David Meyers was looking forward to celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary in London with his wife Jody, following a business trip to Spain. The former President and CEO of Microban International, a leading company of antimicrobial products, was struck with excruciating pain during that business trip. They were forced to instead head back to the States where, thanks to a particularly astute primary care physician, he was quickly diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. The average time it takes to get a diagnosis is often a year or more. He was lucky. David learned that he had a rare condition and, although he has tremendous respect for his primary care physician and his neurologist was trying to do his best, neither of his doctors had experience treating someone with his condition.
David quickly set out to educate himself and soon learned of Dr. Raymond Sekula, a neurosurgeon with extensive experience in the treatment of TN. During that process he also learned of the Facial Pain Association- Dr. Sekula is an esteemed member of the FPA Medical Advisory Board.
David ordered some books from the FPA, learned what he could from the web site, and attended a regional conference in Richmond, Virginia. David believes that “The regional conference was incredibly eye opening. I learned about the various drugs, and the surgical and non-surgical procedures used to treat my condition, and I had the opportunity to speak with many of the country’s leading physicians who treat facial pain. And it was tremendously heartening to learn that there was a community to help me through this setback.”
After many years managing the pain through medications, and at a point where the medications no longer seemed to provide much relief, he contacted Dr. Sekula, a neurosurgeon with extensive experience performing Microvascular Decompression (MVD) surgeries. MVD is an invasive procedure that relieves abnormal compression of the cranial nerve and offers a good chance of a long term solution to patients who have certain physiological characteristics. David had a successful MVD procedure and has been pain free for over five years.
David and his wife Jody have stayed involved with the FPA and help fund facial pain research at a major research hospital. They have also recently made a five-year financial pledge to the FPA. In 2018 David joined the FPA board, and in 2019, became FPA Board Chair. He says, “Jody and I can’t imagine donating our money and time to anything more worthwhile than helping people with facial pain. We know first-hand the pain that the patient endures and the stress that the patient’s family and other caregivers encounter, so we know that we’re working on something that is extremely worthwhile.”