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A key prosecution witness was Kimberly Morgan, who had been Duntsch’s surgical assistant from August 2011 through March 2012 and was also his ex-girlfriend.

He left his first meeting with Duntsch elated and filled with hope. and a Ph.D. from a top spinal surgery program. He spotted a hole in Duntsch’s scrubs. We can make a difference. “He basically can’t really feel things when he’s holding them in his fingers.”. His CV proclaims that he earned a doctorate in microbiology from the prestigious St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, graduating summa cum laude. (Rimlawi declined to comment for this story.).

Passmore also learned about Kenneth Fennell, a 68-year-old who alleged in a lawsuit that, during a November procedure, Duntsch operated on the wrong body part.

Instead of using a scalpel, he tried to pull Morguloff’s problem disk out with a grabbing instrument that could damage the spine. “His work ethic, character, and ability to get along with others were beyond reproach,” Robertson wrote. He kept telling the scrub tech “’suck more, suck more. (Neither responded to requests for comment for this story.) He knew his friend could barely drive a car without getting lost, he said. Many hospitals, however, hesitate to submit reports to the databank, worrying that doing so may hurt doctors’ job prospects or even prompt lawsuits. The surrounding community was hoping for a turnaround. As he operated on Efurd, Duntsch quarreled first with Kissinger and later with his supervisors, insisting on a craniotomy for Brown, according to court testimony. Since Texas capped damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, limiting the amount plaintiffs can be awarded for pain and suffering in most cases to $250,000, the number of suits filed and amounts paid out have plummeted. The patient’s name was Mary Efurd. He’s currently incarcerated in Huntsville, about an hour outside Houston. In the months following his surgery, Passmore focused on recovery and getting back to work. Republished with permission under license from ProPublica a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. “Out of respect for the patients and families involved, and the privileged nature of a number of details, we must continue to limit our comments. To this day, he can only eat food in small bites and has nerve damage. But then he gave Passmore the card of a neurosurgeon named Christopher Duntsch. and a Ph.D. from a top spinal surgery program. Copyright © 2020 The Dallas Morning News. Despite having clear-cut claims and serious, irreversible injuries, three patients I talked to said they had trouble finding attorneys to take their cases. We feel it sets a dangerous precedent University General, formerly known as South Hampton Community Hospital, had a troubled history: two bankruptcies and a former CEO sentenced to prison for health care fraud. And by the time we got down to that July, I had overwhelming evidence to indict him.”. Kirby took the comments to the district attorney’s office. By then, a judge who knew Glidewell had also brought the case to the DA’s attention. Whatever happened, he was gone from Minimally Invasive Spine Institute—but not from Baylor Plano.

Soon after beginning Efurd’s surgery, Duntsch turned to Kissinger and told him to let the front desk know he would be performing a procedure on Brown called a craniotomy, cutting a hole in her skull to relieve the pressure in her brain. She was an active 71-year-old who’d sought Duntsch’s help because back pain was keeping her off her treadmill. “And I could certainly understand why patients would trust him.”. “No autopsy was done (at the family’s request) but it is well-documented that the stroke was due to a left vertebral artery injury due to Dr. Duntsch’s horrendous surgical technique,” wrote surgeon Randall Kirby in a letter to the Texas Medical Board. Baylor-Plano again ordered Duntsch to take a drug test. “Jerry was calm with Chris,” said Jennifer Miller, then Summers’ girlfriend, “but all Jerry would say to me is: ‘I want to die. Instead, he resigned, leaving on April 20, 2012, with a lawyer-negotiated letter saying, “All areas of concern with regard to Christopher D. Duntsch have been closed. “I called down there and raised holy hell,” Kirby said.

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