Suhail Najjar .. The Miracle Syrian Doctor

Dr. Suhail Najjar was born in Damascus, obtained his medical degree from Damascus Medicine University, and completed researches in pathology and neurology at Albany (NY) Medical College in 1983.

He is one of the first experts in the field of treating encephalitis and the first doctor in the history of New York University to determine the mechanism of the interaction between the immune system and the central nervous system.

He gained international fame because of his success in treating the most difficult case that American doctors faced, as he was able to diagnose a medical condition for a journalist working in the American New York Post called (Susanna Callahan) after doctors were unable to know the reasons for the sudden deterioration of her health.

She notes that her case was examined by a large group of doctors who could not diagnose her neurological condition (Hysterical crying and feeling of numbness on the left side of her body) which was deteriorating. This then progressed to hallucinations and a feeling of being surrounded by bedbugs.

Doctors believed she was having a Breakdown and recommended to a Psychiatric Hospital.

When the Syrian doctor Suhail Najjar was called for consultation, he stopped her from doing another blood test or for other x-rays…  Rather, he only asked her to take a simple test which is drawing a watch shape. After looking at the drawing he knew that the cause of Susanna's madness was physical and not psychological..!

Susanna, when drawing the watch, put all the numbers on the right side, and this is what Dr. Najjar realized, so after the medical examination, he decided that the right part of the brain suffers from the inflammation and her case called (Immune encephalitis). So he enucleated a part of nuchal lobe to return Callahan to her life which was at risk.

After one month from her recovery, she wrote a book named (Brain on fire) which was a number one in sales, according to New York Times. She spoke about her experience facing a rare type of disease that almost killed her, noting that the intervention of the Syrian doctor (Suhail Najjar), a neurologist at the New York University Hospital, saved her life.

Her story become an American movie in 2016, the American actress (Chloe Moritz) played the role of Susanna Callahan and the Iranian actor (Navid Negban) played the role of Syrian Dr. Suhail Najjar .

The doctor occupied several positions in many American universities. He has also been featured in national magazines such as Oprah magazine and Forbes magazine, and has been listed in “Best Doctors” issues published by US news, world report and New York magazine. He was also honored with Exceptional Parent Magazine’s Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of his contributions to the care of children with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, movement disorder and related disabilities.

Dr. Najjar has spoken at numerous international conferences and symposia.  


Lara Khouli