Travis was a 21 year old who walked out the door on a Saturday afternoon a few months ago to run an errand on his motorcycle. His father told me Travis passed three helmets on the way out the door.
The truck driver that pulled out in front of Travis never saw him.
When I first saw Travis in the ER, I recognized the dire situation he was in. Several bones were broken, his aorta had a possible injury, and he had a large subdural hematoma. His pupils were not working, but he did have some lower brainstem function including reflexive movement of his arms and legs.
I told the family as sincerely as I could that Travis would not survive without surgery, but also that his chances were extremely low even with surgery. We decided to give him a chance.
I wanted to share with you the experience we had opening the dura of a previously healthy, energetic, bright, and beloved 21 year old young man.
Let’s exercise caution and safety in all we do. Let’s wear helmets and seatbelts. Let’s put our cell phones down and stay alert and attentive while driving. Perhaps there is one thing you and I could commit to change today to make our lives and the lives of others just a little bit safer.
A few hours after surgery, Travis’ blood pressure suddenly dropped and he passed away.
Disclaimer: Although this is a real patient, I have used a different name for privacy protection and added a few details for educational purposes.