Updated: 16 hours ago
I have long known that trampolines were invented by hospital emergency rooms as a means of increasing revenue and profits.
Now, let me introduce you to Gaynor who is a single mother of three young boys. Recently out of an abusive relationship, Gaynor decided to put some fun in her family's life by purchasing a trampoline. She placed the implement of pain and horror next to the families pool in Bracknell, England.
One day in late June of this year, Gaynor and her boys were in the backyard. Gaynor, a former gymnast decided to show the boys how she could bounce from the trampoline into the pool. This was an incredibly bad decision.
Gaynor, proud of a body she had worked hard to sculpt in the previous three months, was clad in a bikini so scanty it would have embarrassed a nubile 16 year old girl to wear. Of course Gaynor had not intended to be seen wearing it in public.
So, Gaynor did a couple of preliminary bounces - each one higher than the previous. She then leapt from the trampoline to the pool which was one of those above ground circular models.
Gaynor missed the water. Instead, her shin slammed into the metal side of the pool breaking her tibia in half but somehow leaving the fibula intact. Instead of falling backwards, Gaynor had the misfortune of tumbling forward after the impact into six feet of water.
Gaynor's screams were heard by neighbors over a mile away. She thrashed about in the pool alternately clutching at her broken leg and struggling to keep her head above water. Her boys were of course stunned. Fortunately, the oldest had enough composure to get the next door neighbor who happened to be a nurse.
The next door neighbor and the boys managed to extract Gaynor from the pool. The level and volume of screaming increased as she was pulled from the pool and laid on the lawn. "I've been through child birth three times." Gaynor later said. "Child birth is like a pin prick compared that leg injury. It was like someone was sticking a thousand hot knives in my leg."
An ambulance was summoned and Gaynor was whisked of the Royal Berkshire Hospital. After a series of x-rays, doctors informed the still bikini clad Gaynor that surgery may be required for the injury but there was a chance they could set the leg manually. Gaynor was sedated and doctors spent over an hour re-positioning the broken tibia and securing the woman in a full leg back slab cast.
With the help of her neighbor and sister, Gaynor was released from the hospital the day after the injury. She spent the better part of a week on a couch. "The pain was unrelenting. It seemed to worsen once I got home. Any movement was excruciating. I was convinced the doctors had not set it properly."
One week after the injury, Gaynor returned to Royal Berkshire. After another round of x-rays, she was assured that the bone ends were still in alignment. She was placed in a fiberglass red cast. She would be placed in a smaller cast after two weeks.
Two weeks later, Gaynor returned to the hospital. She was in almost constant pain after the application of her red cast and found it impossible to sleep. After x-rays, it was determined that the tibia had slipped out of alignment - just a little bit. Things would have been easier if the fibula had been broken also. The doctor wanted to make sure that her leg was 'extra straight."
The doctor gave Gaynor two choices. He could completely sedate her while he re positioned the bone ends. This would require spending a night in the hospital since an anesthesiologist would have to be scheduled. Or, he could give her an oral pain killer, quickly get things back in place, and she would be on her way home in an hour.
Gaynor learned a valuable lessen that afternoon. Always take the maximum amount of drugs offered.
Six hours later, Gaynor was back on her couch having endured three painful fracture reduction sessions while fully conscious. During the first two sessions, the doctor, whose name was McPherson, had pulled, twisted, and pushed her leg in various positions, casted the leg, taken x-rays, realized things weren't right, and started the process over again. The third attempt to set the leg was the charm so to speak. Gaynor began referring to Dr. McPherson as Dr. McQuack to her friends.
Back at home, Gaynor was now falling apart. She believed the four hour fracture reduction session had caused her to develop PTSD. She was in constant pain and still thought the bones were not aligned properly. And her house looked like a junk yard with three small boys at home and little help from her family.
Gaynor took solace in the fact that Dr. McQuack had said she should be getting a smaller cast during her next hospital visit.
In August, Gaynor was placed in a shorter PTB cast. There was absolutely no evidence of bone healing. The doctor, however, felt eight weeks in a full leg cast was all poor Gaynor could handle.
In late September, Gaynor had a little heart to heart talk with Dr. McQuack. He said there was some evidence of bone unification - but it was 'delayed'. He wanted her to spend six more weeks in the PTB cast. After a little confrontation during which Gaynor threw a crutch at the good doctor, turned over an examining room chair, and threatened to strangle the doctor with a blood pressure cuff, Gaynor was placed in a walking cast.
Dr. McQuack warned Gaynor to not put too much weight on the cast. He also indicated that surgery was still an option if Gaynor's stubborn tibia remained in a non-union state. He suggested they wait 4 weeks to see how the bones had healed.
October came and went. In the second week in November - 19 weeks after her injury and 19 weeks in some form of cast. Dr. McQuack told Gaynor she needed four more weeks in the walking cast. She, in essence, told him to go screw himself. She removed her walking cast. Tossed it in the trash. Removed a spare sneaker from her purse. And left the Royal Berkshire Hospital limping on a pair of white converse but without crutches.
The long term prognosis for Gaynor's injured leg is still up in the air. She has been walking on a still broken leg for over a week. She has no access to follow-up care or physical therapy since she fired Dr. McQuack. Her risk of re-breaking the leg is high.
On a positive note, the trampoline and and pool were sold and moved off Gaynor's property two weeks after the accident.