AMAZING THINGS ARE HAPPENING HERE:
“I'm eternally grateful to the doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. They thought outside the box and saved my leg."
As an executive chef at one of New York City's most prestigious clubs, Tom Meyer was accustomed to navigating high-stress situations. To help wind down after a demanding workday, he would ride his motorcycle home. "Riding my bike was my release," he recalls. "it was the highlight of my day."
Yet that all abruptly changed one September day, when the
driver of a vehicle ran a red light, striking Tom and totaling his bike. The
collision flung the 56-year-old married father of two into the air and onto the
street, where he landed on his back.
The next thing Tom remembers is speaking out loud. “You’re alive,” he told himself. Miraculously,
Tom survived the impact. But his left tibia and ankle were completely shattered,
and he had sustained serious trauma to the main artery in his leg.
personnel quickly transported Tom to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens-one of only a few hospitals
in New York State recognized as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College
of Surgeons. There, doctors raced to restore blood flow to Tom’s leg and relieve
pressure on his calf muscle.
initial prognosis for his leg was grim—amputation above the knee was likely. Thankfully,
Tom’s NewYork-Presbyterian Queens medical team—led by Elan Goldwyn, MD, Director
of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery, and Elizabeth Sieczka, MD, a voluntary faculty
member of NewYork-Presbyterian Queens practicing plastic surgery—never gave up
and developed a comprehensive plan to save his leg.
Dr. Goldwyn carefully reset Tom’s shattered tibia and
ankle piece by piece. Then, Dr. Sieczka used Tom’s latissimus dorsi muscle—the
large flat muscle on the back—to replace his calf muscle, which had been lost due
to a lack of blood flow.
Remarkably, following the 12-hour operation, Tom woke up
with both of his legs.
In all, Tom endured nine surgeries and more than two
years of intense physical therapy, where he had to relearn how to walk and sit.
And while he is still in recovery, he is proud to “stand on his own two feet.”
Hear more of Tom's incredible story in this video here, part
of NewYork-Presbyterian’s Amazing Things series. Through firsthand patient
accounts, Amazing Things demonstrates the impact of your generous support for
our Hospital. Thank you for making our important work possible! ■