Former surgeon on trial for leaving woman permanently disabled

Former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, who was stripped of his medical license, is on trial in Dallas and charged for a botched surgery. But prosecutors say he's connected to two deaths and 34 seriously injured patients. 

Duntsch was indicted in several cases where patients were left seriously injured, paralyzed and even dead.

In a somewhat unusual move, prosecutors will be allowed to call other patients who will testify their lives are forever changed by the gross malpractice of the former neurosurgeon.

79-year-old great grandmother Mary Efurd told the jury she'd gone to Dr. Christopher Duntsch for back surgery in 2012 to eliminate chronic pain but left barely able to stand or walk.

“I had never had pain like that before. It was a 10 + if you know what that means,” she said.

Prosecutors say Duntsch not only severely bungled her spine surgery but amputated part of her nerve root.

Dr. Robert Henderson testified he was called in to try to correct Duntsch's surgery and called Efurd's case an "atrocity" and questioned his qualifications.

“You asked how egregious it was. It was as egregious as you can imagine,” Henderson said. “I became concerned whether or not he was a physician and a surgeon.”

FOX4 first covered Duntsch in 2013. Patients were showing up to his Plano office trying to get records after his medical license was suspended, then finally revoked. In 2015, he was arrested for shoplifting and aggravated assault. There were allegations of drug and alcohol abuse, including a DWI conviction out of Colorado.

Duntsch's defense attorney Robbie McClung says this case is even more unusual because the jury will be allowed to hear testimony from other patients from other indictments involving her client.

“It’s just important that they not let emotion not take control and they stick to the facts since that's what guilt-innocence is supposed to be about,” the attorney said.

The trial will start back up Friday morning at 9 a.m.

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