Robert A. "Bob" Beyerlein, 47, has worked in the Cardiac Catheterization
Laboratories at McLaren Bay Region since February of 2006, after a
recent transfer from the Surgery Department. In March 2005, Bob was on a family
vacation in Hawaii when he suffered the first major symptoms of what would lead
him back to McLaren Bay Region, and Dr. Srinivas Chakravarthi for
surgical repair of a cervical (neck) spine injury.
"I was getting ready for a bus trip, and moved a piece of luggage about three
feet," remembers Bob. "The next morning I woke up unable to move my left arm. By
the end of the day, my hand was getting increasingly numb and I had unbearable
pain from my upper spine down my arm."
A trip to an emergency room in Hawaii revealed a diagnosis of spinal
stenosis, a narrowing at one or more of the cervical vertebrae, the bones that
surround and support the spinal cord. Bob was advised that he would need surgery
Without waiting until he returned home, Bob called McLaren Bay Region for the
contact information to reach Srinivas Chakravarthi, MD at Bay Neurosurgery
Associates. As an assistant to Dr. Chakravarthi for several surgeries, Bob was
confident he could help.
After arriving home, another visit to the emergency room, this time at Bay
Regional, confirmed the diagnosis. His Emergency Physician, Gilbert Mosher, DO,
referred Bob once again to a neurosurgeon. After MRI confirmation of severe
cervical spinal stenosis, Bob was informed that Dr. Chakravarthi had scheduled
his surgery for the next day.
By the time I got to the hospital the next day, that pain medication was not
helping any more, and my left arm was completely numb from shoulder to
fingertips." Although a veteran surgical assistant, Bob was nervous. His
colleagues’ reassurances that he would be OK made him feel safe.
"After the surgery, when I woke up in PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit), the
pain was completely gone," reports Bob. "The numbness had left my arm and hand,
and I could move my fingers."
Several weeks of recovery and rehab followed, and Bob was required to wear a
soft high collar to support his head while his spine healed. "The post surgery
care I received at Dr. Chakravarthi's office was wonderful," said Bob. "Everyone
was very pleasant. I would recommend any one of the doctors to someone with
A year later, Bob feels he is back to where he was prior to the injury. "I am
just starting to lift weights again and I feel great," he said. "I feel that if
I had not had the surgery and received the excellent care at McLaren Bay Region and
through rehab, I would not have had such a successful recovery. I owe a lot to
Dr. Chakravarthi and the staff at Bay Neurosurgery Associates."
Robert A. Beyerlein is a graduate of Delta College’s Surgical Technology
Program, and is currently enrolled at Central Michigan University doing
undergraduate studies in Community Development, with an emphasis in
cardiovascular disease. He works in McLaren Bay Region’s Cardiac