Last November, 2011, New Jersey reconstructive surgeon Dr. Matthew Kaufman of the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, performed his pioneering phrenic nerve surgery on Don Bird of Australia. Bird, who in his never-give-up search to improve his medical situation, had found Dr. Kaufman through the Internet–sent an update (featured below) to Heather O’Neill , Dr. Kaufman’s practice manager. Bird, like nearly all of the patients at The Plastic Surgery Center and The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, developed a close and friendly relationship with all of the staff. Click here to read more on Bird’s procedure and patient stories.
Dear Heather, Hope everyone is well in your family and at clinic. Can you please say a big hello to everyone and I have some news that you can pass on for me please. Have just had Lung Function tests today at Austin Hospital and compared with tests done at same place in December of 2010. I have attached these results and I am sure that Dr Kaufman will be happy to see a marked difference in the results. I also have had other improvements. Prior to Surgery I was only able to sleep on my right side ( which was damaged side), I now can sleep on both sides and my back as well. I have also noticed my ability to talk without getting a husky voice due to low air has gone and now I can talk the legs off a table!!! I have been getting more active as weeks pass and have only had one short stay in Hospital due to Pneumonia and I recovered from that much quicker than I used to. I am starting new program of Rehabilitation and hope to achieve a higher standard of fitness than before. I will keep the updates coming and hope to hear from you soon. I hope you can tell that I was very happy today and pleased with results. PS Also pass on that Dr Kaufman”s scar is very neat and muscle is flattening out as he said it would.
Cheers Don Bird
Dr. Kaufman shares his reaction to Bird’s email:
“All of us at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction are excited to learn that Don has been experiencing early clinical benefits from the nerve transplant surgery performed in November 2011. Although we expect this regenerative process to take at least one year, these early signs of improvement increase the chances that he will continue to improve over this time period. We will be following his progress very closely to completion and are happy that he has already detected some recovery in his respiratory function.”