Isaac Perkins is like any active 10 year-old boy. He enjoys sports, including soccer and basketball; adventures with friends; video games; and exploring the world around him. Encouraged by parents Todd and Teresa, Isaac is dedicated to piano lessons and his electric guitar and faithfully practices both instruments.
When Isaac took a nasty spill while bike-riding with a friend on Feb. 7, 2009, Todd remembers pulling into the family’s subdivision after work that afternoon and receiving a phone call from a frantic neighbor. “Isaac and her son were maneuvering their bikes down a hill and lost control,” says Todd. “His friend and his bike crashed down on top of Isaac, slamming him into the concrete.”
Todd scooped up his son, who had an obvious arm injury, and rushed him to the Emergency Department at Overland Park Regional Medical Center (OPRMC) where the staff surrounded the young boy, administering pain medication and taking x-rays of his left arm.
Daniel Farrell, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on staff at OPRMC was called into the Emergency Room to consult with Isaac’s anxious parents and explained that the youngster’s arm required immediate surgery.
“He explained the injury was a Type III supracondylar fracture—severe and complex, but luckily it didn’t puncture Isaac’s skin,” says Todd.
Well-versed in pediatric injuries and pediatric sports medicine, Dr. Farrell completed a combined fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at the Denver Children’s Hospital in Denver Colo., and sports medicine training at the Stedman’s Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo. The Perkins were impressed with his combined level of knowledge and genuine compassion.
“Dr. Farrell had a calming demeanor,” says Teresa. “He told us he has three children and we could tell he had a sincere interest in getting Isaac back to tip-top operating condition.” That evening Dr. Farrell inserted three pins into Isaac’s elbow at the point where the break occurred. Isaac was transferred to a room where he spent the evening receiving what the Perkins term as comforting care. “The staff was superb,” says Todd. The next morning when Dr. Farrell made rounds he found Isaac had loss of feeling in two fingers and went back into surgery to remove one of the pins. “Dr. Farrell said the pin was affecting Isaac’s nerves,” says Teresa.
Isaac was discharged from the hospital following the second surgery with an arm cast. Five weeks later, he started a month-long physical therapy regiment at the Human Motion Institute at OPRMC. “Isaac was motivated to get back to regular activities,” says Todd. “Dr. Farrell, a piano player, encouraged Isaac to begin playing his instruments again in June. He wanted him to work on his range of motion.”
Todd, a tennis professional who coaches competitive junior players, and Teresa, a middle school special education teacher, are relieved that their son has full use of his arm and is back playing soccer, basketball and tinkling the ivories and strumming the strings.
“The expert and professional attention Isaac received from the time we were admitted to the Emergency Department to his discharge from the hospital was fantastic,” says Teresa. “We had real peace-of-mind.”
Todd says Isaac’s subsequent rehabilitation and recovery are nothing short of spectacular. “It’s good to see him participating in his activities again,” says Todd. “Including playing the piano and guitar.”