New kind of X-Ray is game changer for West Texas

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 11:36 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A new machine in Lubbock is the first of its kind in this region and it took a major community effort to bring it here.

15-year-old Will Jordan is no stranger to the Orthopedic Clinic at Texas Tech, but we were there when he came for a much different reason and an unexpected reunion.

Dr. Michel Diab is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center who has been with Will since an ATV accident in 2018 left his leg crushed almost beyond repair. Nineteen surgeries later, Will has learned so much about medicine that he often sounds like he’s in medical school.

He is quick to give the credit to Dr. Diab, saying “I wouldn’t be here without him.”

That brings us to the reason for Will’s visit this time. Dr. Diab invited him to see a new million dollar machine called the EOS. It’s a full body scanner that takes all the pictures it needs in 15 to 20 seconds.

Dr. Diab wanted to show the machine to Will since his family had such a big part in bringing it to Lubbock.

Dr. Diab says the EOS takes pictures from a straight angle instead of a much broader angle in conventional radiology, which he says makes this new method more accurate and faster too. He says the whole full body scan takes 15 or 20 seconds which means less time for the patient to be exposed to radiation. He says, “Compared to the standard machine, the radiation is 70% less.”

Ironically, Dr. Diab trained on the EOS machine in France long before it was available in the U.S.

Now, he says, “So soon as I heard it was available, I went to the hospital and told them please let’s get this technology. it’s really important for the children.” Likewise, it was an easy decision for UMC. Dr. Brian Payne, Chief Medical Officer of the UMC Children’s Hospital, says, “With this, it creates what is really there with no gaps, better imaging, quicker and less radiation so this is a win for the kids in this region.”

It was soon after Dr. Diab sent Will to Dallas to use an EOS machine, that Will’s mom launched a fundraiser to bring one to Lubbock. Kristy Jordan explains, “Atmos Energy stood up and gave $5,000 that night to start the campaign off. CMN pitched in quite a bit. So, it really was a community effort to get this machine here.”

But this was the first time for Bayla Chance to use the EOS to monitor her Scoliosis or curvature of the spine. A few minutes later, Dr. Diab was on his way to an exam room to share the good news with Bayla and her mom, Jamie. He told them that the EOS revealed her spine was the same, no worse than her last visit here.

There will be more EOS x-rays for Bayla and for Will as long as each continues to grow.

But Will says this machine offers such an improvement over what has been used previously. He says, “It’s the same as a regular x-ray, just a fraction of the time and less radiation. Just all-around better care.”

Yes, Will sounds like a doctor already.

By the way, on this day, January 11th, Will is turning 15.

He’s come a long way from the little boy who was torn up by an ATV 4 years ago.

Happy birthday Will!

Note: The EOS machine is tied to UMC and the Texas Tech Orthopedic Clinic. However, as pediatricians learn more about it, there will likely be referrals to use this on kids and even adults from all over West Texas. Dr. Diab says this machine is a game changer for the entire region.

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