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David Surgeon Jr.
Polymyositis Patient

"Dr. Deveshwar is my medical angel."

In the fall of 2008, David Surgeon Jr. was healthy enough to enjoy two-mile walk/runs with his dog each morning. A few months later, he was fighting to breathe - and doctors didn't know why. It was only after he was referred to Shaili Deveshwar, MD, that David got a correct diagnosis and began receiving the treatment he needed to get better.

"Dr. Deveshwar is one of the best physicians I have known," David says.

It all started in the late fall of 2008, when David noticed that "it was harder for me to breathe and I became weaker from performing small physical activities."

He thought at first it was an allergy or a cold, but the problem gradually grew worse. After developing a low-grade fever, he made an appointment to see his primary care physician, who ordered a series of x-rays and then prescribed medication.

"My symptoms did not improve, my breathing got worse, the low-grade fever persisted and my weakness caused me to become physically inactive," David says.

Just before Christmas 2008, David's primary care doctor referred him to a pulmonologist, who ordered more x-rays and prescribed a different set of drugs. His health continued to decline, and by January 2009, he was in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit, "fighting for my life," David says. At the end of his 10-day hospital stay, David says doctors still didn't know what was causing his health problems.

"I was placed on 60 mg prednisone daily and constant oxygen," David recalls. "The pulmonologist informed me that my lungs still contained materials, and I would probably need to have surgery - a biopsy - to determine what was going on with my lungs."

His life finally began turning around in March 2009, when a blood test showed a high level of an antibody that concerned David's primary care physician - and the doctor referred David to Shaili Deveshwar, MD, a rheumatologist who now practices at Piedmont Orthopedics.

"At the time, I did not realize it, but God had started to answer our prayers," David says. "After I met and talked with Dr. Deveshwar, I knew God had a miracle for me."

Dr. Deveshwar performed a series of laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures to determine the cause of David's problems. Then she was able to give David a name for the autoimmune disease that had transformed him from healthy to "very sick and weak."

"My condition was diagnosed as polymyositis," he says. "This disease can be treated with an immunosuppressor and monitoring of my blood every three months."

As Dr. Deveshwar worked to treat his symptoms, David says that she explained every test and procedure in detail and was always ready to answer any questions.

"Before prescribing the immunosuppressor, she suggested that I become knowledgeable of the drug from literature that she gave me, along with research online," he says. "She listened to and answered my questions and informed me where additional information could be obtained."

Over the years since his condition was diagnosed and he began treatment with Dr. Deveshwar, David says his health has returned.

"My breathing is now normal, and I have been able to return to my favorite outside activity - mowing the lawn, making my yard the envy of the community," he says. "Dr. Deveshwar is my medical angel. Thank you, Dr. Deveshwar."


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