Judy Kerns was facing a one-of-a-kind problem. Here’s how she put it: her head had fallen off her neck.
You would expect a medical professional to put this in more scientific terms, but Matthew McGirt, M.D., uses pretty much the same words as his patient: “Her head had literally fallen off her spine, and it was a miracle she wasn’t paralyzed,” said the assistant professor of Neurosurgery.
Just four weeks into his faculty career at Vanderbilt, McGirt conceived and executed a surgery that had never been done before, taking Kerns from being bent over and near death, to an upright posture.
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