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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A hometown hero battling painful diabetic neuropathy in his feet has found a solution and wants others to know about it.

More than 34 million Americans suffer from diabetes. As that number rises, so do the number of people who suffer from painful diabetic neuropathy. 

Jim Franklin was diagnosed with the disease. He thought his life was over. Until he walked through the doors of KC Pain Centers and found relief. 

“It truly is a game changer,” Franklin said. 

Franklin served in the Vietnam War and was hit with agent orange.

“We had a tough time over there,” Franklin said.

He came back to battle diabetic neuropathy, chronic numbness, tingling, burning and sharp pain in his feet. Franklin said he could barely walk.

“Very painful, I could get no relief,” Franklin said. “I was maxed out on my medicine. I was still so uncomfortable that I didn’t want to walk, I didn’t want to hunt, didn’t want to fish, I didn’t want to do anything that I had literally done all my life.”

Franklin almost gave up hope. Then he was introduced to a breakthrough spinal cord stimulator treatment option called Nevro HFX. It’s been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

“It works through placing two wires,” Dr. Atef Israel said. 

This device can also help people with low back pain or leg pain who want to try a non-drug solution or avoid surgery. 

Israel offers an analogy on how it works: “Ladies who have babies, they experience a similar situation when they go in labor by placing in the epidural space to block the pain of the contractions,” Israel said. “In this case we just thread these wires through the needle. I call this area the sweet spot.”

If the one-week trial goes well, they’ll make it permanent. 

Israel said he’s done hundreds of successful implants, including Franklin’s. The Vietnam veteran remembers the day it kicked into high gear.

“And all of a sudden, boom, it hit,” Franklin said. “It relieved my pain, and that was two and a half years ago.”

Franklin isn’t slowing down. He just got back from a hunting trip in South Dakota. They walked several miles. Before, he couldn’t walk across the street. 

Franklin continues to travel. He and his wife are headed to Panama next month.

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