Philip Mayfield: What Happened to Dr. Death’s Victim?

Philip Mayfield was recognized as one of many victims of Christopher Duntsch, the Texas doctor nicknamed “Dr. Death” throughout his prison trial. Mayfield went in for spinal surgical procedure in 2013 to alleviate again ache however was left paralyzed from the neck down instantly after the process. Mayfield died in February 2021 after contracting the coronavirus, his spouse, Angela, defined on a GoFundMe account.

Duntsch’s case was chronicled in a brand new drama collection for the Peacock streaming community. The eight-episode collection Dr. Death debuts on July 15.


Mayfield Said He Believed Duntsch Hurt Him Intentionally

After serving within the Navy, Mayfield turned a truck driver, as CNBC defined in an episode of American Greed. Mayfield advised the community that a few years of driving lengthy distances and lifting heavy containers precipitated power bodily ache and tingling in his arms.

Doctors advised Mayfield in 2012 that his extreme again and neck ache may very well be fastened with an anterior cervical discectomy surgical procedure, Esquire reported. Mayfield mentioned he and his spouse did analysis in regards to the surgical procedure and consulted with six totally different docs over the course of almost one 12 months. They ultimately settled on Duntsch to carry out the surgical procedure.

The Mayfields advised American Greed that Duntsch confidently defined that he had carried out this sort of backbone surgical procedure hundreds of occasions earlier than with out problems. He advised Mayfield he can be again to work in 6 to eight weeks.

The surgical procedure was scheduled for April 9, 2013, and was imagined to take about 45 minutes. Angela Mayfield mentioned Duntsch even advised her the surgical procedure had gone properly as she waited on the hospital.

But the surgical procedure, which had really taken a number of hours, had not gone properly. Angela Mayfield later defined on GoFundMe, “Philip awoke from surgical procedure in extreme ache and unable to maneuver from his neck down, his spinal wire had been lower, deliberately.”

Mayfield was transferred to a different hospital. As Esquire defined, a distinct physician shortly concluded that Mayfield had been the sufferer of a “botched surgical procedure.” The physician advised Mayfield his spinal wire had been broken with a drill and that he would by no means stroll once more.

Two years later, when Duntsch was arrested, Mayfield was within the courtroom. A reporter for the Dallas Morning News requested Mayfield if he believed his accidents had been the results of a “mistake” by Duntsch. Mayfield mentioned he didn’t see it that method. Mayfield responded that he believed Duntsch had deliberately damage him.

But Mayfield additionally selected to not maintain a grudge. As Esquire reported, Mayfield mentioned he forgave Duntsch “despite the fact that he hasn’t requested [me] for forgiveness, or mentioned something to any of the sufferers that had been affected.”


Mayfield Experienced Severe Pain for the Rest of His Life But Kept Pushing to Recover

Mayfield regained motion within the years after the surgical procedure. As Esquire defined, Mayfield was devoted to bodily rehab and ultimately was capable of stroll with a cane. But he continued to expertise paralysis on his proper facet and in his left arm, in addition to taking pictures ache throughout his physique.

He underwent a number of extra accidents and coverings over time. Angela Mayfield defined on GoFundMe, “Philip has suffered with a number of problems together with neurologic deficits, excruciating ache (CRPS 2), blinding complications, fainting spells, dystonia, fixed spasticity, dysautonomia, gastroparesis and rather more. He has had a number of surgical procedures and is in want of ongoing medical therapies.”

In January 2021, Mayfield started a brand new therapy to alleviate his ache. It concerned infusions of ketamine and stem cell remedy, his spouse mentioned. But on the day of his third therapy, Mayfield was identified with COVID-19. Angela Mayfield wrote that her husband was susceptible “attributable to underlying points brought on by the surgical procedures.” He died on February 12, 2021.

Mayfield was solely 50. He was survived by his spouse and three sons.


Duntsch Is Serving a Life Sentence After a Jury Found Him Guilty of Paralyzing Another Patient

Duntsch was convicted in 2017 for paralyzing one other surgical affected person, Mary Efurd. Her spinal surgical procedure left her as a paraplegic, CNBC reported. The physician who took over her case after that surgical procedure, Robert Henderson, advised CNBC the extreme harm carried out to Eford made him query whether or not Duntsch was actually a doctor. “I could not think about anyone who had taken an anatomy course in medical college doing this a lot harm,” Henderson mentioned.

Duntsch was arrested in 2015. Prosecutors charged him with 5 counts of aggravated assault and one depend of damage to an aged particular person, in accordance with the grand jury doc filed in Dallas County. In 2017, a jury discovered Duntsch responsible and he was sentenced to life behind bars. As the Dallas Morning News reported, Duntsch will probably be eligible for parole in 2045

As ProPublica reported, Duntsch’s conviction was the primary of its variety within the United States.

Police initially accused Duntsch of paralyzing at the very least 4 different sufferers and inflicting the deaths of two folks, the Washington Post reported. A report printed in D Magazine in November 2016 theorized the variety of sufferers harmed whereas below Duntsch’s care might have been a lot increased. But prosecutors selected to slender the scope and deal with one particular affected person, Eford, through the trial, which resulted within the life sentence, as USA Today famous.


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