Stuart’s story: An ordinary day ends with extraordinary care
It began like any other bright sunny day. The weather was warm, inviting us outside for some exercise. I was excited to get back to cycling, but I never imagined that an ordinary ride would end with me in the Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency at North York General Hospital (NYGH).
An unexpected turn of events
I took my bicycle for a ride on the Finch trail and was enjoying the feeling of wind against my face. At one point, I had a runner ahead of me, and we were both behind a group of people who were walking.
The runner glanced back in my direction as he tried to move past me to cross the walkers. That move was unfortunately ill-timed. I was trying to do the exact same thing at the exact same time! In an instant, the runner’s shoulder knocked against me, and I went flying off my bike. I landed with some force on the ground and have little memory of what happened in the next few moments. I was unconscious.
When I opened my eyes, I could see that my left hand was out of alignment with my arm. I was in shock and trying to make sense of what had happened. One woman in a group of anxious people surrounding me located my mobile phone and called my wife. Ten minutes later I was being taken to the Emergency Department (ED) at NYGH.
Identifying the issue
When I arrived at the ED, I was triaged quickly and examined by Dr. Marc Lipkus. He ordered a CT scan of my brain and an X-ray for my disfigured wrist. I didn’t know how serious even a brief blackout could be for anyone over 60 years old like me. Dr. Lipkus explained that I could have a brain injury that would need to be treated immediately.
Much to our relief, the results of the CT scan ruled out a brain injury, however, the X-ray revealed I had shattered my wrist. The scans were reviewed with highly regarded orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Christopher Peskun and it was determined my wrist would require corrective surgery.
Without the surgery, my bones wouldn’t heal properly, which would have long-term effects on the use of my wrist and hand. I was taken aback at the news but was grateful that the ED and orthopaedic teams were able to pinpoint the issue quickly and put a plan in place to help me get better.
Easing the stress of surgery
On the day of the surgery, everyone from the anesthetist, to the nurses to the doctor himself, treated me with compassion and took the time to explain the procedure. They did everything possible to put me at ease, despite being covered in extra personal protective equipment for infection control. Thanks to Dr. Peskun’s deft skill, the operation was a success, and I am forever grateful to the incredible team at NYGH. They will always have a loyal supporter in me.
Life is unpredictable. You never know when your ordinary day may find you in need of emergency medicine. But I feel relieved knowing that NYGH is nearby to provide me, and others in my community, with extraordinary care, just in case!