(Photo of Ken and his wife Joette)
By: BOSTON TRAUMA staff
On July 3, 2015, while on his second-to-last training ride near his home in New Hampshire for an upcoming seven-day, 700 mile bike race across the state of Iowa, Harry “Ken” Kimball suddenly lost control and fell off of his bike trying to avoid a car. Thankfully, Ken’s riding partner was with him and stayed until emergency services arrived. Ken was initially taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry, New Hampshire, where they recognized the severity of his injuries and prepared him for MedFlight transfer to Boston Medical Center (BMC).
When he arrived at BMC, Ken was met by trauma surgeon, George Kasotakis, MD, and the rest of the trauma team. He was found to have multiple rib fractures and “flail chest”, a type of severe chest wall trauma where ribs are broken in multiple places, which potentially complicates the recovery process.
Shortly after arriving to BMC he underwent an innovative surgical procedure to reconstruct his unstable chest wall. “Rib fixation is a fairly novel surgical procedure, typically offered to patients with severe or unstable rib fractures, which almost immediately helps them breathe better and easier”, says Kasotakis. Within a day, Ken was weaned off the ventilator and began to show signs of improvement in his ability to breathe.
As Ken is gaining strength and is on the road to recovery he and his family are extremely thankful for the care that they have received from the team at BMC. “The caregivers have been amazing”, says Ken. “They have been a huge part of maintaining my positive mentality. The communication, collaboration and investment in my well-being has been a blessing.”
In addition to the world-class care that he and his wife Joette describe receiving, Ken reflects on how much the staff impacted his recovery. “They just love their jobs and it’s really apparent in the care they deliver to their patients no matter what brought them in”, says Ken. Joette is thankful for how she and her family were treated with genuine care and compassion. “The level of professionalism is exceptional among staff”, says Joette.
Although Ken sustained significant and potentially life threatening injuries, he says, “I genuinely believe I would not be alive today if it were not for the exceptional care I received from the staff here at BMC.”