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E V E R Y T H I N G  was on track. It was another great day It was 1976, I was 20. Soon to be a college graduate, and start the career I always dreamt of, a veterinarian. It was a Monday, I was coasting in my convertible with two of my buds in my car exiting the freeway headed to University of Miami Dive Station in the Keys for a course called Ecology of the Coral Reef, when suddenly everything was far from “on track.” As I took that exit off the freeway, little did I know I was exiting all of the plans I ever had and into a new life.

Three days later, I woke up from a comma in a hospital bed and was told that the on- ramp I took had been demolished due to construction, and my car, my friends, and I went flying off the ramp and crashed into the ground. Everyone had survived, but I would be in and out of hospitals for the next 7 years and go through 22 surgeries to reconstruct my face. Pain is a word I became very familiar with as it turned out my body did not respond well to any narcotics, and I would just vomit the pain medications. And so, after every surgery I was just left to deal with excruciating pain. I got to know the hospital system first hand going from doctor to doctor, surgeon to surgeon. It was then that I decided I wanted to do what they were doing for me- find solutions. Help. I decided I wanted to be a surgeon and ended up graduating from the University of Tennessee 6 months earlier in spite of the surgeries and constant doctor visits. But years later, while my car crash had been a part of my past, and if anything led me to a new future, the pain did not stay in the past. Pain in my back, pain that I always had to deal with. Pain became my new norm. As an orthopedic surgeon I saw the pain people dealt with and as a surgeon I was told to prescribe drugs to help people with pain. And so, along with my colleagues, I prescribed many, many narcotics. We thought we were doing good. We were told that these narcotics were not habit forming. I knew that wasn’t true after attending 4 funerals of young men that had overdosed on narcotics, opioids, in the span of one year. Three of the four had been introduced to narcotics by their surgeon or their family practitioner due to a procedure they had undergone. They didn’t seek drugs out, they were just prescribed some pain meds. A prescription that led to an addiction. This is the crisis America finds itself in. The opioid crisis.

I became an orthopedic surgeon after working with great surgeons like Jim Montgomery, Richard Steadman, and Richard Hawkins. Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgery is practiced to help people maintain their abilities to work and play and to relieve pain, and so I felt there was something in my journey that I had yet to do. This led me to dive into pharmacogenetics to try to find solutions that could offer relief without terrible side-effects. I found other drugs that didn’t have the addictive effects that opioids do, but nonetheless, still carried side effects such cardiovascular toxicity and liver toxicity. I could not accept them as solutions. This is when I was exposed to CBD as an alternative to pain by a physician on on a speaker panel I was on on regarding alternative to opioids. He was so passionate about this powerful nutrient, CBD, that could help with the root issue that causes pain- inflammation. That in the world I had been immersed in, pain caused people to need strong addictive meds… and once the body becomes dependent on those meds, if it doesn’t have them, it can cause anxiety. That anxiety can cause restlessness. That can suppress the immune system or cause depression. I discovered CBD. But more then discover CBD, I found a solution to what I had been searching for, for the past 43 years. However, as I did more research, I realized that not all CBD is equal. That not all CBD only has benefits. CBD is a bio-accumulator. It absorbs what it grows in. And so, it’s imperative that CBD be grown in non-toxic, fertile, organic soil, and be third-party tested to ensure quality. This led me to co-found PRōZE  Organically fierce CBD nutrition for a full spectrum life….because I know what it’s like to not have a full spectrum life. To live in pain. To have pain cause restless nights and anxious days. To be physically held back from going out there and doing what you set out to do. To be mentally blocked from being a pro.



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