Ron’s Story: Trauma, Stroke Patient Recovers from Multiple Injuries

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Ron Wynne was on his motorcycle, heading down the driveway on his way to work, when the unthinkable happened – he was hit by a car. At the time of the accident, his wife, Mindi, was 500 miles away in Washington, D.C.

“There’s no way of knowing if you’re going to get home and even find your spouse still alive when you get there,” Mindi recalled. “The way things were being described to us, we really thought we weren’t.”

“Initially, Ron did not appear to be severely injured, but he had some signs that were concerning,” said Mbaga Walusimbi, MD, MS, FACS, trauma surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital. “As we usually do, we go through assessment, but during our evaluation his condition changed.”

All Mindi could do was look at Ron lying there with multiple injuries.

“His tibia was shattered, and his fibula, the little one, had punctured a hole in his fuel tank,” she said. “He also was covered in gasoline so there was a high risk for infection, and his spleen was damaged so we had to keep him in a very sterile environment.”

“He didn’t look like himself; his face was swollen and he was purple…it just looked surreal,” Mindi said.

CT scan revealed that Ron had suffered an internal decapitation.

“The ultimate and extreme level of that would mean that your spinal cord is severed totally,” said A. Peter Ekeh, MD, FACS, trauma surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital. “There was some displacement. The neurosurgeon who saw Ron at the time was not certain if he would ever be able to use his hands or low extremities in the future.”

Two Lives

The CT scan also revealed that Ron had suffered an ischemic stroke.

“One of the issues with Ron was that ideally, after a stroke, someone would be on a type of blood thinner,” said Bradley Jacobs, MD, neurologist at Miami Valley Hospital. “But given his other injuries, that wasn’t really able to be done, at that time at least.”

After multiple surgeries to repair the more immediate injuries, Ron was placed in a halo collar to allow his neck to heal. He has had more than 25 surgeries since. Ron eventually went home, still requiring care from his wife and family. 

“It was one of the best days because I didn’t think he was going to be home,” Mindi said. “We bought a cemetery plot. We made funeral arrangements. We had all kinds of ‘what are we going to do next’ plans.” 

“Thank God for the doctors,” said Ron. “I can’t express my admiration for them nearly enough because the things that they did were inhuman. Nobody thought they could be done.”

Less than a year after the accident, Ron returned to work full-time. “Miami Valley Hospital prepared us from day one,” said Mindi. “Our relationship was never disrupted.”

“The doctors at Miami Valley have given me a life,” said Ron. 

“Two lives,” Mindi added.

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