Steve Brooks, managing partner at Brooks Law Group, joins us today for another episode of Inside Look By Brooks.

On today’s live video, Steve discusses the recent passing of a cherished doctor he’d known for years named Dr. Marion Ridley. Steve worked with Dr. Ridley at USF for the treatment of his spasmodic dysphonia. After years of working together, he will be missed!


Friday’s Inside Look by Brooks. Thank you for joining me today! Today’s topic is kind of a personal one to me. As I’ve talked about in a previous video, I surfaced with this condition about 10 years ago called spasmodic dysphonia. I woke up one day and literally could not speak, could not talk, could not produce sound. I couldn’t figure out what it is, and I went from doctor to doctor. Finally, I was diagnosed over in Tampa by a specialist over there.

Spasmodic dysphonia is a rare occurrence, but it happens in people that talk a lot. Politicians, actors, attorneys. It’s a very treatable condition, but it’s kind of a chronic condition. It’s ongoing. And so I got diagnosed with this, and I ultimately established with Dr. Marion Ridley. Dr. Ridley was a professor at USF, and he was an incredibly competent, great doctor. He knew exactly how to treat it. You treat it with botox. You inject botox into the vocal chords, and it kind of stops the spasm, and your voice comes back to normal. So I have a normal voice probably 90% of the time with the proper treatment. So unfortunately, Dr. Ridley, I learned at my most recent appointment, passed away. He was not- you know, he was only 61 years old. It really affected me, because it was kind of unexpected. Dr. Ridley reminded me of my father. He was from the Chattanooga area, in Tennessee. He was a typical, Southern gentleman; was very, very concerned about his patients. He put the patient first, and he always accommodated me in my pursuit to treat this condition. So I was very saddened to hear of his passing.

It just reminded me how, you know, life is fragile. Life is short. I constantly need to refocus on the blessings I have in my life vs. the problems. Sometimes I can, as we all can, get into a mode of feeling sorry for yourself because I have this spasmodic dysphonia. But the blessing is, I got to meet a very nice physician. It’s treatable. It’s a much better condition to have than a lot of people who may have terminal conditions.

His death was, you know- when somebody you know dies, it’s kind of one of those things where you step back and you stop getting caught up into the day-to-day grind of life and look more into your blessings in life. I’m very blessed. I have a great family. Like I said, my dad was a physician, who reminded me exactly of Dr. Ridley. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful law practice. We’ve grown to 30 staff members and eight attorneys with 4 offices. I’m blessed by the clients that I get to meet and work with. You know, many times we see clients at a very down time in their life. They’ve been tragically injured or hurt, and we get to see, in many, many cases, them get compensated for those injuries and get back to some semblance of normalcy. And also get to share their lives with them as they heal from their injuries and become part of society again.

I just wanted to take a moment to kind of give a shout out to Dr. Ridley and his staff over at USF and thank them for all the help that they’ve given to me over the years. It’s going to be hard to re-establish with another doctor, and you know, build that relationship again, but I’m sure that that doctor is out there. Again, I just want to say thank you to the entire medical staff at USF and the wonderful compassion you show for your patients. It reminds me of how I want to treat my clients, you know, with compassion and empathy and care.

So thank you! I’m sitting here in wonderful Florida, it’s probably 95 degrees outside with high humidity. Typical Florida day. So it’s nice and warm and I’m looking forward to the weekend, and I hope you are too. Please be sure and join me next Friday at 3 o’clock for Friday’s Inside Look by Brooks. I think I’m going to be talking about gadolinium. Gadolinium is a heavy metal that is used in MRI contrasts. So if you have an MRI and you’ve used gadolinium before, then there are some potential issues with that particular agent. So we’ll be talking about gadolinium next week. I look forward to next week and we’ll see you then. Thank you for joining me!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.