Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—An Eastern Shore man is the victim of a life-changing event.
Kai Jackson reports doctors at Johns Hopkins performed a delicate operation to improve his quality of life.
David Morgan has a hard time conveying what he’s endured over the past year. He’s recovering from surgery at Johns Hopkins hospital.
“I’ve had better years,” he said with a laugh.
Laughter may be his best medicine. On July 25, 2010, at the age of 39, Morgan’s world changed. It happened as the father of two children left a restaurant that night in his hometown of Salisbury.
“I’m walking with my back towards traffic,” he recalled. “An ’89 suburban, big SUV, clipped me, doing about 65. The mirror actually snapped my arm.”
Morgan said the driver kept going that night but turned himself in later. The hit-and-run paralyzed his left arm and hand. Even worse, it resulted in a constant and, at times, agonizing pain in his hand.
“It feels like my hand was in a vice, just being crushed,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s groundbreaking surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital includes a cutting edge procedure to remove a small portion of his spine and stop his chronic pain.
“The key there is that the pain is no longer in his hand. Although he feels it in his hand, the pain actually starts in his spinal cord,” said Dr. Allan Belzberg, neurosurgeon.
Belzberg tells WJZ the procedure has actually been around for years. He says what is critical is the success rate is going up, while the complication rate is dropping, and that’s good news for patients.
“We’re going to make on him 101 burns on that spinal cord to stop the pain,” Dr. Belzberg said.
“Getting through this and getting my kids back has been my main motivation,” Morgan said.
Doctors expect with rehabilitation Morgan will regain some use of his arm and hand. It’s possible he’ll be released from the hospital by Saturday or Sunday— just in time for Father’s Day.