Steve B is a normally healthy 51 year old man from Indy who went on Spring Break to Sarasota FL with his 14 year old son and friends from his church. He was walking with the flow of traffic after leaving a restaurant by he beach and a driver of a car swerved into him. He reacted by trying to jump out of the way but was hit in the right leg, shattering it and causing him to fall and break his pelvis at the sacrum. The driver (supposedly intoxicated) drove off. Fortunately no one else was injured and Steve did not have any spinal cord or head injury.
He jokes that he was glad his friends were there and his son’s Spring break wasn’t totally ruined.
Steve had surgery to place a rod in his leg and suture two large lacerations. He said he was very disappointed in that as he suffered in extreme pain, wondering who could have possibly done this, no one from the local law enforcement ever contacted him. After two weeks he finally was able to call and make a report.
His next challenge was to get home. He was transferred to the Rehab unit and was making progress in being able to get in and out of a wheelchair, but due to his pelvic fracture, he was not able to sit and his R leg was in a long leg brace. He was in too much pain to get home by commercial airlines or ground.
Steve had heard about us from his church when we flew one of them with a spinal cord injury to rehab.
He called us and asked if his friends could help donate for his flight. Donations began pouring in! I thought Steve must be some kind of celebrity. Turns out he’s just a normal, great guy.
We assessed him and I knew after being a prior physician assistant in orthopedic surgery and ER, those injuries must hurt. I figured the flight was not going to be comfortable. I asked if he wanted an IV for pain meds and He said, “no, after two weeks, I’m trying to get off that stuff.”
We loaded him into the plane and soon were off to a big blue sky and huge headwinds.
The flight was over 3 hours and thank goodness Steve had uninjured arms and was able to readjust his backside position frequently. I can’t imagine him tolerating a car ride with a broken sacrum. Plus his leg was braced straight out and he was so tall, the cushion under either his head or foot kept falling.
He was so grateful for me just grabbing at the pillows. I wish I could have done more for his pain.
Towards the last flight hour he said he was-as one of our pilots always says “in need of making his bladder gladder.” I was happy to help, but the monitor had to be taken off and he would have had to be helped to sit up and he decided it was too much trouble and he could hold it.
By the time we landed, I knew he really had to “go” and I went to the back to begin getting the monitor off the stretcher bridge. In doing so-I ran into his foot-awww-sorry! Then after I got the monitor off, I let the stretcher bridge fall down on his knee. (Yep I win the clumsiest crew award.) I felt so bad.
Steve just shrugged it off and said he’s thankful the brace was on!
Thanks Steve for being so tough. We pray for your recovery. Sorry we had to leave you in the hands of the physical therapists at RHI (yes I used to be one of those too-aka “physical terrorist”)
Thanks again for Heartland Ambulance for donating the ground trip in Indy-you guys are awesome!!
Thanks also to great crew of Matt EMT-P/RN and pilots Hal and Mark, and flight follower Bob.
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