Dr Aria Sabit and Seven Years Ago
Today, Super Bowl Sunday, February 5, 2017, Dr. Aria Sabit, 43, is in jail for fraud: on January 9, 2017, he was sentenced to prison for 20 years.
But seven years ago, on Friday February 5, 2010, Dr. Sabit was busy saving my husband’s life when he broke his neck doing a bicycle stunt during a rehearsal. (Read an account here).
It was just by chance that Dr Sabit was not only on-call at the hospital but he was in surgery when my husband arrived by ambulance with a broken C-2 also known as “the hangman’s break.” It’s called that because that’s what happens when someone is in a noose: when a C2 breaks, 95% of the people die instantly; the other 5% who live are quadrapeligics. Of those 5% who live, 3% are not in wheelchairs but have only 25% mobility in their neck because it is fused. (Read about synchoncity in a depth psychological account of the accident and the aftermath here and here.
Dr Sabit was new to the practice; in fact this was his first job following his various residencies. He worked a lot and was on call a lot. As soon as he came out of surgery and reviewed Marsh’s files, he said he had three options, and none of them were good: while Marsh wasn’t at risk to lose his life, he had a 60% chance of losing his mobility. That’s scary to hear.
Dr Sabit explained that he had three options: fuse from the front, fuse from the back, or dislocate the jaw, move the bones into place, and once it healed enough, then fuse with less risk. During one of his residencies, he had observed this technique on a professional football player who broke his C2 during a game.
As Marsh had always been athletic, practiced yoga, never smoked, and had healed well from other previous broken bones, Dr Sabit thought Marsh might be a candidate for this procedure with a chance of better mobility but he wouldn’t know for sure until he got into the operating room.
While I know people personally who have suffered terribly because of Dr Sabit’s fraud, and I am sorry for their pain, I am grateful that Dr Sabit knew about this procedure and chose to use it on Marshall who healed perfectly and never required any more surgery.