Sunday, January 01, 2006

What a mess!

This is very brief summary of the immediate aftermath of the accident and the injuries I sustained. Some of this has been reported to me as I was pretty much unconscious for several days and only recall the edited highlights.

Surprisingly, I was quite conscious during the initial rescue and able to provide information to the paramedics. I could tell that I had severly damaged my lower left leg and it felt like I had also broken my right femur. I also had a back pain which prompted additional caution in removing me from the wreckage. I could feel blood on my face but at that stage was not aware of how much damage I had done.

I was taken to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital directly from the crash site being the closest location with suitable facities. They made the initial assessment and concluded that my head and left leg injuries were the most threatening. They stabilised the limbs and then operated to patch up my face and broken nose. They also took X-Rays and a CT scan of my spine and confirmed the presence of a fracture.

The leg injuries were too severe to be fully treated in Chesterfield and I was transferred the following day to the High Dependency Unit at the Northern General in Sheffield and referred to their Trauma team. Simon Royston and his team were incredibly helpful in explaining the general nature of the injuries and the most suitable options for their treatment.
On the Tuesday they fixed up my right leg by inserting a femeral nail.
Wednesday they confirmed that the back injury was a stable fracture of the L2 vertebra and, as such, meant that I could reasonably expect to be able to stand and walk while it healed so long as I wore a suitable brace. This meant that there was the option to fix my left leg, where the Tibia and Fibula were both badly broken near to the ankle, using an Ilizarov frame.
Thursday saw the fitting of the frame. The operation took several hours and they had to remove about 4cm of "dead" bone so they added some rings to the frame to permit the lengthening of my leg when the initial healing was complete.
On Saturday they transferred me out of HDU and into a general ward, almost exactly 6 days after the initial accident.

Throughout this period my wife Maggie had been at my bedside, aided by some of our closest friends who provided food, shelter and transport. I can't help feeling that I had the easy part of that initial week since I was too dosed up on Morphine to really feel much pain and was unconscious for most of it.


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12:12 am  

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