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Long road to recoverySanford Health surgical team helps New York motorcyclist survive I-94 crash
On Sept. 2, Bill opened his eyes and answered questions by squeezing Diane’s hand. She praised his doctors in her e-mail, saying the Sanford Health neurosurgeon “saved my sanity and Dr. (Walker) Wynkoop even made me laugh.”
An orthopedic surgeon at Sanford Health repaired Bill’s shattered wrist. A neurosurgeon oversaw Bill’s head and brain injuries; swelling and blood around Bill’s brain was a constant concern. Diane appreciated the neurosurgeon's calm manner and down-to-earth explanations.
Spending long hours in the ICU, Diane observed to her email network, “The nurses work three or four days, 12-hour shifts, with the same patient. That gives them great continuity not only with the patient in the bed ... but also the family, although sometimes I feel like I’m the second patient in the room.”
From the beginning of Bill’s ordeal, Diane planned to transfer him closer to home once he was physically able to travel. By Sept. 8, that day had come.
A medical jet service flew Bill to Nyack Hospital. Later, he was transferred to Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y., for rehabilitative therapy. Sixty-five days after the accident, Bill returned home.
A year after the accident, Bill says he is doing great. In August he passed his driving evaluation and is again able to drive. Last fall, he returned to his job as an elementary school art teacher. Both were accomplishments that Bill and Diane had been told probably wouldn’t happen for several more months, if ever.
“So, four ambulance rides, three hospitals, two states, one plane trip and 365 days later, we see the end of this journey and the start of a new one,” Diane said. “Bill didn’t win the Iron Butt rally, but he ended up in a bigger rally, the Iron Bill Rally. This is one he is definitely winning.”
Click here for more information about Sanford Health general surgery or call (701) 323-5300.