• Photo by Roxanne Thompson/The Groesbeck Journal
    Parkview Regional Hospital’s Dr. Don Jackson, center, explains how the gall bladder works and what happens when a person develops gallstones, while Parkview COO Austin Wratchford holds an illustration that Jackson sketched. Jackson spoke both at the Mexia Lions Club, shown here, and at the Rotary Club of Mexia.

Parkview surgeon explains gall bladder surgery, prevention

By Roxanne Thompson Staff Writer

A new general surgeon at Parkview Regional Hospital, Dr. Donald “Don” Jackson, recently spoke about an organ of the body that produces symptoms that may fool a less-experienced doctor into many a misdiagnosis.

Jackson spoke both to the Mexia Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Mexia, telling what he does as a general surgeon. First, however, he spoke a little about himself. Although he started working at Parkview around the end of July, he actually used to fill in occasionally for another Parkview surgeon around 17 years ago and says he feels at home.

Jackson lives in Palestine, where he was born and raised. He left his hometown to attend Morehouse College, in Atlanta, followed by the Morehouse School of Medicine. Following that, he completed his surgery training in Los Angeles, at the Kingview UCLA Medical Center.

“That was a wonderful experience because our hospital was situated on the border between Compton and Watts,” he said, two places especially known for crime and gang violence.

“We were basically under battlefield conditions,” Jackson continued, describing the situation as controlled chaos. “It could have been noon on a Tuesday and we’d have gunshot wounds just come through the door – it was ridiculous,” he said. “But that prepared me for a lot of things that happened, including the L.A. riots. It was not fun, but we were not overwhelmed because we were used to those conditions virtually all the time.”

After all his training, Jackson decided to return to Palestine, counting the Mexia area as in his sphere of work.

Turning his presentation to his occupation, Jackson started explaining what general surgeons do, which is confined to surgery along the food’s path through the body, such as gall bladder, appendix and colon. In contrast, doctors who treat problems along that path with medicine are called gastro-enterologists. That introduction brought Jackson to the focus of his talk.

“There is a very common illness, malady, whatever you want to call it, that occurs all over the United States; it’s extremely common, but it’s also easy to misdiagnose. The operation for this is performed over a million times in the United States per year, every year. What I’m going to show you is the mystery of the gall bladder.”

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