Jamil Ahmad, a Registered Vascular Technologist, is known among his colleagues as a courageous and cheerful individual. Despite facing difficulties in his personal life, Ahmad draws inspiration from his experiences to positively impact the lives of his patients.
Ahmad lived a very active lifestyle. He played semi-professional soccer and was a professional martial artist. Unfortunately, his athletic lifestyle caused him to have a long history of knee complications. He had ACL reconstruction surgery and eventually had to have a knee replacement. A year after getting the knee replacement, Ahmad suffered a tree-cutting incident where he sustained a traumatic brain injury, skull fractures, and spinal fractures.
“The tree incident caused more situations within my body that affected my knee,” Ahmad said. “When you have any brain injury, your body deposits calcium into your joints. So, I had an arthritic knee, which caused my joints to stiffen even more. They also found two brain tumors that weren't malignant but very large. When they removed those, my body perceived it as brain trauma and deposited more calcium. By then, my knee scar tissue had become calcified, and I only had about 25 degrees range of motion in it.”
Being the once active person he was, Ahmad couldn’t allow himself to stay in this state, so he decided to undergo another knee operation to improve his mobility. The healing process was successful until one day in physical therapy, he fell in a HyperFlex position, bending his knee at 105 degrees when he only had 95 degrees range of motion. This led to a long battle of healing, and Ahmad eventually had to get his leg amputated.
“I had the amputation at the end of May 2022, and that was even a complicated process, but despite it being extremely painful, everything went well,” Ahmad said. “I noticed that the infection started to clear up about three weeks after the amputation. I gradually started feeling better, and my mind became clearer. I’d gotten so used to feeling bad. I didn’t know that I had become accustomed to that feeling.”
During Ahmad’s healing journey, he had to leave his role at JPS Health Network for nearly two years. He waited eagerly for the opportunity to reapply and reunite with his JPS family and contribute to the community once again. Ahmad returned to JPS in early 2023 and remains dedicated to the health and welfare of his patients.
"I was excited to return to JPS because I love working here," Ahmad said. "I love the camaraderie with my teammates and the ability to serve our patients. I find my job interesting in many ways because I am surrounded by knowledgeable people, so I learn something new every day."
Director of Radiology and Patient Transportation, Cindy Winter, PhD, FAHRA, CRA, expressed her excitement with Ahmad's return to JPS. She shared that his experience has provided him with a broader perspective, enhancing his exceptional patient care skills.
"Jamil is very caring and compassionate when it comes to his patients. He is empathetic, understanding, and extremely supportive during his interactions," Winter said. "He has always been so conscious of his patients and their needs, but now, I think he can connect on a deeper emotional level simply due to his experiences as a patient and what he has done to overcome his physical limitations. Not only is Jamil JPS Proud, but JPS is also Jamil Proud!"
Despite facing personal medical complications, Ahmad remained committed to helping others. When he decided to return to JPS, he had caring for the JPS community at the forefront of his mission, and he aims to inspire others to push past their circumstances and choose happiness.
"The experience I went through gave me the ability to show patients what I've been through when they are feeling discouraged," Ahmad said. "I had a patient who had an amputation below the knee, and he repeatedly said, 'I can't do this.' I told him, 'You can do this,' and shared my story. I don't know if it helped, but I hope it encouraged him. I want to share with patients who have undergone or are about to undergo amputations that ‘life will be different, but it will go on. You still have many reasons to live for, so live your life to the fullest.’ ”