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Doctor and patient recount spinal emergency

Larry Chin, MD & Edward St. GeorgeOne minute, Edward St. George was on the deck of his family cottage on the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, taking measurements for vinyl siding work he was doing that day.

The next, he was falling from the granite ledge the deck overlooked. His neck and upper back struck the edge of the rock about five feet down. He fell over the cliff, slamming against rock abutments for 15 or 20 feet on his way to the ground. Two or three barrel rolls later, his body came to rest against the back of a neighbor‘s cottage.

“All I could do was breathe and blink my eyes. I couldn‘t even make a sound. I remember looking out of the corner of my eye and seeing what I thought was my hand, and I couldn‘t move it. I couldn‘t move anything,” St. George recalls.

The drama that unfolded among the boulders in Cape Vincent stretched into the emergency department and operating rooms at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse and into the physical and occupational therapy unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, near St. George‘s home in suburban Rochester.

St. George is joined in this interview by Dr. Larry Chin, chief of neurosurgery at Upstate University Hospital.

11-12-14-Chin.mp3 (18.39 MB) (Click to open in new window or Right-Click to save-as)
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