When you’re a State Department official stationed in Bahrain and you need a “top” spine specialist.
Luckily for David Pernal, another State Department employee stationed in Peru had already blazed the trail for him. The government’s Bureau of Medical Services already knew of Dr. Yue and suggested that David return to the states on leave to seek out the care of renowned spine specialist, Dr. James J. Yue. His only other option was to be part of a medevac flight back to Washington DC where he’d be assigned to a specialist – all at great expense to the government. Getting the surgery done in Bahrain was never an option for David. He explained, “When you’re overseas, you certainly have access to good medical care but, you don’t have a primary care doctor who will help you select the right surgeon and hospital team. It can be tricky to get the high-quality help you need.”
As a Community Liaison Officer, Mr. Pernal knows a great deal about the challenges of family life in a foreign country. Besides Bahrain, he’s also been stationed in Morocco and Indonesia with his wife who is a career diplomat. His job is to provide support to U.S. government employees and family members who are assigned to American embassies and consulates abroad. He told us that once he connected with Dr. Yue’s team at Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists (COS) everything fell into place. Because he already had imaging studies available, he simply sent them digitally and then via email and telephone communication he was diagnosed and a treatment plan was laid out. He explained that for expatriates who are a long way from home, long-distance care is often the best approach. He added, “When I finally met Dr. Yue in person, I felt like I had been a patient of his for a long time and was already comfortable with him”.
After being granted leave to come back to the U.S. with his family and meeting with Dr. Yue for consultation, it was determined that he needed a multi-level disc fusion and he was scheduled for surgery at the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute (COI) at MidState Medical Center on July 31st, 2018. He’s been very happy with the care he’s received and raved about the nursing staff at COI. He explained, “As a former Emergency Medical Technician myself, I’m very tuned into my care. I can tell you that the nursing care was the best I’d ever received. Quite frankly, it’s probably the best I’ve ever seen! I attribute my speedy recovery to Dr. Yue and the efforts of the entire staff at MidState Medical Center. I will be giving Dr. Yue and his team high grades with the Bureau of Medical Services when I check in with them. I would expect that as word gets around, you’ll be seeing many more expatriates coming here for their orthopaedic care.”
The procedure was a complete success and David Pernal is well on his way to recovery. He has been staying with family in Connecticut (he grew up in Willimansett). He and his wife will be heading back to Bahrain in September.