Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ted Rummel was devastated with the news of a blood-filled cyst on his spine in 2010 that would eventually burst and lead to his paralyzation from the waist down. Despite the complications, however, the dedicated doctor has managed to find a way to continue working in the operating room through the use of an electric stand-up wheelchair.
The doctor, who would average approximately 1,000 surgeries a year, was met with great difficulty in continuing his career as a surgeon after his own major health setbacks. While most people in Dr. Rummel’s situation would understandably retire, he chose to return to work to care for his patients. Though he now travels around in a wheelchair, he still has the hand-eye coordination of a successful surgeon.
The inspiring doctor says, “I relate 100 percent differently to patients now. After going through something like this, you're going to listen better and be more empathetic. I really feel for their condition and how it's affecting their life, such as not being able to use your hand.” Seeing his patients at Progress West HealthCare Center and Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, Dr. Rummel is said to bring great joy to everyone he works with, including the medical and OR staff.