A neurosurgeon has been indicted on assault charges over surgeries he allegedly botched.
Dr. Christopher Duntsch is accused of maiming and killing at least two patients during operations in Dallas, Texas between July 2012 and June 2013.
On Wednesday, the 44-year-old was charged with five counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and one count of injury to a child, elderly or disabled person.
Last year, nine of his alleged victims showed up to an INSIDE EDITION interview struggling to walk, some limping, some using canes, and others unable to walk at all.
They came to talk about Dr. Duntsch, who specialized in relieving back and neck pain and called himself “The Best Neurosurgeon in All of Dallas” in commercials.
But the patients couldn't disgaree more - and accused him of being a drug addict who maimed them during surgery.
They branded him “a snake in the grass,” “a monster,” “drug addict” and even “a psychopath.”
One of his alleged victims, Lee Passmore, said he never had crippling nerve spasms until Dr. Duntsch needlessly removed part of his spine during a procedure to relieve back pain.
He said: “It feels like somebody has an ice pick planted squarely in my back. I shouldn't be this way.”
Another patient, Jeff Cheney, said Dr. Duntsch also removed a portion of his spinal cord by mistake. When he woke up, he found the right side of his body was paralyzed.
“I was horrified. I was speechless,” he said.
Ken Fennel and Mary Effurd both said they must now forced to use wheelchairs due to Dr. Duntsch's incompetence.
Effurd said: “He took away my life as it was, my freedom.”
Jacqueline Troy said that she woke up from surgery finding herself unable to talk.
“I'm down to one vocal cord,” she said. “They didnt know if I would survive.”
Jeff Glidewell says his voice was almost lost forever after Dr. Duntsch mistook his esophagus for a tumor and sliced into it.
“He stuck a sponge in the hole of my esophagus and sowed me up,” he said.
And that sponge? Dr. Duntsch left it inside his throat.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Henderson was brought into to repair, as best he could, the damage to some of these patients.
“This is almost literally a serial killer,” he said.
According to Passmore's attorney, Dr. Duntsch had a serious drug problem.
Passmore's attorney said: “There is one report that he spent an entire night doing cocaine at a party and then when the sun came up, he put on his scrubs and went off to the hospital to treat children.”
In 2014, INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero confronted Dr. Duntsch and asked him if he had a drug or alcohol problem.
He said: “No mam, never have.”
She said: “I talked to a doctor who compared you to a serial killer. Do you have any response to that?”
He said: “Yes, I will deal with that in the context of libel later when I defend myself.”
But his patients agreed there's a more fitting punishment: “He belongs in jail!”
Dr. Duntsch’s license to practice in Texas was suspended in 2013. He denies any wrongdoing and allegations of malpractice. If convicted of all charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
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