The Montclair Dispatch—March 15, 2015
Janet Hubert, Montclair resident, recently recovered from a debilitating spinal injury after receiving innovative treatment at the Hospital for Special Surgery and working with Dr. Darren Lebl. Hubert struggled to walk for many years throughout her life, being declared disabled after 11 years and visiting countless doctors. Dr. Lebl determined that her issue was a spinal disk herniation, finally allowing Hubert to receive treatment and get her life back.
“I was a professional dancer, actress and singer; about 11 years ago I sustained a neck injury,” said Hubert. “It started with a severe case of vertigo that would last as long as three months. Severe jaw pain also accompanied it.”
Dr. Lebl was referred to Janet Hubert by Dr. Galli, who told her that there was no one that would ever operate on the neck except the Hospital for Special Surgery. “I happened to be sitting next to a patient of Dr. Lebl’s who had just done a tri-level fusion,” said Hubert. “I asked her how she felt, [and] she said wonderful. When people give up on you, and doctors no longer want to see you, and pass you along to the next one, I was so very happy they passed me to Dr. Darren Lebl.”
Dr. Lebl’s career began during a volunteer mission to the Gambia in West Africa in the 1998. “For approximately three months, I worked in a small village in a malaria clinic where I learned of the rewards the practice of medicine can bring,” said Dr. Lebl.
Dr. Lebl then received a scholarship to attend Stanford medical school, where he researched stem cell therapies, regenerative medicine and the surgical subspecialties. These experiences brought Dr. Lebl to Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he trained as an orthopedic and spinal surgeon. Dr. Lebl has now been at HSS since 2010, where he coordinates courses for other physicians and conducts research about cervical spines and motion preservation.
“You must not give up when everyone tells you that they cannot help you anymore as I was told.” said Hubert. “There is no shame in being disabled, and I have learned not to judge anyone’s disability. Just because someone looks fine that may not be the case.”
Read the full story at montclairdispatch.com.