My spine surgeon asked me to have an abortion, because I was scheduled to have an expensive surgery.
I met my spine surgeon, Atiq Durrani in the summer of 2008, I previously had 4 failed spinal fusion's in my lower back and I was desperate for the pain to stop. He probably could sense my desperation and in his sick mind he knew I would agree to any surgery if he told me I would be pain free. And he did promise the world and all the pretty flowers and butterflies that would come with it.
I was 19 years old when I had my first spinal fusion surgery. I went to the only spine surgeon I knew because a friend's mom worked with him. I had my first surgery in the fall of 2002 and it was supposed to have gone flawless, but I still had pain afterwards. I was accused of being a hypochondriac, which I was used to at this point. I had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder affecting the collagen. Collagen is the glue that holds the body together, such as your eyes, bones, joints, disks, organs, ligaments, tendons. But I wasn't diagnosed until 2008, so I had had a lot of surgeries correcting what my body was doing naturally, which was to hyper-extend. I can dislocated every joint in my body easily because of my EDS.
I saw another spine surgeon after I was annoyed with the other doctor and this surgeon said that the other surgeon should have taken out the disk on top of the S1-L5 as well, which was the L5-L4, so I scheduled surgery and once I woke up I was told my old surgery also hadn't fused. That was the first failed fusion, there would be 3 more failed fusion's in my lumbar spine. I would find out later that having EDS will affect my spinal fusion and most of the time they do not fuse on their own because of the constant hyper-extension our body does. After two more failed fusions, I finally asked my EDS doctor for help and he highly recommended Atiq Durrani, he called him a pioneer for EDSers and their bones/joints.
When I met Dr Durrani, I scheduled my first spine surgery with him the same day. My first surgery would take place at the end of November 2008. A couple of weeks before my surgery, his nurse called me to tell me, my surgery had to be moved to December because my spine surgeon had to go to Saudi Arabia, because a prince fell off his camel and needed surgery. Now, at 24 this seemed incredibly reasonable to me since he was from Pakistan and he called himself the Prince of Pakistan. He has a classic case of grandiose delusions. This was my first clue that he wasn't who he said he was, but I believed his scam.
After that surgery, I felt great. I knew in my heart that this surgery worked. However, I had never asked what he would be using to fuse my vertebrates together. My previous doctors used the bone from my hip, but I never thought to ask Durrani what he would use. I was very ignorant on this subject and all I wanted was to be pain-free. Which happens to a lot of other people too. They are in so much pain that they think a referral from another doctor is legit, I was referred by a doctor I thought I trusted, but now I know I shouldn't have.
Because I have EDS, I was a prime candidate for him to suggest more surgeries, which of course meant more money for him. My next visit, I told him my neck had been bothering me and I wanted an MRI to see what was happening. Once the results were in, he suggested more surgery, but this time he said he would take out the C5-C6 and then in a year he would remove the C6-C7, this was his tactic with me. He knew he would get away with making me go under anesthesia so many times. I had three more surgeries for a total of 5, he went back into my lumbar spine to correct a level and to fuse a new one, he also went back into my cervical spine twice, which one surgery was to fuse my C4-C5 and C6-C7 and then to fuse my C1-C2. My last surgery was April 22, 2013, I was one of the last people to have a surgery performed by him at West Chester Hospital.
This is how a surgeon can screw you over fairly easy without your knowledge and with the hospital encouraging it all the while because they are making more money. My surgeon Atiq Durrani worked at Cincinnati Children's Hospital first, he was subsequently fired from there for having sex with his physician assistant and allowing his first year fellows finish his surgeries. Remember the Prince of Saudi Arabia falling off his camel? Well, in reality he was fired and had to wait for his surgical privileges to be active at a new hospital before he could do my surgery, but he came up with this lie to make himself look bigger than he was. And instead of marking his license for being fired, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital covered why he left. They claim he left because of contracts, but that was a lie. Had they done the right thing this domino effect would never have happened.
Without my knowledge, he fused my vertebrates with a stem cell growth protein called BMP-2, I was never advised he would use this, nor was I in a case study. With regards to my neck surgeries he decided to use another stem cell growth protein called Puregen. This was not even FDA approved for use in animals, let alone humans. He also used the BMP-2 product in my neck, which was strictly forbidden by the FDA, it is only approved for the lumbar spine. And would use a third called Trinity in my final surgery with him which was my C1-C2 fusion.
But because these products are new and Puregen hasn’t been researched and approved by the FDA, we only know that it causes swallowing problems, increases your chance of cancer, and causes infertility. Had I known all of these things ahead of time, I wouldn't have allowed Dr Durrani to perform one surgery on me, let alone 5. The last hospital he worked at which was West Chester Hospital, a smaller branch of University of Cincinnati, actually would stock the operating rooms with Puregen for other surgeons to use it. My surgeon even created a distribution company to funnel in this crap. Had he not been caught, he would have had a hospital wing in his honor for performing the most spine surgeries in Ohio and they allowed him 2-3 operating rooms at a time, which was completely unheard of!
In the spring of 2012, I had just healed from another surgery and my thoracic spine had been hurting me for months. I had another MRI this time on my thoracic and it showed herniated disks at T1-T3, but he said I needed to have surgery on T3-T5, which showed no major issues on my reports. I scheduled the surgery for July 2012. I became pregnant in June. I told him that I was pregnant his response was that I shouldn't have the baby because my spine is so bad that it would snap in two. Knowing I was about to have thoracic spine surgery and my family doctor had found cancer cells in my uterus, I aborted my child, but I did not have the surgery. In his reports of this canceled surgery he leaves everything blank on why I didn't have the surgery. Shocker.
In August 2013, Atiq Durrani was arrested on 46 felony counts of medicare fraud, prescription fraud, allowing another surgeon to perform his surgeries using his name and performing unnecessary surgeries, he was facing many years in prison. He fled the country in December 2013 back to Pakistan. I messaged him after I heard that he had fled, he messaged me back fairly quickly and told me to pray for his family. That is when I knew he was guilty. You do not run across the world if you are innocent. That's when I contacted an attorney who had previous Durrani patients already and was suing the hospitals that Durrani worked for and suing the manufacturers of BMP-2 and Puregen.
I found out what Durrani really did to me after that. I am thankful I didn't have thoracic spine surgery with him, he has butchered a lot of people and some have died and others have committed suicide because of the pain. I wrote this article to show you that we have no idea who our doctors are, I can't say for certain that my surgeon even went to medical school since the one he lists says he is not an alumni. The medical world has changed, we used to become doctors to help and to save the world, now they do it for the money and the benefits of being called a doctor, it has become so ego-based. I know there are still some good doctors out there, but you have to dig for these anomalies.
In Ohio, I have seen over 10 surgeons all refusing to help me and I am even in Columbus, which is 2 hours from Cincinnati. What Durrani left in his wake is my cervical spine that isn't fused at C1-C2, my C4-C7 is not completely fused, my thoracic spine T1-T3 is herinated and impinged on my spinal cord because of my spine breaking due to bone overgrowth from C4-C7 due to the BMP-2 and Puregen use. With BMP-2 and/or Puregen there is no way to remove it from your body, so I will be forever looking over my shoulder for the next ball to drop.
Atiq Durrani is in Lahore, Pakistan performing surgeries on his own people and calls himself a medical diplomat for the United States, he can't even step foot on our soil, but is a diplomat? All the while, his girlfriend an American from Ohio is flying back and forth bringing him medical supplies that he cannot obtain in Pakistan. Sounds like besides having to live in Pakistan, he’s made out like a bandit. We cannot extradite him due to the iffy extradition laws we have with Pakistan.
I think about my decision to have an abortion daily, terminating a pregnancy is never an easy decision regardless of the reason. It took me a couple of years, but I know that because of all that I was dealing with at the time of my pregnancy that it was the smartest thing to do. If I could go back and change that decision, I wouldn’t because of the stress and pain I was in. Having a child is supposed to be a happy time and I was not dealing with happy circumstances, nor was I ready to deal with the father for the rest of my life. Everything happens for a reason. I know the next time I am pregnant it will be under better circumstances and with a better result.
Currently, I am trying to get Ohio to make it mandatory that every doctor or surgeon videotape’s each and every surgery and procedure. This will help for malpractice claims for both sides of the fence. Our legal system is bogged down enough, so this will make it easier and harder for malpractice claims to be filed. It would be a win/win. I wrote about my surgeon and how to protect yourself from your doctors, which is out next year called, Terrorism in America's Hospitals. Learn how to protect yourself and research as much as you can about your doctor and the procedure before you agree to allow a total stranger to change how your body will function. You will have to deal with the effects longer than it takes for him to spend the money from each surgery and/or procedure that they performed on you.
Christy Goldstein is a certified life coach. She helps people with illnesses and/or disabilities with their lives and their dating lives. Christy was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome at the age of 25 and her goals are to show people with an illness that you can achieve the life you always wanted regardless of your limitations. Contact her at email@example.com