The B.R.O.A.D. loves the Regions Hospital Orthopaedic Trauma Center...
After Dr. Cole explained my options, it seemed quite logical for me to choose amputation below the knee on the left leg. Yes, Dr. Cole and the Ortho Trauma team saved my life after a near fatal motorcycle incident in July 2013. But fast forward...
I had other surgeries on my amputated leg after I left Regions. I had difficulties, infections, loss of mobility, difficulty using a prosthetic, etc so on. In 2016, I continued to have some issues, particularly surrounding the rod in my femur and the hardware in my knee. In May 2016, I was going to Minnesota for business anyway and decided to return to Dr. Cole for additional advice and care.
As it turned out, with his exceptional skill and innovation, he reduced the amount of hardware in my amputated leg, secured the broken femur in a manner that has now allowed it to fuse properly, and allowed me to gain additional flexion in my knee. Nearly one year out at this point, and I have been exceptionally pleased with the outcome; including improved mobility, reduced pain, and overall better and hopeful spirits.
The B.R.O.A.D., Regions Hospital, and Dr. Cole have kept the story of my amazing and blessed Ortho Trauma Recovery ever in the public eye; for more reasons than we can count here.
Ursula aka The B.R.O.A.D.
FOX9 St. Paul – Fun opportunity… This was an interview conducted by Fox9 St. Paul in conjunction with Regions Hospital.
Oh, Happy Day; Oh Blessed Day… This was the tear-jerking day that Dr. Cole asked me to help sponsor The Wine Auction.
Rude Awakening... When the realization hit after the crash and after I decided to amputate.
11-year-old, Cody Brightbill’s life consisted of two seasons – hockey season and go kart season. But on July 4, 2015, a terrible accident nearly derailed his future.
“His arm was essentially ripped off,” said Dr. Peter Cole, an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Regions Hospital. “It was hanging by the nerves and vessels and a little bit of skin. His bone was completely ripped apart at the elbow.” Cody was warming up for a go kart race when one of his arm restraints was unknowingly unrestrained from his five-point harness. At first, the restraint was flying freely in the wind, but as Cody slowed down to get into place for the start of the race, the restraint got tangled in the kart. The restraint, along with his right arm, was pulled into the rear axle, bringing him to a sudden stop. Cody was airlifted to Regions where he was rushed to the operating room.
“There was a lot of bone damage and soft tissue damage,” Dr. Cole said. “We needed to determine if we were going to be able to save the limb or amputate.” In Cody’s operating room, there were more than 70 years of trauma and limb saving experience. There was a vascular surgeon, a plastic surgeon, a traumatologist, Dr. Cole, and a team of nurses working to help Cody.
“Knowing it’s a child and knowing that regenerative capacity that children have, in my mind, we were absolutely going to save Cody’s arm,” Dr. Cole said. “I am someone who never takes the hope away from a family or a patient because, frankly, I believe in miracles,” Dr. Cole said. “But having my own sons, around the same age, playing hockey and knowing what that sport demands for success, I just couldn’t imagine him playing competitive hockey again.” Despite the prognosis, nobody gave up hope, not Cody, Dr. Cole or the team of doctors.
“I’m very thankful for everyone who helped me get to this point,” Cody said. “My recovery was like no other. I had to work extremely hard to get my arm the way I wanted it to be.” Cody’s recovery has been an intense two-year process. “It’s traumatizing to see your child seriously injured,” said Andrea Brightbill, Cody’s mom. “As a parent, you would stop at nothing to protect your child from any sort of harm, so when something like this happens, it’s devastating.”
In all, Cody had 12 surgeries. “I’ve never felt so helpless in my life as when I was unable to take away my son’s pain. I would’ve given anything to take his place.” Andrea said. Unbelievably, Cody is back on the track and back on the ice; racing and playing hockey.
“It’s a miracle, and this is something that is exciting for us to see,” said Dr. Cole. “It keeps our team coming back to work every day. We need to be there to help the next patient like Cody.”
It was a warm, muggy Sunday in July 2013. The Hoeft family was doing yard work at their home with Dad, Jake on the riding lawnmower. Their son Hunter, 4 yo at the time, was playing.
Moments later, a tragic accident occurred. “I didn’t even know he was there. He came up behind me and I didn’t see him," Jake said. Hunter’s leg was severely injured. After two days and two separate surgeries, doctors in St. Cloud told the family they had done all they could do; Hunter needed a trauma center. Melissa’s aunt, a trauma nurse at Regions Hospital, encouraged them to bring him to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Hunter had 10 surgeries from July to November. “That is what it took to save his leg,” said Dr. Peter Cole, Chief of Orthopaedics at Regions Hospital.
“All of the doctors and nurses stayed so calm,” said Jake. “It just seemed like you were their family. And you knew that they were going to take care of him.” Despite the drastic injuries, Dr. Cole knows that children have an amazing ability to heal. Because of that and the fact that there was still some blood supply to Hunter’s foot, he believed his leg could be saved.
Three months after Hunter was brought to Regions Hospital, Dr. Cole recorded a video of Hunter walking. “I didn’t think he’d ever be able to walk again,” Jake said. “And to see him (take steps); I was just so happy.”
Today, Hunter looks like any other 8-year-old on the playground, racing from ladder to slide and back to ladder again. Each step with a smile on his face, and thankful parents looking on. “What’s amazing is that his function is basically 100 percent and his pain is zero,” said Dr. Cole.
Four years ago, Melissa and Jake were scared. They didn’t know if their oldest son would ever walk again. What they found, was that their little boy is a fighter.
“Nothing holds him back,” Melissa said. “He’s ambitious. If he wants something, he goes and gets it.”
And they also found Dr. Cole, along with the teams at Regions Hospital and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, where Hunter continues to receive care.
“Four years ago. We would have never thought that we would be where we are today,” Melissa said. “We are very grateful.”
“There is a tremendous satisfaction in taking something that is broken and fixing it,” said Dr. Cole. “But what makes this situation even more special, is that Hunter really does feel like a family member because he is so closely connected to one of our own.”
Dr. Cole believes society needs to do a better job educating the public about lawn mower safety. “For me, they are the saddest cases because not only are these injuries gruesome, but often it’s a dad who was operating the lawnmower.” Dr. Cole says the best advice is to keep children inside whenever a lawnmower is running. For more tips go to our recent blog post on lawn mower safety.
In 2008, Ted Stewart was struck by a truck while bicycling near his home. Among his many injuries, was a severely fractured scapula and damaged chest wall. His trauma resulted in the impaired movement of his shoulder, loss of strength, sharp shooting pain, interrupted sleep and a disfigured appearance of the shoulder. He was unable to work or participate in activities that were a part of his active lifestyle. After presenting Ted with options for treatment, he chose to pursue surgical care. One month later, we reconstructed Ted’s scapula and he returned home. He returned to the clinic 2 months later for follow-up care and we were pleased to see his range of motion and strength almost completely restored. His pain was significantly diminished, sound sleep restored, and the appearance of the shoulder is no longer disfigured.
Ken Hola is 72 years old that recently trained for his first Ironman, a triathlon requiring 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running. One more thing: he had to pause his training to recover from a serious motorcycle accident. The accident happened, just when the Shoreview resident was beginning his training. Ken was riding his motorcycle on a track.
Dr. Peter Cole performed the surgery to repair his shoulder, and Ken remains unstoppable. Way to go Ken and we wish you all the best!!
Tim & Mary Sue, along with their four children, are missionaries in Senegal, Africa. One of their sons, 14 years old, was playing soccer in Senegal, when he suffered a severe fracture of his femur. We met the patient, on arrival from another continent, on a Saturday night; in preparation to meet the family in the operating room on a Sunday morning. Sunday morning, we were able to get the young man’s broken thigh bone fixed properly. We have been honored that the Austin family entrusted the care of their young son to our team. I was touched beyond words when young Austin, 6 months later from Africa, emailed to tell me that he dedicated his first soccer goal since the injury, to his surgeon Peter Cole! What an impact this patient had on me as a physician and surgeon.
Help Me Help Those That Saved Me...
I was astounded to learn that Dr. Cole uses my orthopaedic trauma case in his teachings and lectures. My case certainly was one of great challenge and I am thankful that I landed in Dr. Cole's more than capable hands. But further to that, I am blessed that I landed in his heart. The Orthopaedic Trauma team, led by Dr. Cole is one that I will forever carry near to my heart. I may be of modest means, but with all that I have in me; I have eagerly accepted the challenge of helping The Wine Auction raise funds to benefit the Orthopaedic Trauma Center at Regions Hospital, St. Paul, MN.
Rest assured that 100% of your donation will directly benefit the Regions Hospital Orthopaedic Trauma Center, St. Paul, MN.
First, I encourage you to take a mental note, because if you or a loved one ever needs exceptional orthopaedic care; Regions Hospital is the place to go - if at all possible. Secondly, I respectfully ask that you join me in donating to this absolutely amazing organization.
With Peace and Hugs, Ursula
"I may be of modest means, but with all that I have in me; I have eagerly accepted the challenge of helping The Wine Auction raise funds to benefit the Orthopaedic Trauma Center at Regions Hospital."