Jabaly with Mr. Joseph at MUO
The West Toledo Herald
June 7, 2006
By Mark Griffin
Mohamed Joseph isn't going to
be going to any family picnics
He won't be lounging poolside,
sipping a cool beverage, and he
certainly won't be taking any
walks in the park with his family.
“I cannot move anywhere,”
said Joseph, 69, a West Toledo
resident. “I have to stay
on my back or three months - all
summer long. We were waiting to
enjoy the summer. Now, I have
to enjoy it in my bed.”
Joseph, whose father, Samuel Joseph,
served in the Army during World
War I, is a United States citizen
of Lebanese descent. Last month,
Mohamed thought it would be a
good idea to take his daughter,
Attaya, and her husband, Jerry
Gohn, on vacation to Lebanon.
"She was wishing to go back
where her ancestors came from,”
said Joseph, who has a Middle
Eastern accent. “We want
to see a historical place in Lebanon.
We were in more than one place.
Finally, we went to place located
in central Lebanon, to a castle
built (during) the Crusades when
they were in Lebanon. It was way
up in the mountains.
“We went inside that castle
and it was very neglected. No
lights, no sign, no such thing.
My cousin went inside one room,
very dark, and I tried to follow
That’s when Joseph’s
vacation came crashing to a halt
– literally. He fell into
a hole and tumbled more than 20
feet, severely injuring his left
hip and pelvis.
“I fell on the rocks and
rolled down,” he recalled.
“I waited three hours for
the medical people to pick me
He was taken to a hospital in
a small village nearby, then was
transferred to a hospital in Beirut.
He said he thought he would be
well taken care of, especially
after identifying himself as an
American citizen and showing his
Social Security retirement and
“They said they didn't accept
it and never let me go inside
the hospital without paying in
advance,” Joseph said. “We
paid them $5,000 in the beginning.
After four or five days they treated
me to take the pain from me.”
However, hospital personnel would
only give him so much medication
for the excruciating pain.
“They would only give me
up to two CCs of morphine, which
did nothing for me. I am 220 pounds,”
Joseph said. “Everything
over there in the hospital is
miserable. They don't care for
the person who is in pain, or
in shock. I had over 60 broken
bones in my hips down to my knee.”
Joseph and his family decided
to call a friend back in the U.S.,
Dr. Georges Jabaly, a board-certified
family practice physician based
in Sylvania. Dr. Jabaly is the
founder and medical director of
MN Angels Clinic, a practice specializing
in alternative and holistic care
that focuses on total wellness
and health care cost savings.
Dr. Jabaly is also the U.S. president
of Terre Des Hommes, a non-profit
humanitarian organization that
offers medical help to those in
Dr. Jabaly made several calls
to the Terre Des Hommes offices
in the Middle East, spoke with
U.S. Embassy and Congressional
representatives and arranged for
Joseph to be admitted to American
University Hospital in Beirut.
“Dr. Jabaly helped me a
lot and contacted people over
there,” Joseph said. “They
told me they would provide me
with as much as they could provide.”
The operation to repair Joseph’s
hip and legs would have cost more
than $250,000 in Beruit, according
to Dr. Jabaly, who added that
doctors there told him there was
no guarantee of a successful surgery.
Dr. Jabaly, who is of Syrian descent,
said that after much dialogue,
the surgeon in Beirut admitted
that it would be best if Joseph
had his surgery in the U.S.
“They said, ‘We cannot
do such an operation,’”
Dr. Jabaly said. “That's
the bottom line. They said, 'We
cannot afford such an operation.
We would love to, but we really
can't.’ Let's say even if
we had the money available, I
had word from insiders there that
his surgery will not be successful.
Keep in mind that the surgeon
there will not tell you that.
Who's going to turn away $100,000
in a country where in a month
all you have to spend is $200.
One hundred thousand dollars back
there is similar to like $1 million
Dr. Jabaly said that because American
University Hospital would not
accept Medicare, Joseph had no
choice but to be flown back to
the U.S. for surgery. The flight
back to the States would take
nearly 24 hours and would be risky.
Dr. Jabaly knew it wasn’t
the best scenario for a 69-year-old
man with extensive leg and hip
“For a patient with all
those injuries, to come on a stretcher,
it's not easy,” Dr. Jabaly
said. “It's hard to tell
what kind of criteria they had
on him while he was there, treatment-wise.
It's a bad, bad injury. The decision
that had to be made was extremely
Joseph was flown to Amsterdam
and then to Detroit, and was finally
transferred by ambulance to the
Medical University of Ohio in
Toledo on May 21.
“When I arrived at medical
college, I was born again and
lived again. I can swear on that,”
Joseph said. “They provided
all the help I needed. Anything
I asked for, they provided, without
questioning me for anything in
Joseph’s first operation,
performed within a day of his
arrival at MUO, was performed
by Dr. Nabil Ibraheim, an orthopedic
surgeon at MUO.
Joseph expressed his gratitude
to Dr. Jabaly and the Terre Des
Hommes organization for bringing
Joseph underwent surgery on May
22, May 23 and again on May 26.
“I can testify if I would
not have come back home, I would
never be alive,” Joseph
said. “I’m very thankful
for God that he got me back over
here and thankful for Dr. Jabaly.
He helped me all he could. I am
thankful to God that he let me
come back to the States. I am
in very good care now.”
Joseph will undergo extensive
physical therapy later this summer.
He and his wife of 26 years, Skyneh,
have four children: daughters
Zaynab and Fatymeh, and sons Hassan
and Aly, who will be a senior
at Start High School next year.
“Some people asked me to
go a rest home, but told them
I preferred to go to my house
so my family could look after
me,” Joseph said. “I
have a nurse visit me every day.
I thought I could have more of
a social life if I stayed home.”