Father Recovers from Life-threatening Car Crash | Loyola Medicine
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Father of Two Recovers after Life-threatening Car Crash with the Help of Loyola's Orthopaedic Surgeons

MAYWOOD, IL – Multiple broken bones, six broken ribs, a shattered kneecap, a fractured hip and a punctured lung.

Those were just some of the life-threatening injuries Bill Brennan, a 34-year-old father of two, suffered when his car was hit head-on by a speeding SUV.

Mr. Brennan was brought to Loyola University Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center, where a multidisciplinary team first stabilized his condition, then performed a series of orthopaedic surgeries. Surgeons implanted plates, screws, rods and other internal fixation devices to ensure his broken bones would heal in the correct positions.

After four and a half months and eight surgeries, Mr. Brennan was able to walk again.

“This is what we do every day at a Level 1 trauma center,” Loyola orthopaedic trauma surgeon Mitchell Bernstein, MD, said.

Mr. Brennan’s left femur (thigh bone) was broken in two places, and he suffered an even more severe fracture in his right femur. His left talus (foot bone) was broken and dislocated. His right tibia (shin bone) was broken and his right kneecap was shattered. If he even survived the crash, Mr. Brennan was in danger of losing one or both of his legs.

The most challenging injury was to Mr. Brennan’s right femur, which was missing about four inches of bone, said Dr. Bernstein. He consulted with his partner, orthopaedic trauma surgeon Hobie Summers, MD, to devise a staged-treatment plan that would allow for the bone to grow back properly.

“We have a lot of motivation to push him and push ourselves to get him back to normal,” Dr. Bernstein said.

Loyola’s Trauma Center is staffed 24/7 with surgeons, radiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses and other providers. The center offers a complete array of medical, surgical and ancillary services through an interdisciplinary program that serves the total needs of the injured patient, from prevention through rehabilitation.

Mr. Brennan said he owes his life, and his ability to walk again, to Dr. Bernstein and to the rest of Loyola’s trauma and rehabilitation teams.

“Thank you Dr. Bernstein,” Mr. Brennan said. “Thank you to all the nurses and everybody. There really isn’t a word I can think of, other than thank you.”

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.