Greater Baltimore Medical Center
"From Here on Out, It’s Me and GBMC!"

Nicki Bryant's Story

It was June 14, 2000 and I was a scared 15-year-old in very active labor. My parents and I arrived at the hospital at about 11:00am, I was quickly admitted and my epidural was given. It wasn’t long until my first baby boy, James, was born at 4:50pm. He weighed eight pounds, 11 ounces and was delivered by Dr Manley. A huge thank you to the nurses and doctors that made this very scary experience a comforting and memorable one!

My life went on, and I raised this beautiful baby. A few years passed, seven and a half, to be exact, and I was ready to deliver my second baby boy. On March 19, 2008 I came to GBMC to be induced. I arrived at 6:00am – little did I know I was already having contractions! Around 730am, I received my epidural. My baby proved that he was not in the waiting mood, so he quickly made his appearance into this world weighing seven pounds, 11 ounces and delivered by Dr Hajj.

By this time, I had joked around and told everyone I knew that if something ever happened to me they better take me to GBMC. Unfortunately, that day came in May of 2013.

For some unknown reason, I have herniated disks in my neck and my discomfort had gotten to the point where I could not pick anything up, my arm felt like it weighed 80 pounds and I was in excruciating pain. My father was off work so he drove me to the ER at GBMC. Unfortunately, they were not able to control the pain so they admitted me. After x-rays and MRIs, the GBMC staff decided to do an ADCF (fusion) on my cervical spine – at the age of 28! I was made to feel like I was going crazy by my non-GBMC primary care provider, that I shouldn’t be having these pains and it was in my head. To come to GBMC and finally get an answer, to have Dr. Iguchi solve that problem, definitely gave me my sanity back. And, during this certain stay, an amazing event took place that I will never forget!

You see, my fiancé and I had been together for nine years up to this point. We both knew what this ADCF surgery entailed. I was not allowed to lift anything after my surgery at all, not even a tissue box! He wanted to take some time off work to stay home with me. Big problem: We were not married, so FMLA wouldn’t cover him being out to take care of me. We knew on a Friday that the surgery would be on a Monday. My fiancé went to the courthouse and got our marriage certificate, then called up his buddy who was ordained. Sunday came, June 2, 2013, and we told only a few people what we planned on doing. One of my nurses knew, and this amazing woman went outside and grabbed me some flowers out of a garden and said, “You can’t get married without flowers.” When she did this, I started crying! For her to think of me was awesome. I got dressed in pain and my fiancé and children, along with some immediate family members, went down to the chapel in GBMC and after 9 years we were finally married.

It has been almost two years since then, and my spinal fusion along with medication and restrictions have caused me to gain weight. I have tried diet and exercise, but am very limited because of my fusion. I made the decision to have bariatric surgery. Where else would I go other than GBMC?! I have met with Dr. Elizabeth Dovec and she is an amazing person all around. I look forward to continuing my journey with her!

GBMC has given me life! They've brought two of the most loved boys into this world. I look at them every day and can’t imagine where I would be without them – even having my first as young as I did. GBMC gave me my life back and took away the pain from my disk herniations, but, most of all, I will forever love GBMC because they finished the circle of my relationship when my husband and I were married in their chapel. I cannot wait until my weight loss surgery to better myself and my quality of life. From here on out, it’s me and GBMC!

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