Home Patient Stories

Patient Stories

Kathryn McCravey

Kathryn TrainingAt the age of 13, Kathryn McCravey had been battling a staph infection in her foot for three years.  What would have been a debilitating situation for most, didn’t slow Kathryn down.  The infection caused her to be in and out of the hospital, however Kathryn continued to attend school and play sports full time.  The infection was the result of secondary complications after numerous foot surgeries she endured as a child.  Surgical intervention was not something new for Kathryn as she has had 5 tethered cord releases and a spinal fusion.

At the age of 16, Kathryn asked her life long physician at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital his thoughts on amputation.  He responded to her questions immediately, explaining that he was waiting for her to come to terms with the idea of amputation.  Once Kathryn made the difficult, life changing decision, she went to amputee clinic with other amputees and two months later had the surgery performed.

Kathryn KayakingAfter a long 6 weeks of healing, Kathryn was fit with her prosthesis and was immediately walking out the door with the assistance of a physical therapist.  As her extremely supportive father states, “she was in the prosthesis and out the door”.  Kathryn continued to excel in school and was accepted to Tarleton State University where she quickly adjusted.  While attending Tarleton State, she underwent a spinal fusion to decrease the massive amount of pain she experienced due to the tethered cord.  After surgery, Kathryn was wheeling around a local Target and met Jen Clark, an existing patient at Baker O&P.  Kathryn took Jen’s advice and came to the office for an evaluation for a new prosthesis.  With her determination and strong willed attitude, Kathryn has quickly regained her active lifestyle and independence.

Not letting anything stand in her path, Kathryn is working on completion of her MBA in business and human resources at Tarleton.  In addition to her rigorous course load, Kathryn remains extremely active routinely training with a personal trainer, pushing herself to the limit.  Kathryn also stays very active constantly involved in activities such as cycling, swimming, and kayaking.  Kathryn exhibits a strength and positive attitude that continues to help others.

 

Cody English

Cody English

Cody on bikeAfter finishing a long hot day at work where Cody English was working on septic systems, he hopped on his motorcycle and headed for home.  With less than 1/2 mile remaining until he reached his house, his whole world changed in an instant.  Cody was hit by a  truck that veered into his lane while coming around a corner.  As cody swerved to miss her, the rear bumper of her truck caught the left side of his bike.  Cody recalls laying on the side of the road waiting for care flight for 1 1/2 hours, completely conscious.  A school bus driver, who still calls to check on him, stayed with him the entire duration of the agonizing wait.  Careflight rushed Cody to JPS, a level one trauma hospital, where he would undergo 12 surgeries in an attempt to salvage his leg.  Throughout the duration of the surgeries and his stay at JPS, Cody consistently asked to proceed with amputation.  Cody  recalls being half conscious during the first of the many surgeries as they were unable to give him medication due to extremely low blood pressure.  After 43 days Cody’s physicians decided to amputate.  After the final surgery, Cody went home three days later.  The day he was discharged from JPS, he met Jordan Davis and has been receiving prosthetic care from him since August of 2010.

Cody WorkingExactly one week from the date of his amputation, Cody was back at work, only this time, sitting behind a desk.  Cody has never been one to sit still so after a year of office work Cody looked for a new job.  After applying for a job at an electrical company, Cody received a phone call from one of the owners asking him to return.  When Cody arrived back at the office he realized that the owners had set up a variety of tasks for him to complete including climbing a ladder and bending pipe metal.  After completing the tasks, Cody was hired on the spot and started work the next morning.  Cody truly loves his job with everyday holding something new.  As shop manager, he is always climbing ladders, operating a scissor lift, a fork lift and any other tasks need of him.  Cody reports walking a half mile a day while at work where he may be carrying pipe weighing 100 pounds that is ten feet long slung over his shoulder.

In addition to his success at work, Cody has “done a ton since his accident”.  Cody installed a major deck and roof along side their home completely on his own.  He continues to ride motorcycles with his wife.  They have ridden to several states including Arkansas, Oklahoma and going to Sturgess.  Cody enjoys deer hunting on the weekends when he has downtime.  As Cody states, not a whole lot has changed since his accident.  He feels that he has always had a happy, laid back attitude with the motto “If it happens it happens”. 

 

Les Patterson

Les Patterson walkingLes fishingAfter a long day of hunting on November 2009, Les Patterson was cleaning up at home unloading his UTV, which was full of deer feed when some of his cows started ripping the bags open.  In an attempt to get away from the animals, Les made a quick move with the UTV, however one of the cows tipped the vehicle over.  The large utility vehicle was rolled by the movement, scissor cutting his right leg in two from the impact.  Living in a remote area, Les laid helpless, yelling for aid for 45 minutes.  While laying in agonizing wait Les lost 6 units of blood due to his injuries.  Once life support arrived, Les was tranported to John Peter Smith a level I trauma center where he learned that his foot had been degloved from the accident.

Les DrillingRealizing that Les would need more surgical intervention, he was transferred to Harris hospital.  Les experienced further complications prolonging his road to recovery.  After battling numerous infections and being stuck in a wheelchair, Les made one of the biggest decisions of his life, elective surgery.  After a lengthy healing process, Les was fit with his first prosthesis at Baker O&P.  With his wife by his side, Les was able to experience the Great Wall of China with all its beauty and history.  However, due to all of his previous surgical complications, Les began to develop sores and blisters.  Under medical advisement, Les once again elected to go under the knife.  Since the accident, Les has undergone a total of 29 surgeries, in which he coded twice, and was placed in an induced coma for three months After spending a total of 9 months over three years in the hospital, Les still holds a positive outlook on life.

Les is an avid activist for peer support which includes recently co founding the Fort Worth Amputee Coalition with physical therapist, Natasha Wooley.  Following his accident and the numerous days he spent in the hospital, Les was never visited by another amputee.  Looking back, he wonders if he would have made the decision earlier to amputate had he been presented with the positive options.  Les continues to lead an active lifestyle that currently includes carpentry work on his farm land in the country, farming beef cows, performing maintenance on his home and land as well as hunting.   His positive outlook and passion for life are apparent when meeting Les. 

 

Eddy Welker

Eddy on tractorMr. Eddy Welker started out on an electrical project on May 13 in 1997 just like he would any other.  Working for an Electrical Co Op out of Oklahoma, Mr. Welker was assigned to a job in a small town just north of Wichita Falls, Texas.  Mr. Welker went up in the bucket lifter of his truck with a wire coiled around his right shoulder.  When the wire was crossed over the supposed de energized line, Mr. Welker quickly realized that it was not.  The other end of the coiled wire was on the ground and completed the circuit.  Eddie was accompanied by a brave helper that was able to lower the bucket and get him on the ground.  Eddie does not account any memory from the day of the accident and subsequently a month after.  Mrs. Welker received the terrifying phone call and quickly made her way to the ER.  Once there, she recalls Mr. Welker being conscience.  His upper extremities and face were badly burned from the accident.  The attending physician tried to inform Mrs. Welker that he may in fact lose both his hands.  She was unwilling to accept this news and was determined to have him transported to Parkland in Dallas.  Mr. Welker informed the medical staff that he was not going to get in the helicopter without his wife.  They were willing to let her go with him as she later found out that they felt he would not survive the accident.  Their four children were called and told them to meet him at Parkland.  The physicians told them that night they felt he wasn’t going to make it.  Next morning, he was still stable, so the decision was made to salvage what was possible. No hope was given because of all the infection and the severity of the accident.  But miraculously after 3 weeks, 4 amputations, MRSA and a severe case of pneumonia, he was removed from his induced coma.  He was removed from ICU to acute burn center with a shoulder and above the elbow amputations.

Eddie RacingLater, Eddie recalls waking up and thought somebody was injured, but didn’t know it was him.  It took awhile for him to process that he didn’t have any arms.  In the burn unit, he was getting bed sores as a result of the burns and felt that he was on a boat from the rocking sensation of the bed.  During the process, Eddie remembers seeing palm trees as he was getting water debridement.  Started rehab with decreased pain medication, but was still having daily debridements performed.

The Welker’s ventured to Oklahoma City where he received his first arm with the intent that they may be the only one.  Mr. Welker quickly informed the prosthetist that he was born with two arms and he would leave the world with two.  The next year, he received his second prosthetic arm.  Once being released from rehab, he was able to go home to Vernon, Texas in 1998, where the real world complications set in causing Eddie a lot of frustration.  The frustration lasted about a month, as Mr. Welker had the determination to be the best and refused to let depression set in.

Eddie with wifeEddie was told during his rehabilitation process that he would never drive again, which he felt was one of the worst things he heard during the entire process.  Disregarding the orders of a van and instead opting for his Truck, Eddie recalls the learning curve being huge, but he did it within a year.  By 1999, the Welkers moved to Granbury on the lake to make a fresh start with all their children living in a 40 mile radius from Grandbury.  Eddie learned how to drive a boat, ride a bicycle, and finally started his great passion, racing in 2001.  Eddie states that a lot of thought must be put into everything and every task to be accomplished.  “It’s not as simple as deciding to go buy a lawn mower and mowing.”  With five grandchildren ranging in age from 28 to 7, the Welkers’ stay very active with their family.

As a testament to his character, or what his wife would refer to as his stubbornness, today he races cars for fun. Eddy started racing with the assistance of his wife, Linda, after a day at the race track watching.  While at the track, Eddie turned to Linda and said he thought he could do it.  “How hard can it be? You just go straight and turn left!”  Through his strong will and perseverance Eddy continues to accomplish tasks daily that most would deem impossible.  

 

Christine Goodwin

Christine cookingOn July 30, 2010 Christine Goodwin was traveling to Lubbock, Texas with her 13 year old son, Brett.  The pair had decided to make the trip to have her motorcycle looked at by a custom paint company, catch a movie, spend the night and then return the next morning.  As Chris was within 10 miles of her destination, she was hit while crossing an intersection by an SUV.  Chris remembers trying to peel her body off the extremely hot pavement when an EMT came up from behind telling her she would be okay.  She would find out later that she had lost her right leg below the knee at the scene.  Brett, who was riding behind her, almost lost his foot during the accident.

Christine with horseChris was quickly rushed to the emergency room in Lubbock, where she was informed of the loss of her limb.  As a testament to her character, Chris’ response to the loss, “as long as you can make it where I can still wear my motorcycle boots will be okay”.  She was released from the hospital one week later.  Chris had her first visit to Baker O&P six weeks after the accident.  Two weeks later, she would be up and walking on a prosthesis.  The road to recovery was a rather quick one for Chris, letting nothing slow her done.  She was driving a car alone at 10 weeks and went back to work.  After 8 long months of repair, Chris was riding her once totaled motorcycle again.

Chris WorkingToday Chris continues to lead a very active lifestyle that includes a multitude of activities on a daily basis.  As a mother of a 16 year old and wife to a team roper, Chris’ day includes caring for the their home, four horses, multiple other animals on their land and all the other chores that are necessary, most of which require dirty labor intensive work.  At the time of the accident, Chris was a Ladies of Harley officer which included fundraising, benefits, and encouraging other women to ride.  In addition, she was a road captain for three years and continues to lead rides.  During the peak of the season, Chris will ride her motorcycle 2000 miles a month.  Anyone that comes in contact with Chris will quickly see  her smile, energy and attitude are infectious.