Abilene, Texas-based physician Paul McDonough, MD, has performed more than 5,000 surgeries since the start of his medical career. He received spine fellowship training, the highest level of training offered for spine surgery in the United States. In 2011, Dr. Paul W. McDonough gained recognition in his community for helping a woman recover from a broken neck.
The patient, Mary Jones, endured severe abuse from her husband at the time. Mary Jones’ neck was broken during an argument and her abuser refused to seek medical treatment for her for four days. When medical personnel came to retrieve Mary Jones from her home, she was dehydrated, weak, and unable to move. Dr. McDonough performed surgery to stabilize her spine, but Mary Jones’ condition was so precarious that her chances of recovery looked slim. Less than 1 percent of patients with similar neck injuries are able to regain the use of their limbs.
After the surgery, Mary Jones went on to physical therapy, where she painstakingly learned how to sit up, how to use her hands, and eventually, how to take her first steps again on her own. Her recovery was considered miraculous by many of the medical personnel involved in her care.