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28 Broken Bones
November 22, 2014 was supposed to be a happy day for then
18-year-old Michèle Crosby of Welland. It was her mother’s birthday and they
were looking forward to a nice celebration.
“I was driving home from work at about 1:00 in the morning,” Michèle recalls. “The last thing I remember was
seeing headlights and hearing a horn. Another driver came into my lane and hit
Michèle’s mother Jeannine remembers being awakened by
her husband with the devastating news.
“He jarred me awake and said that an officer was at
the door because Michèle had been in an accident,” says Jeannine. “I just
prayed that she would be okay. I didn’t want to lose her.”
After being transported to the local hospital in
Welland, Michèle was airlifted to Hamilton General Hospital. She had 28 broken
bones, including her C5 vertebra, collarbone, wrist, pelvis, femur, patella and
both ankles. Michèle was rushed into a 9-hour emergency surgery, where Dr. Brad
Petrisor and Dr. Bill Ristevski operated on her simultaneously.
“I had metal plates and screws put in throughout my
body,” says Michèle. “My heelbone was shattered, so they put in a plate and
nine screws to hold it in place. Another six screws are in my humerus.”
Michèle stayed at Hamilton General Hospital for two
and a half weeks, where she slowly regained her strength and began her long
road to recovery.
“I was scared about the future,” she remembers. “I was
told that I might not be able to walk again or be able to play the piano.”
According to Jeannine, who stayed at the hospital with
Michèle for the duration of her stay, the high level of care offered at The
General was “a very positive experience during a very dark time. There are no
words to describe the care we received. It was above and beyond any
After her stay at The General, Michèle was transferred
to a community hospital in St. Catharines. Since being discharged and returning
home, she has already returned to The General for sciatic nerve surgery and an
operation to remove the plate in her heel.
“The accident has changed my life,” she says. “I’m
always in pain. I have a hard time walking and sitting for a long time, but
thanks to the staff at the hospital, I can still do 90 per cent of the things
that they told me I might not be able to do. I can’t thank them enough.”
Michèle’s experience has given her a new perspective
on the importance of donor support.
“Donations are really important. Without them, the
hospital wouldn’t have all the equipment it needs and my recovery wouldn’t have
been as successful as it’s been.”