Dentist returns to work after becoming paralyzed while on vacation in the Dominican Republic

LONG ISLAND — A dentist couldn’t brush his own teeth after he was paralyzed while on vacation in the Dominican Republic, but now, months later, he’s returned to work.

Dr. Joseph Brofsky, section head of pediatric dentistry at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, was injured on March 1 , according to Northwell Health. It was the second day of the trip. He was out for a swim when a wave knocked him down, smashing his head into the ocean floor. Dr. Brosky couldn’t move his arms or legs.

A friend noticed what had happened and called for help.

Dr. Brofksy was hospitalized in Santo Domingo and then took an emergency evacuation jet back to New York for spinal surgery at North Shore University Hospital, according to Northwell Health. He spent five weeks in a rehabilitation facility. Now his legs are at about 90 percent and his arms are at around 86 percent of full functionality.

He can’t perform surgery right now, but Dr. Brofsky is back at work teaching and working with residents.

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