King Abdullah Passes, East Texas Spine Doctor Remembers his Life
TYLER, TEXAS (KETK) — Doctor Kevin Pauza and the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia first met about seven years ago.
"The kings life was changed the day that he had surgical fusion. He had rods, plates and screws in his back, because that's the old-fashioned norm. Today we know that that's not best for a persons long term interest, so after that procedure, he needed help," said Dr. Pauza.
Dr. Pauza is an innovator when it comes to spinal surgery. He created a new method of treatment, and is currently the only doctor in the world, allowed to practice it.
Carrie Wright, Director of Biologics at the Spine and Joint Hospital, explained, "Doctor Pauza was chosen by King Abdullah and the royal family because he's the only one in the entire world that does a spine procedure that actually re-grows the disk, instead of having to do spinal fusions."
While his spine continued to grow, so did their relationship. Dr. Pauza says he knew King Abdullah better than world leaders, like President Obama and Hilary Clinton.
"When he needed a new mattress, he called me, and asked me to fly to Saudi Arabia to pick out his new mattress, and then later he wanted a new pillow, so I flew there to get his new pillow," said Pauza.
Dr. Pauza says King Abdullah will be remembered as a gentle man, and a supporter of western society.
And although the doctor's practice extends to royalty across the world, he intends to stay right here, to help patients in East Texas.
"They wanted me to leave my practice and be in the royal entourage to travel with him, but I love East Texas too much, and I love treating the patients of East Texas too much, to put that aside and travel the places of the world."
Watch the video of Dr. Kevin Pauza and his thoughts about King Abdullah