surviving the worst

You can look at someone and never know what they’ve been through, and what they’ve had to survive. David is one of those people—a survivor. In 2018, when David and his wife arrived home from work, they walked in to find they were being burglarized by a violent intruder. The burglar shot and killed David’s son, and shot and injured David and his wife in the process.

David and his wife suffered the worst type of pain a parent can imagine—the loss of a child. To add to their emotional pain, the gunshot David sustained in his right leg made it difficult to walk and left him with excruciating physical pain. He was unable to work and barely able to leave the house.

a painful reminder

To make things worse, doctors struggled to find a solution for David’s leg injury. He was prescribed pain medication and sent home with crutches and a brace, but he quickly found out that neither would be much help. His leg was in very bad shape.

“I couldn’t walk and I could hardly sit,” David said. “I had my family helping me move around the house, [and even] bathing me. I couldn’t get into the front seat of the car—they had to put me into the back seat to take me to my doctor’s appointment. I couldn’t work and I was in constant pain at that time.”

a different approach

After struggling to find a physician to help, David was referred to Dr. Kolovich, a surgeon who specializes in nerve injuries. Dr. Kolovich determined that the gunshot had severed a portion of David’s sciatic nerve, impacting his ability to walk, and was also the cause of the unrelenting pain.

Instead of treating the pain with medication, which often only offers temporary relief, Dr. Kolovich recommended a different approach—repairing the source of the pain through surgical nerve repair.

During the surgery, Dr. Kolovich removed a painful neuroma—a tangle of broken and damaged nerve fibers mixed with scar tissue—that had formed in David’s sciatic nerve. He then repaired the damaged nerve using Avance® Nerve Graft and Axoguard® Nerve Protector. While he knew it would take time, Dr. Kolovich was confident David could recover from the damage to his leg.

finally feeling better

Today David is living pain free and has also regained most of his mobility. At first, he began to feel his toes, then a few weeks later he had movement in his foot. Now he is walking with a nearly normal gait, and is much further along than he ever thought possible.

“I thought the pain would be something I would have to live with the rest of my life,” David said.

Sensory wise—David can feel everything now. And it will likely continue to get better. He is making a huge recovery every day, and Dr. Kolovich is just happy to know he’s out of pain.

“Thinking about what happened to me and what happened to me with my son, I know he’d look at me and want me to live my life and move on,” David said. “When I look at my life and where I’m at now, I know it’s a miracle.”


could surgical nerve repair help you?

If you’re facing chronic pain after a traumatic injury or even a routine surgery, answer these questions to determine if you’re a candidate, and get connected to a surgeon who may be able to help.

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