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.”