Disgraced former hand surgeon dies of a suicide - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Disgraced former hand surgeon dies of a suicide

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Michael Brown Michael Brown

His commercials for his clinics were fixtures on valley TV for years -- then he made headlines for accusations of violent incidents including assaulting his wife.

Now, police say Dr. Michael Brown took his own life.

He revolutionized hand surgery, and those commercials with his family made him known here and across the country.

But behind the image of a poster family that he presented in those commercials was a tumultuous life that ended with an apparent suicide.

Michael Brown was facing jail time, going through bankruptcy, and going through a nasty divorce. It was a deadly trifecta.

A Miami police report says Brown left behind a suicide note that he couldn't take the drama and the pressure. So he took his own life.

It was the commercials that made former hand surgeon Michael Brown a household name.

"The commercials made him both an icon and caricature of himself. And that's how the public largely remembers him," said attorney Brian Wice.

His catchphrase dealt with treating patients like family. Then he was charged with beating his wife. But that didn't mark the end of Michael Brown.

Although he was acquitted of domestic violence charges in 2011...

"The whole process caused an enormous amount of human suffering," Brown said at the time, in 2011.

And the public didn't know until now just how much Michael Brown was suffering. A hard fall, for a man with such extreme wealth and success.

"There was a time when the Brown Hand Centers were literally a license to make money," Wice said. "The gold standard for carpal tunnel treatment."

But more money brought more problems. Every decision good or bad brown made was put on public display.

He began to unravel in the public eye.

Allegations of drug use and drunken antics on a plane were about to send him to jail for 30 days.

"In other facets of his life he was either unable or unwilling to listen to people who cared about him," Wice said. "And that to me is the ultimate tragedy in this case."

Those who knew brown will recall his charitable acts and an endearing soft spot for not only his children but any child in need.

What the public will likely remember most -- watching a powerful man self-destruct.

"It was a script that had one of three endings," said Wice. "Either Mike went to jail, he went to the E.R., or unfortunately as we found out yesterday he went to the morgue."

Brown was found unconscious at his Miami, Florida home last month and had been on life support since.

Drug abuse cost him his medical license.

He is no longer affiliated with the hand-center chain, which includes the clinic here in Phoenix.

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