of effort.
Without Dr. Diep none of this may have
ever been possible."
Diep is the first to acknowledge that
she's not an expert on everything, and
she will seek assistance from fellow
neurologists whenever needed. But
when she has a possible solution to a
patient's problem, she's not afraid to
pursue it.
"As a doctor you have to take time
to listen to patients and study the
information available," Diep says. "If
you listen and you look, you can find
the problem. We can find the solution, even for rare complicated cases
like what these ladies have, and treat
patients right here in Salina." 1


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Health Direct - Summer 2018

Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 1
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 2
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 3
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 4
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 5
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 6
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 7
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 8
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 9
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 10
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 11
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 12
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 13
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 14
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 15
Health Direct - Summer 2018 - 16