Dr. Ted Rummel : “The inspirational doctor paralyzed from the waist who can still perform surgeries thanks to remarkable stand-up wheelchair”
A successful Missouri surgeon has beaten unbelievable odds by returning to the OR after suffering sudden paralysis from the waist down.
Dr. Ted Rummel thought his career was over after a blood-filled cyst on his spine burst, leaving him unable to move any part of his body below the waist.
But after a year of intense rehab, the orthopedic surgeon was back at work, once again weaving his magic.
Rummel, who practiced more than 1,000 surgeries per year in O'Fallon, revealed he was first diagnosed with a cavernous hemangioma — a blood-filled sac — on his spine in 2009.
In September 2010, it ruptured and the surgery left him numb from below the waist. "One of my first thoughts was, 'Oh my gosh, my life as I know it was erased,'" he said. "Who you are out of the O.R. is gone and you have to redefine yourself." But he soon realized he could get back to work — so fought himself back to fitness until he was ready to operate again.
He now performs procedures on patients' hands, elbows, feet, knees and ankles from his sitting wheelchair. To operate on shoulders, he gets strapped into an upright chair.
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