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Wingo woman credits neurosurgeon for getting back on her feet



Neurosurgeon Thomas Gruber, MD, wears the ‘Team Gruber’ shirt presented to him by Sherry Youngblood and daughters Jessica Ballard and Valerie Walters, Dr. Gruber’s assistant, Addy Jackson, is at right.


After two back surgeries and months of recuperation, Sherry Youngblood wanted to thank  neurosurgeon Thomas Gruber, M.D., in a special way. So, she and her daughters had “Team Gruber” T-shirts made for him and his staff.

“It took a whole team to put Humpty Dumpty back together,” said Youngblood, 54, of Wingo. “It was our way of saying thanks. He is a good doctor.”

Youngblood shattered her backbone during a two-car accident last year, as she and husband, John, were driving home from their jobs in Union City, Tenn. She was taken to the nearest hospital first and afraid the next step was being transferred to Nashville or Memphis.

“But then Baptist called and said, ‘Bring her on,’” she said. “It was such a relief to stay that close to home. I was scared to death, but Dr. Gruber just looked at me and smiled and said, ‘We can fix this.’ ”

“From the minute I hit the door, you don’t know what to do, but they did,” she said. “The care I received was exceptional. They made the best out of a bad experience.”

Dr. Gruber performed a minimally-invasive surgery on Youngblood to fix her broken back.

“I inserted screws and rods through very tiny incisions,” he said. “No one else does this type of surgery in western Kentucky. For the second surgery, we removed the screws and rods once the fracture was healed.”

Youngblood is now doing physical therapy at Baptist Health Rehabilitation, and has returned to work.

“They are great, too,” she said of her therapists. “They are always so positive. I am much improved.”


Baptist Health Rehabilitation, 115 Kiana Court, provides a full range of physical, occupational and speech therapy services to clients with neurological, orthopedic, developmental or traumatic disorders. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone 270.534.1200 for more information.