I was crossing the street walking to a shopping plaza near my home when a woman who was texting while driving ran a red light and hit me in the crosswalk. Immediately, I was knocked unconscious. Luckily, someone called 911 and I was assessed in the street by emergency personnel. Then, the Trauma Hawk was dispatched. The helicopter landed at the accident scene and airlifted me to the nearest trauma center, Delray Medical Center.
Dr. Pedro Piza, an orthopaedic surgeon, assessed my injuries. My whole left side was affected by the accident from my ankle all the way up to my shoulder. Dr. Piza discovered I had numerous injuries to my ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, arm and hand. In addition, I suffered internal bleeding and most of my teeth were missing. Dr. Piza performed a reverse total shoulder replacement and an open reduction and internal fixation procedure on my left ankle. The procedures helped to stabilize and heal my trauma injuries. His care was absolutely perfect. I don’t know how he mended my broken bones but I’m happy I got him as a surgeon. The guy is fabulous.
By the time I was discharged, I had no more pain and that, in itself, is just amazing. The first time I went to Dr. Piza’s office X-rays were taken right there on-site in one of his exam rooms. Dr. Piza evaluated me and we discussed my progress. I asked Dr. Piza about the reverse shoulder procedure that I had, he brought out a model of the shoulder and showed me how it worked. We sat there and talked about it and he told me I could start using my left arm again which I did.
That first time I was at Dr. Piza’s office I was in a wheelchair but found the office conveniently accessible. Dr. Piza’s staff was friendly and I was seen by him right way. For my second and third visits at Dr. Piza’s office, amazingly, I walked right in and out of there with no problem at all. His office staff was outstanding! They made my appointments pleasant visits.
I was in perfect health when I got hit by the car. Almost a year to the date of the accident, I would say I’m back at about 98 percent of what I used to be. I’m back to my quality of life before suffering those injuries. I used to be on the Dutch Olympic Swim Team and I’ve swam all my life. One of things I did before the accident was swim 52 laps in an Olympic size pool in 50 minutes every single day. I’m back to swimming every day in the pool by 6 am every morning.
My quality of life is perfect! I can walk and run, I could even probably stand on my head if I wanted to and do just about anything I could do prior to my accident. I didn’t know Dr. Piza before my accident but I’m happy to know him now. There were a lot of things wrong with me after the accident and today I’m as healthy as I can be! Looking back, I was very surprised and very relieved to have the help of a physician like Dr. Piza.