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"Dr. Death" Memphis victim dies years after botched surgery

Jerry Summers had been a quadriplegic since 2011, following a surgery performed by Christopher Duntsch, who was nicknamed "Dr. Death."
Credit: WATN
Jerry Summers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —
Another life has been taken as a result of "Dr. Death" botching a surgery. Local 24 News has confirmed Memphis resident Jerry Summers has died from an infection connected to his being left a quadriplegic years ago.

Summers is a former patient of Christopher Duntsch, who was nicknamed "Dr. Death."  Duntsch is serving a life sentence in prison after killing and maiming more than 30 patients while working in the Dallas area.

Summers, a childhood friend of Duntsch, allowed Duntsch to perform cervical fusion surgery in 2011 at Baylor Medical Center in Plano, TX. When Local 24 news first interviewed Summers in 2014, Summers told us he woke up from the surgery paralyzed. The surgery left Summers a quadriplegic. He then returned to Memphis.

Duntsch was working in Texas, but his problems began years prior at the University of Tennessee Medical Science Center in Memphis. Documents show he was sent to an impaired physician program in the fourth year of a six-year residency. Duntsch was in Memphis working as a neurosurgery resident. 

Credit: AP
This photo provided by the Dallas County Jail shows Christopher Duntsch. A Texas jury has found the neurosurgeon guilty Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, of maiming patients who had turned to him for surgery to resolve debilitating injuries. (Dallas County Jail via AP)

A 2014 lawsuit claimed a nurse witnessed Duntsch doing cocaine the night and morning before a surgery, and that Duntsch admitted to using cocaine and operating on patients all the time. After completing his residency, he moved to Texas and began operating on patients there. 

Duntsch became known as "Dr. Death" after his botched surgeries were publicized, along with his legal troubles connected it. Not only was he criminally charged and convicted, he faced civil lawsuits as well.  

RELATED: Local I-Team: Local Doctor Sentenced To Life In Texas Prison Following Botched Surgeries

"Dr. Death" became the focus of not only podcasts but a documentary as well. 

Summers' lawyer Jeffrey Rosenblum told Local 24 News legally Duntsch could be criminally charged now that Summers has died, though Rosenblum didn't think Summers would want that, because he had forgiven his friend for what had happened.

Earlier this year, Summers called Local 24 to discuss infections he had connected to him being left a quadriplegic. On social media, there has been an outpouring of comments from friends and supporters saying he was loved and will be missed. 

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